In May 2018, Ariana Grande visited The Tonight Show and during her conversation with Jimmy Fallon, she busted out an impressive impersonation of Jennifer Coolidge, specifically from her role in Legally Blonde. While it was a fun moment, it probably didn’t have a major impact on Grande’s career trajectory. The same can’t be said for Coolidge, though, as she credits Grande and that impression for helping to revitalize her acting career.
Coolidge was on Fallon last night and the host got her reactions to a couple of people impersonating her on the show (Grande and Saturday Night Live‘s Chloe Fineman). Coolidge said of Grande’s impression, “You should know that it was sort of the beginning of a lot of cool things that happened for me. I was going through a dead zone, not much was going on, and then Ariana did this imitation on your show and you encouraged her, and then this ball got rolling.”
“My friend who’s like her age, Theresa, she was like, ‘Hey, you know, you should DM Ariana and just say, you know,’ because I thought it was such a good imitation. I was like, ‘No! She’s got like 260 million followers, those are robots. The robots answer the DMs. We will never, ever get to her.’ And then I did it anyway, and then this response came back, and then next thing you know, I was going to her house, getting a wardrobe fitting for ‘Thank U, Next.’ So that was all because of Jimmy Fallon.”
As Coolidge noted, after Grande’s impression, she went on to make a memorable appearance in the “Thank U, Next” video. Over the past few years, Coolidge has acted in the popular series The White Lotus and movies like Promising Young Woman and the upcoming Shotgun Wedding.
Watch Coolidge on The Tonight Show above.