Jennifer Coolidge Doesn’t Believe in ‘Legally Blonde’s ‘Bend and Snap’

Jennifer Coolidge Doesn’t Believe in ‘Legally Blonde’s ‘Bend and Snap’
Jennifer Coolidge and Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (2001) © 2001 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Jennifer Coolidge is known for so many iconic roles, but one that is a forever favorite, is her stint as Paulette Bonafonté in Legally Blonde. We can’t think of hot dogs on the Fourth of July without hearing her hilarious line from the sequel, “You look like the Forth of July. That makes me want a hot dog real bad.” And who can forget Paulette’s try at the “Bend and Snap” in the first film? (For a refresher: she broke her crush’s nose!)

Even though Paulette may have won over the man in the end, in real life, Coolidge does not buy that the “Bend and Snap” has a “98% success rate of getting a man’s attention” like Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods claims.

In a new interview with Deadline, Coolidge admits that the “Bend and Snap,” is “a moment in moviemaking I would just totally disagree with. I’ve never had bending over work for me like it did in that movie. I think that the bend and snap is misleading.”

She did however, include some advice that may tip the scales in one’s favor. “I’d have to say when I did do the bend and snap, I was wearing my underwear and I feel like in real life you have to leave it off.”

In the interview she admits the aforementioned Fourth of July line is her most quoted. “If I’m out on that day, people just go nuts,” she says.

Earlier this month, Coolidge appeared on The Jess Cagle Show joking that Witherspoon better get working on Legally Blonde 3 (Mindy Kaling signed on to write the script!) so she can finally get some new material to escape the hot dog obsession. “I really felt like this year, I was like, okay, alright. I’ve really done this Fourth of July thing and I’m gonna have to insist to Reese that we make it this year because I’m not gonna make it… I can’t do it next year. I can’t. I need new material.”

In reminiscing with Deadline, Coolidge recalled feeling extra thankful for her role in the cult-beloved film. “The first most depressing lesson I ever learned on a set was when I went to do Legally Blonde, and there was an actor — a television actor that I’d seen on TV, a funny guy­ — and he was the parking attendant [for the studio]. And I remember thinking, we have to be grateful. I was thinking, I could do this movie here, and then it could be back to waitressing. Nothing is written in stone. So, I remember thinking what a privilege it was to get this job.”

She added, “I was thinking, God, you really have to have gratitude in this business. It’s quite a rollercoaster ride being an actor and we have to be thrilled about getting these jobs, because sometimes they don’t come around again for a long time. Or ever.”

Jennifer Coolidge, Murray Bartlett and Jolene Purdy in Season 1 of The White Lotus
Jennifer Coolidge, Murray Bartlett and Jolene Purdy in Season 1 of The White Lotus

Coolidge has landed many more role since the 2001 film, including HBO’s The White Lotus, which earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.

Fans loved her take on socialite Tanya McQuoid who vacations at the Hawaii resort. “There are a lot of things about Tanya McQuoid that are similar,” Coolidge says, adding that creator Mike White “stole a lot of those things because he witnessed me on a trip to Africa and I know he collected a lot of my eccentric ways and put them into the show. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, am I really that bad?’”