The entertainment industry is a fickle beast, what with shows being unceremoniously canceled when they were just getting started and fully completed feature films being dumped for massive tax write-offs. Nothing is ever a guarantee, and even people who have been cast and shot footage on projects have been replaced in the eleventh hour. This is probably why so many cast members of the hit Showtime series "Yellowjackets" were convinced they were going to be out of a job after their first table read. The sentiment seems ridiculous in hindsight, considering the first season of "Yellowjackets" was showered with nominations (and wins) from multiple awards circuits, and the ensemble cast is often highlighted as one of the best in the business.
And yet, before a single scene was filmed, the brilliant cast was all terrified that they weren't going to make it to principal photography. During an exclusive panel about the show presented by Showtime, the cast recalled what it was like to meet each other for the first time and what thoughts immediately plagued their minds. Sophie Nélisse, who plays the teenage version of Shauna Sadecki (née Shipman) made famous by Melanie Lynskey, was certain that she was going to be kicked to the curb.
"I remember not thinking I would even get the role, because I'm like, blonde with blue eyes and we didn't – my eyes didn't look alike at all," Nélisse said. Fortunately, with a quality pair of contacts and some intentional styling, the physical differences between the two actors were a non-issue. But then Nélisse heard Lynskey speak for the first time, and was terrified she wouldn't be able to match the voice of her adult counterpart.
'If Anyone Was Going To Be Fired It Would Be Me'
Sophie Nélisse said during the panel that she had never heard Melanie Lynskey speak in real-life and panicked the second she did. "I hear her and I'm like, 'Oh my god she's so high-pitched!' And I'm sitting with everyone around the table that's important and I'm like, 'I'm gonna get fired.'" Nélisse said she started "freaking out" and tried to compensate by speaking in a slightly higher voice than usual to try and match Lynskey's signature sound. It wasn't until she saw herself in the full transformation that things clicked and she accepted that the pair were the perfect match.
"I think it works, and you were so good in the table read if anyone was going to get fired it would be me," Melanie Lynskey added. "Like if they were worried about us not looking alike." At this point, show co-creator Ashley Lyle had to add her two cents. "We were not going to fire either one of you to be very clear," she said. In the midst of the cast and audience's laughter, Christina Ricci, who plays Misty Quigley added, "I was terrified that I was getting fired at the table read, and I embarrassingly went around telling everyone I was afraid of getting fired." Can you imagine a world where Christina friggin' Ricci was afraid she wasn't the right casting decision?! Fortunately, the tension was broken by Jasmin Savoy Brown, who plays teen Taissa, who added, "I wasn't even at the table read!" Fortunately, none of the cast members were ever at risk of being fired, and "Yellowjackets" remains one of the best new shows on television.
"Yellowjackets" returns to Showtime for season 2 on March 26, 2023.
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