The stars of Yellowjackets talk their characters’ boundaries

Tawny Cypress, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey

Tawny Cypress, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

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In the Canadian wilderness where Yellowjackets‘ teenaged protagonists find themselves stranded, even cannibalism becomes lawful by winter—after all, there’s no parents, teachers, or authorities around. But the women who star as the soccer team’s elder versions—Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, Juliette Lewis, and Melanie Lynskey—say they each established certain lines their characters wouldn’t cross.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporterthe leading women discuss how they’ve each handled setting boundaries for their characters, even when those boundaries conflicted with a writers vision.

Ricci says she has specific “rules” for her character that help inform her decisions as a performer—down to Misty’s cocktail of choice. “Originally, in the script, she was drinking a Brandy Alexander, and I said, ‘No, Misty would drink a chocolate martini,'” Ricci recalls. “I have rules and stuff for her in my head, and they do conflict with the writers sometimes.”

For Lynskey, one specific moment comes to mind. “There was something written into a script where I was going on a date with my lover, and they had me going into my daughter’s bedroom and taking her underwear, which was just not practical because I wouldn’t fit it. She’s little. But also, ew,” she shares.

Although Lynskey admits she’s seen the fanfare around a certain Shauna scene in the pilot, she says she knew she wanted that to be a one-time-only deal—and the production team happily acquiesced. “I think there was something, apparently, somewhere, people liked the thing in the pilot where I’m masturbating in my daughter’s bedroom. I was like, ‘Can that just be an isolated incident? I don’t want it to be a theme.’ So I just was like, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ They were great about it.”

Lewis also says she set boundaries around her character Natalie’s sexuality, both as a teenager and as an older, more hardened soul. “They had written a sex scene, and I was like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know that she even gets off, I don’t know that she even can have orgasms.”” Lewis says. “That’s how deep I went…At the end of the day, I just didn’t even think she fucks, sorry to be so graphic, at this juncture that you saw in season one. I think she might’ve had relationships with all of them in the wilderness. I don’t know if they’re going to write it, but that’s what I’d like to think of Natalie.”

Out of everyone, Cypress has the most lax approach to her character arc—she says she has the most difficulty just waiting to find out what happens to Taissa next. “Fuck, I want to know everything,” Cypress says. “I sit there, and when I think about the show, I think, ‘What the fuck are they going to do with this character?’” Stars, they’re just like us.

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