But Yellowjackets has a massive draw card, and that’s it’s star-studded cast. Featuring the likes of Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci, the show is saturated with faces you’ll recognise and easily place, even if they seem a little far from the roles we remember them from.
Meet the cast (and their fabulous teenage counterparts) below.
Melanie Lynskey and Sophie Nélisse as Shauna
The insanely talented Melanie Lynskey heads up Yellowjackets. While she is probably best known for her work in the independent movie scene, she’s otherwise recognisable for her role as Rose in Two and a Half Men, which seems beneath her these days. She’s also known for roles in rom-com classics like Ever After, Coyote Ugly and Sweet Home Alabama. More recently, she’s been seen in the Netflix hit Don’t Look Up, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.
Meanwhile, Sophie Nélisse plays the teenage version of Shauna. Prior to Yellowjackets, Sophie was probably best known for her role as Leisl Meminger in the book-to-film adaptation of The Book Thief.
As for the character of Shauna, Melanie has said she is “unable to be herself because she wants to fit in”. She’s also described Shauna as “more intense and darker than she allows herself to be.”
Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Taissa
Starring as Taissa, Tawny Cypress already has some big TV roles under her belt. She’s been seen in Unforgettable, The Good Wife, Elementary, House of Cards, The Blacklist, and Heroes, where she starred as Simone Deveaux.
Meanwhile, young Taissa is portrayed by Jasmin Savoy Brown. A regular on the Shondaland legal drama For the People, Jasmin also just made her first major film debut, starring in the fifth Scream film, which came out just this month.
Collectively, the pair star as Taissa, who is the competitive one on the Yellowjackets soccer team. In 2021, Taissa is running for New Jersey senate, and raising a young son with her wife, Simone.
Juliette Lewis and Sophie Thatcher as Natalie
There’s hardly anything Juliette Lewis hasn’t been in, with a filmography that spans pages. Starting out as Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, she’s gone on to have a decorated career in film, which has resulted in a number of nominations for Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
Also starring as Natalie is Sophie Thatcher, a theatre actress whose star seems to be on the rise. The character of Natalie, is a high school ‘burnout’, known for doing drugs and being anti-social. As an adult, she’s still facing up to these issues during stints in rehab.
Christina Ricci and Sammi Hanratty as Misty
We love to see the return of a child star, and Christina Ricci is here to deliver. Starring alongside Sammi Hanratty as Misty, Christina Ricci has come prepared to really deliver this role to us. While Misty is seen as pathetic and weird during high school, after the crash she slides easily into a leadership role. To add further intrigue, Christina has admitted to basing her character on the likes of Kathy Wilkes’ Annie Murphy in Misery, and Edmund Kemper in Mindhunter – two people we really wouldn’t like to meet on the street.
“I think she's a person who at her core is someone who wants to be happy ... Misty doesn't need anyone to enjoy her life. She has constructed a world in which she's entertaining herself because nobody was going to do it for her,” Christina said of her character.
Ella Purnell as Jackie
Ella Purnell stars as Jackie, Shauna’s best friend in high school. However, fans of the show will know that not everything is sweet between them. Also, Jackie currently has no place in the 2021 timeline. And based on the finale (no spoilers!), we’re not surprised. Is an adult Jackie yet to emerge? We’re keen to find out!
Steven Krueger as Ben Scott
Assistant coach Ben Scott is brought to life by Steven Krueger, whom fans of The Vampire Diaries might recognise from his role in The Originals. Ben loses a leg in the crash, and is cared for diligently by Misty (Misery vibes), but is stressed that he is the only adult to survive the crash – for now.
If you’re keen to check out Yellowjackets, you can now watch the whole first season on Paramount+.