The Infamous ‘White Lotus’ Poop Scene Was Apparently Constructed About As Meticulously As A Suit Tailored By Tom Ford Himself

One of the best television programs from last year included a scene in which a man pooped in another man’s suitcase. When it’s described that way it doesn’t sound as nuanced as it is, but it is very nuanced.

In the finale of HBO’s The White Lotus which aired last summer, hotel manager Armand (Murray Bartlett) is about to get fired from his job due to needy hotel guest Shane (Jake Lacy). In an inspiring attempt at revenge, Armand sneaks into Shane’s room and poops in his suitcase. Unfortunately, this results in Shane stabbing Armand, who dies.

Just under a year after the show’s premiere on HBO, those involved in the poop scene talked about it in detail with Variety. Everyone involved, from writer Mike White to editor John Valerio said that creating the scene as we saw it was a complex process. Murray Bartlett said that the scene required a lot of shots, and was initially not supposed to include any wide shots of him pretending to poop. He found out about the wide shots making the final cut the day the finale aired last summer. Here’s what Bartlett said

We did a lot of coverage of that scene — there were shots on my face and shots of me squatting over the suitcase. We also did wide shots, but Mike [White] was like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re never going to use the wide shots.’ He called me the day that the last episode went to air and was like, ‘You’ve seen it right? I feel so bad.’ A lot of it is one long wide shot of me squatting over a suitcase doing my thing, which is the perfect shot to use obviously, but Mike was sort of stressed about it. It was very carefully choreographed. Shane comes in and I’m creeping out of the closet, and then he comes back into the hallway, so I have to go back in the closet. It’s this sort of physical comedy. We had a stunt guy who actually fell back into the bath. We wanted Armond’s last moment to be sort of ambiguous — there’s terror, obviously, in being stabbed in the chest, but also there’s some relief and perverse humor in it.

The White Lotus will probably get nominated for a bunch of Emmys and win a few of those, too. Originally intended as a limited series, the show was picked up for a second season, which will follow a new cast and the return of Jennifer Coolidge in a new location. No air date has been announced yet.