The cast of Yellowjackets is getting ready to head back into production for the highly anticipated second season, but the actors want fans to know that they have as many questions as the fans. “Even shooting the first season, we were always on a need-to-know basis,” says Liv Hewson, who plays the young version of Van on the Showtime series. “We’d get the scripts one at a time, right before we shot, so as a cast we were always coming up with our own theories for the show we were in. The pleasure of [the show] coming out was watching people come up with the theories we’d discussed on set.”
Ahead of the group’s return to the Vancouver-area set, Hewson and her ’90s-era castmates Sophie Thatcher (Natalie), Samantha Hanratty (Misty) and Courtney Eaton (Lottie) reunited for a THR Presents panel, powered by Vision Media. The panel was filmed before the news broke that Lauren Ambrose will be joining Yellowjackets’ second season as adult Van, not only adding another iconic ’90s actress to the group but confirming that Van survives to the present-day storyline — but even without that knowledge, the topic of potential casting was on everybody’s minds. “I remember watching everyone who had an older version of their character and thinking, I don’t know how I would share a character,” Eaton said of Lottie. “But I think, if I did get an older version this season, it would be really exciting to meet someone in the middle of this process that I’ve already established.”
Thatcher described the initial prospect of meeting — and collaborating with — her onscreen counterpart Juliette Lewis as intimidating, partly because of how “iconic” the actress is but also because of how much their shared character changes between the ’90s and current-day plotlines. “Juliette and I would take calls in between getting the scripts, and get on the same wavelength,” she told THR. “Now that it’s been almost a year since filming, I’d like to work to get to her level of freedom and looseness. I hope I get to explore that more in season two.”
The current-day storyline stars — Melanie Lynskey (Shauna), Christina Ricci (Misty), Tawny Cypress (Taissa) and Lewis (Natalie) — recently appeared on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, and spoke about the responsibility they feel to their younger counterparts, not only in aiding their shared characters but in creating a safe, supportive environment on set. Lynskey recalled sending a note of encouragement to the ’90s cast, offering herself up as their advocate, only to discover that this new generation is not lacking in self-confidence. On the panel, the actors remember things a little bit differently.
“It really set the tone,” said Hanratty. “She’s our number one [on the call sheet], and it opened the door for us to have a safe space where someone will listen to you. That gesture was huge, and we’re all very lucky to be in a space where we can talk about things like our mental health and where we’re at.”
Added Hewson with a laugh: “It’s interesting that we give off the impression of not having needed it, because it really meant a lot to us.”
Watch the full panel in the video above to see the cast weigh in on their most strenuous scenes to film, the show’s most important themes, and what they should name their group chat.
This edition of THR Presents is sponsored by Showtime.