Alexandra Daddario Shares Her Take On Her White Lotus Character's Infamous Bikini Scene And How She Could Relate

Season 2 of The White Lotus may have already aired, but fans still have fond memories of the characters from both seasons, particularly when it comes to Alexandra Daddario and a memorable white bikini. Daddario’s character, Rachel, notably wears the look during a major moment on the HBO show in which she has just been verbally decimated by a couple of teens and decides she’s tired of taking flack from ‘em. 

If you’ve seen The White Lotus Season 1 (and if you haven’t minor spoilers), the scene in question featured Paula (Brittany O’Grady) and Olivia (Sydney Sweeney) lounging around the pool, where they meet newlywed Rachel. Daddario’s character is a bit out of her depth in this world of haves and have nots and Paula and Olivia sense this and push a conversation about Rachel snagging a wealthy husband. Rachel senses the girls are mocking her, but instead of taking it lying down, she pulls out her big checkmate: her rocking body. 

The scene would have been memorable even if a bikini hadn’t been involved, but with the bikini it’s become iconic. In a recent interview Daddario spoke with Men’s Journal about her own take on what happens in the scene and why she thinks it has been so relatable to so many people. She said:

Rachel taking her clothes off and showing off her body at the end, sort of as revenge, it’s so funny because it’s a constant power struggle. The show’s all about this constant power struggle between all different types of people. It’s animal instinct. Even when her husband, Shane, is in the pool, instead of hanging out with her, he’s chatting up the young women. The whole point of it is, we’re all just jealous, small, instinctual animals, and we make these mistakes that we don’t even know we’re making, and we try to justify them, and we aren’t analyzing our place in the world and our effect on others.

Daddario also noted she could relate with what the character is going through during the scene, noting it’s human nature to want to “win” in a given moment, particularly when a person is feeling ‘judged.’ (Or literally being openly judged, as Rachel was in that now-famous scene.) 

We’re all the same at the end of the day, this instinct to win. ‘I see that I’m being judged,’ or ‘I see that I’m in a conversation that I’m not winning, so what’s my trump card?’ And that’s what Rachel feels. The response she gets from her looks is such that she knows it’s there. And in this one situation, she’s like, ‘OK, here!’

Alexandra Daddario is not one to shy away from a bikini moment, so it was somewhat fitting she was the actress chosen to portray Rachel. It also follows in a line of roles Daddario has landed that have allowed her to “embrace” her sex appeal. And while she said she has tried to take what “is good for [her] career” out of the conversation around her body, Daddario has said it sometimes takes a toll

But she’s clearly still proud of The White Lotus scene, having reenacted it with Sydney Sweeney in the time since the episodes first aired for HBO and HBO Max subscribers. She also credits The White Lotus with relaunching her career, noting she had been somewhat in freefall in the time prior as highly-anticipated projects like Baywatch flopped.  

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.