"A lot of it was just kinda one big holiday," the actor, 27, tells PEOPLE of the A-list cast's days off in Sicily
Weeks in Italy, a role in one of TV’s hottest shows and the chance to work alongside some incredible industry veterans — what more could Leo Woodall have asked for?
The London-born actor, 27, had a career-launching turn in season 2 of The White Lotus, and tells PEOPLE, “It felt very much like a stars-aligned moment when I got that.”
As cheeky Essex boy Jack, he flirted with floundering assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), helped his “uncle” Quentin (Tom Hollander) execute a well-thought-out plan to take out Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) and found time to shock audiences — Tanya included! — with his less-than-appropriate conduct with said uncle, who, thankfully, he was not related to biologically.
“It does feel like a world away now,” he says of the cast’s weeks in Sicily filming the show in 2022. Their days were spent “all hanging out as a group,” with the likes of Coolidge, Hollander, Richardson and others, like Theo James and Aubrey Plaza.
“It was one of those shows where, because there were so many characters and so many storylines, there were so many days off. A lot of it was kinda just one big holiday.”
He recalls one such day off spent at a bar near the cast’s hotel with Meghann Fahy — his now-girlfriend, though the two keep tight-lipped about their off-screen relationship — and F. Murray Abraham.
“We were watching what we call — it's called the Grand National, and it's a horse race. It's a tradition that you place a bet on a horse. And my horse won, and I was so excited, and Murray thought that I just won a million pounds,” he shares, calling it a “really funny moment.”
“And when I told him that I hadn't put that much money on it, and it was just the glory I like, he was like, ‘What the f---?’ He couldn't believe I was so happy just to win 10 quid,” Woodall says, using the British slang term for pounds.
He adds, “I think most people would agree it was one of the best times ever. It was amazing.”
Woodall, who stars as yet another cheeky Brit in One Day, Netflix’s new adaptation of David Nicholls’ 2009 novel, comes from a family of thespians, and studied acting at a drama school in London.
“When I decided that it was what I wanted to do, I was all in,” he says of his early days as an actor.
"Hollywood was never really in the conversation. That was just a freak accident. But when I told my family that I wanted to be an actor, a lot of them weren't that surprised,” he admits, describing his childhood self as “very theatrical” and “one of those annoying ones that was just constantly wanting to perform for people.”
After graduating from ArtsEd in London, Woodall had “three or so years out in the big bad world” before White Lotus came along.
He feels “quite lucky” for his time spent on the Mike White hit.
“I had a really fun role in the show. And the show — it was so lovely that so many people were watching it and loving it. And I was very proud to be a part of that,” he says, adding, “But I also maintained a level of anonymity, which I was really holding onto.”
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Seasons 1 and 2 of The White Lotus can be streamed in full on Max.
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