news Theo James: ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2 Toned Down NSFW Nudity

The White Lotus” may be heading to Sicilian beaches for Season 2, but star Theo James stripped down to more than a swimsuit for certain sexy scenes.

The “Time Traveler’s Wife” alum told Entertainment Tonight that while the “sexy” upcoming season, premiering October 30, features nudity, creator Mike White originally had something even more NSFW in mind.

“The initial version we shot was way too much,” James said of a particularly steamy moment in Episode 5. “So, we did a more subtle version. They toned it [down].”

James plays Cameron Babcock, the presumed airhead husband to Daphne (Meghann Fahy) who gets caught in a love square along with couple friends Harper (Aubrey Plaza) and Ethan Spiller (Will Sharpe). The ensemble cast also includes F. Murray Abraham, Michael Imperioli, Adam DiMarco, Hayley Lu Richardson, Tom Hollander, and returning star Jennifer Coolidge.

“There’s a purpose to it,” James added of his character’s nudity. “It’s interesting, [because] at first…we don’t know whether it’s deliberate or [if] it’s accidental. But it reveals itself.”

He joked, “It is in my contract that I’m not allowed to do anything without being completely naked. It’s funny ’cause we’re all kind of naked. It’s a holiday show, really.”

“The White Lotus” creator White previously revealed to Vulture that the main conflict of Season 2 is the gender roles between lovers and friends, particularly Fahy and Plaza’s respective frenemy characters who are jealous of one another’s husbands and bank accounts. White described the season as a “bedroom farce with teeth.”

“Maybe the classic sexual politics, the naughty subversive stuff we’re getting into, will take the edge off a little bit from that,” White said of the “colonialism” theme of the first season.

IndieWire’s Ben Travers wrote in his review that Season 2 “examines the culturally dominant machismo that drives (cisgender, heterosexual) men to do, well, everything.” James’ and Sharpe’s respective characters embody the competitive streak of male bravado following career successes that threaten to “destroy their emotional states.”

“Attraction may lead them to the woman of their dreams, but it can also tempt them to cheat,” Travers wrote. “White’s deft scripts don’t so much cast blame as they spread it — over time, across families, and through generations. Rather than treat the patriarchy’s problems as a series of revelations, it probes the various elements within sexual politics that work to prop men up — and it does so through spicy, smart conflicts. It’s hard to get enough of Harper’s foursome, just as it’s difficult to predict where Season 2 may end up (though, yes, it once again ends in murder). Performances by Plaza, James, [Sabrina] Impacciatore, and especially Fahy help make up for fewer laughs by bringing precision and passion to their respective parts.”

For all the details on “The White Lotus” Season 2, click here.
 
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