- Aubrey Plaza and Mike White took a trip to Sweden to stalk her exchange-student-ex-boyfriend together.
- They were doing research for a movie they were writing together about Plaza’s failed relationship with him.
- The movie never got made, but Plaza said White never forgot about her and cast her in “The White Lotus.”
Aubrey Plaza — who starred as Harper in season 2 of “The White Lotus” — revealed that her first meeting with showrunner Mike White led to an overseas trip to stalk her ex-boyfriend together.
The pair met years ago at a party at a mutual friend’s house. Speaking to the New Yorker, Plaza said she had been a big fan of White’s since he wrote and starred in “Chuck & Buck,” which she called one of the “best independent films ever” and served as inspiration for her film, “Ingrid Goes West.”
During their meeting, Plaza accidentally pitched a project to White — something she had been struggling to write based on something that happened in her own life.
“We were talking about Scandinavia, and I said, ‘Oh, well, I’ve actually been to Sweden, and I have this crazy story that I’ve been trying to write about,'” Plaza recalled in the New Yorker interview.
“And he was, like, ‘Oh, well, I really want to go to Sweden,’ and so on. And then we connected over this story,” she continued.
The story in question? When Plaza was in high school, she dated a Swedish exchange student named Johan who she was “very obsessed with,” she said. When he had to return to Sweden, they were forced to break up (though Plaza claims they never officially broke up, and she is “still with Johan, technically”) but the obsession remained.
“It was this thing that I was always kind of fixated on,” Plaza told the New Yorker, adding that 10 years later, she took a two-week solo trip to Sweden “to find him, in a kind of stalkerish scenario.”
White loved the idea.
“Well, I’ll write that with you,” Plaza recalled he said at the time, but on one condition: She had to return to Stockholm with White and see Johan again.
“And that was it. I met Mike White in Stockholm, and we traveled together to stalk my Swedish-exchange-student boyfriend together. That is a true story. We did that, and I didn’t know him at all,” Plaza said.
Plaza said White didn’t spend much time with Johan on the trip. Instead, he excused himself after their meeting and proceeded to stalk Plaza and Johan himself.
“So there were layers of stalking, where he would follow us and take pictures of us, and it was really twisted stuff,” Plaza said.
The pair returned to Norway the following summer, and by the spring of 2020, the script was ready to go. But due to the pandemic and White’s success with “The White Lotus,” the movie never got made.
“He didn’t forget about me,” Plaza said. “He just told me, ‘Don’t take a job next year. I want to work with you on this show,’ because I think we just wanted to work together so badly.”