The White Lotus' Aubrey Plaza Explains Harper's Horny Chemistry With Cameron Despite Being 'Disgusted By Him'

Harper laying on beach chair in bikini on The White Lotus
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Spoilers below for anyone who isn’t yet current with The White Lotus’ Season 2 episodes, so be warned!

With only one episode left in HBO’s sexed-up and paranoia-driven resort drama The White Lotus, fans are closer than ever to learning the overarching mystery of the dead bodies referenced in Season 2’s opening sequence. But as any viewer is well aware, the identity of the corpse(s) is but one of many questions that deserve answers in the impending finale, with another being “Why in God’s name is Harper leaning into flirting with Cameron and making Ethan jealous?” Thankfully, star Aubrey Plaza provided some key insight into that confused horniness, and how it’s a product of more than what viewers have seen play out.

Episode 6 seemingly brought Ethan to his breaking point, and he so very clearly suspects things are happening between Harper and Cameron, and isn’t so unjustified for such hypotheses. Which is made all the more confusing by the idea that Harper hasn’t said or thought many nice things about Theo James’ womanizer since the season began. Speaking with Vanity Fair, Plaza explained why there’s still some chemistry with Cameron despite any and all negative feelings about his personality, saying:

Yeah, I think he represents kind of the other side. He represents the uninhibited, unapologetically freer side of things. I don't think Harper's actually attracted him. I think she's disgusted by him. . . . Just in terms of her personality, I don't think he's her type, you know? But I think that he's hitting on a nerve with her, which is that she wants to fuck, you know? Sorry, but it's just like we're all animals.

As much as we’d all like to think we can forever rise above our base instincts in the face of such primal urges, that’s just not always going to be the case. And in Harper’s situation, her potentially eroding marriage and absent sexual relationship with Ethan have left the door open to make some regrettable decisions in the face of philandering hunks. Plaza continued:

It's hard when you're in a long term relationship. It's like you stop having sex, or the sex gets boring or whatever it is. It's just human nature, you know? It's like your pheromones meet somebody and maybe they're not your type or whatever, but it hits on a thing with her where she's like, 'I don't wanna think.'

The White Lotus has introduced the idea that Cameron has had a long-lasting influence over Ethan’s relationships, both real and idealized, with much unaddressed scar tissue built up there. And while we don’t know if that played into the onset of Harper and Ethan’s marital woes, Aubrey Plaza confirmed that the couple’s problems existed well before their trip to Italy, and that she intentionally played up the idea that they weren’t in positive headspaces from the minute they arrived on the boat. But the island is indeed where these bubbling-up concerns are finally being addressed, which has obviously created more of a powder keg sitch than anything genuinely healthy for their shared future.

The question now, going into the final episode, is whether Harper and Cameron actually will do the dirty deed, whether Ethan will find out, and how anyone will react to it all. I guess that’s more than just one question. Since there’s also the matter of Lucia and Alessio’s questionable relationship, the truth behind Quentin’s relationship with Jack and his motives for befriending Tanya, and whether Dom can do right by a woman for once (and without blaming his dad if it doesn’t happen). 

The White Lotus’ finale will air on HBO on Sunday, December 11, at 9:00 p.m. ET, and all previous episodes can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription. Head to our 2022 TV schedule and our 2023 premiere guide to see what’ll be popping up once this European excursion has run its course.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.