The White Lotus star reveals special meaning behind lesbian storyline


Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) in The White Lotus
Image: Fabio Lovino/HBO

The White Lotus star Sabrina Impacciatore has discussed her character Valentina’s lesbian “epiphany” and how it reflects the ongoing fight for LGBTIQ+ equality in Italy.

The brilliant HBO drama is just one episode away from its second season finale. The sharply-written series follows a group of tourists and staff at an exclusive resort in Italy.

Warning: The White Lotus spoilers below

In episode six of season two, hotel manager Valentina’s arc of self-discovery reached a crescendo as she spends a night with Mia (Beatrice Grannò).

Valentina previously was crushing on hotel employee Isabella (Eleonora Romandini), who’s secretly dating Valentina’s nemesis Rocco. Valentina then finds comfort with Mia.

The Italian actress told Entertainment Weekly kissing a woman for the first time is an “epiphany” for Valentina.

“Until this moment, she didn’t know enough about herself. She’s like, until this moment, frozen. She was not living her nature,” she said.

“She was trying to ignore and avoid herself, she was so scared to live her inner nature.

“She’s a workaholic trying to have control of her life, through work, through her job.”

But the actress explained her night with Mia is “the moment that makes Valentina set herself free.”

“It’s a life-changing moment. I was thinking about that moment like the volcano Etna erupting,” she said.

“It’s very, very important and it’s going to affect her future for sure.”

Filming the scene, Impacciatore recalled, “I remember very well what I felt and everything I was feeling was real. I was not acting. I really was feeling it.

“It was very touching to me to make this journey, and to really feel it with my own feelings.

“Some people can struggle because they are not able to face their inner nature, because they’re trying to deny who they really are. And that was very moving to me.”

The White Lotus star says Italy lags on LGBTIQ+ equality

Valentina’s journey on The White Lotus is “so meaningful” for actress Sabrina Impacciatore because “in Italy, to be gay is a big issue, still.”

“In Italy, we still fight for the rights of the queer community because legally the queer community doesn’t have the same rights of heterosexual people,” she said.

Human rights group say Italy trails European countries on LGBTQ+ rights. The country has civil unions but not same-sex marriage, and few legal protections for rainbow families and against discrimination.

Impacciatore said she hoped to “bring awareness” to these issues through character Valentina.

“We can’t have different rights just because some people love people of the same sex,” she continued.

“So when I got this role, as an Italian actress, I felt so proud that I could use it to stand for the queer community that always struggles.”

Season two finale will ‘freak people out’

The White Lotus‘ season two finale is streaming for Aussies next Monday, and the actress said the final episode will be “shocking”.

“I cannot really tease about what’s going to happen. I can only say that what is going to happen in the final episode is shocking,” she said.

“People are really going to freak out.”

In season two, The White Lotus‘ queer representation has ranged from Valentina’s poignant awakening to shocking gay sex scenes, with full frontal male nudity for good measure.

The White Lotus is streaming in Australia on Binge.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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