While Episode 4 of The White Lotus has had, let’s say, multiple viral moments based solely the closing moments that saw Shane (Jake Lacy) and Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) open the door on Armond (Murray Bartlett) and Dillon (Lukas Gage) having, let’s say, an intimate moment, that may not have even been the funniest moment of the episode. In a (for the moment) entirely unrelated subplot, Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) finally got a love interest of her own when Greg—a guy who says he’s on a fishing trip with friends from “the BLM”—accidentally tried to open her hotel door.
Eventually, Greg asked Tanya out to dinner, and she obliged. Of course, this excited Tanya, and Jennifer Coolidge played the moment so perfectly as she relayed the news to her new friend, Belinda, that she had just been asked out to dinner by a gentleman from (what she assumed was) Black Lives Matter. And while Coolidge and Rothwell have been absolutely dynamite perfect for the entirety of The White Lotus, you may also be wondering a bit about the newcomer, Jon Gries, who was playing the character we’ll call “BLM Greg.”
Why does Greg say he’s from “the BLM”?
In one of the funnier gags of the episode, when Greg tells Tanya that he’s staying at The White Lotus on a fishing trip with some of his friends from “the BLM,” she immediately reacts in a way that makes it seem like she’s impressed. She later tells Belinda on the phone that she’s been asked out on a date by a guy here with a group from Black Lives Matter.
It’s only when Tanya and Greg are at dinner and she asks him why he decided to dedicate his life to activism that we find out the answer (not that we didn’t see such a mix-up coming). Greg is confused by her question, and eventually they both realize what happened: Greg isn’t from Black Lives Matter, but rather the Bureau of Land Management, where he tells Tanya that he has a leadership role and numerous rangers reporting back to him. Classic mix-up! “Wow. I guess…” Tanya begins to tell him. “I guess I got that really wrong.” Sure did!
Gries and Coolidge are both great in the scene; Coolidge is as hilarious as she’s ever been (and she has been particularly on her game in The White Lotus), and an experienced screen performer like Gries clearly knows exactly how to set up a scene partner to slam dunk the joke execution.
Actor Jon Gries, who plays Greg on The White Lotus, is best known as Uncle Rico from 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite
The White Lotus cast already included absolute forces like Steve Zahn and Connie Britton (in addition to the names we’ve already mentioned), but writer/director Mike White had more surprises in store. Episode 4 introduced Molly Shannon to the cast as Shane’s mother, and also brought Jon Gries on as Greg.
Gries, 64, has played roles in Men in Black, Taken, Lost, Quantum Leap, and Seinfeld (among many others) in his 50+ years of acting in the film and television industry. But it’s his role as Uncle Rico, the hot-headed and constantly scheming former football star in Napoleon Dynamite that fans now seeing him take on a key role in The White Lotus most likely remember him from.
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