“We didn't want to be a show about what happened, but about why it happened,” Ashley Lyle said at the TCA Summer Press Tour. She is the co-creator and an executive producer of Yellowjackets, a Showtime original series with a cast that includes Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey, and Tawny Cypress. The series tells the story of a champion high school girls soccer team who survived a plane crash in the wilderness as teenagers and are still trying to put their lives back together. “It's about how these girls were able to really work together as a group, and then to see how that might really start to fall apart and shatter over the course of a season.”
“This script was one of the best scripts I'd read in the last ten-plus years,” Juliette Lewis shared, whose recent work has included a stint on ABC’s The Conners and Secrets and Lies. “It was absolutely riveting on the page, which is so rare. And then I'm always interested in dichotomies or contrasts and all these multi-layered problems within a human being… Melanie [Lynskey] was the first cast, and I'm a super fan.”
“I honestly just was so excited to read something that was so different,” Melanie Lynskey agreed. “You read a lot of things that are different for the sake of being different or trying to be edgy. There was a genuine edge to this. There was something very tense in the writing, and I really loved [that] it was so female-centered, and every single one of the women was so well drawn and interesting.”
“I'm a Jersey girl born and raised, so I immediately was right there in there with the soccer team and the character that I play,” Tawny Cypress revealed. “Her vulnerabilities come out fairly quickly, so it was great to see where she cracked. It's always fun to play people who crack a little bit… It's easy to play somebody powerful, but it's more fun to play somebody who just thinks they're powerful.”
Each of the lead characters is portrayed by two actresses to present adult and teenage counterparts. “ I did know some people like this,” Christina Ricci explained about the character of Misty Quigley, whom she shares with Samantha Hanratty. “She and I met, spoke about the references we were using individually and how we planned on playing her… I feel like my Misty is sort of the Misty who has been squeezed and punished by life from the time they were rescued until we see her…. If you take young Misty and you just squeeze and punish her for years, what comes out? I decided it was passive aggression.”
“She's such a fun role to play,” Samantha Hanratty shared about her teenage characterization of Misty. “It's definitely somebody who has been bullied, and everything that is who she is, and wants to be accepted and wants people to like her so badly… It's just fun to see when it does start to break her. We see glimpses of it with me, and then you definitely get to see with Christina where those shattered pieces are. It's really magical to be able to work with Christina on that.”
“To go from keggers and carpools and winning a soccer match in high school, to something so extreme that's meant to happen… It begs the question of "What are people capable of?," director and executive producer Karyn Kusama proposed. “It creates this internal suspense and internal set of questions that kind of help drive the whole series and enrich the larger question of the series.”
The adventure begins Sunday, November 14th when Yellowjackets premieres on Showtime.