One of the most exciting parts of "Yellowjackets" season 2, which premiered on March 26, is the addition of Elijah Wood as Walter. Showtime (via Yahoo!) describes his character as "a dedicated Citizen Detective who will challenge Misty in ways she won't see coming." He has an equal passion for sleuthing and true crime, and he accompanies Misty on her investigation of Natalie's whereabouts after she was kidnapped by a mysterious group in season 1.
It is unclear if Walter and Misty will be romantic interests, but their playful interactions and quirky qualities will certainly bring some lightheartedness to the grim series. "The journey that we're on in this particular season is really funny. The show's dark and gnarly and a lot of what we got to do together was kind of like the comic relief," Elijah Wood explains in Entertainment Tonight. Part of the Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood's strong connection and chemistry comes from starring together as child actors in Ang Lee's chilling drama "The Ice Storm" in 1997, when they were only 15 years old.
The Ice Storm
There's an odd sweetness to Misty and Walter's relationship in "Yellowjackets" that could not be more opposite of their brooding roles in "The Ice Storm," a clinical exploration of 1970s suburban ennui. In the film, Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood give powerful and unsettling performances that indicate the generational trauma that is being passed down through family dysfunction.
Christina Ricci plays Wendy Hood, a politically motivated girl with growing sensual desires. Elijah Wood is Mikey, a quiet and spacey young boy who is equally excited about molecules as he is about sexually experimenting with Wendy over the course of one Thanksgiving weekend. Even as young actors, they demonstrate the simmering intensity they would bring to future roles. Ricci makes Wendy's hunger for physical touch feel both raw and vulnerable, while Wood sensitively articulates Mikey's strangeness — particularly his fascination with nature and alienation from others. They present two children struggling to make sense of a cynical world and emotional chaos after being abandoned by their selfish parents.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Christina Ricci reflects on their relationship during the filming of "The Ice Storm" 26 years ago:
"We weren't really adults at that time. It's not like we had any on-set rapport like you do as an adult. We were a 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, you know. I thought he was so nice and easily to work with … As an adult, getting to work with him, we really developed a nice rapport. He's so fun and so smart and so talented. He's also just really kind and empathetic and great as Walter."
"The Ice Storm" was very serious material, but "Yellowjackets" gave them the chance to work on something more fun together.
I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Christina Ricci is not the only "Yellowjackets" actor Elijah Wood has co-starred with. He and Melanie Lynskey are in the eccentric Netflix thriller comedy "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore" from director and writer Macon Blair. It is a sharp commentary on America's bizarre cultural expectations. According to Extra, he and Lynskey remained friends after shooting, still "on a text chain together about birthdays, parenting, and more."
As Ruth and Tony, they have a similar dynamic to Misty and Walter in "Yellowjackets": strange, lonely people who unite to solve a mystery. Elijah Wood plays a rat-tailed vigilante who, much like a little puppy, wants to seem tough with his nunchucks and throwing stars but is actually clumsy and afraid. These qualities fit well alongside Melanie Lynskey's measured rage. Similar to her "Yellowjackets" role as Shauna, her soft voice delivers hilariously cutting lines. Lynskey delicately conveys the stinging depression her character feels, and how jaded she is by the world's cruelty.
If you enjoy Misty and Walter's shenanigans on "Yellowjackets," "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore" is a must-watch. It also demonstrates Wood's flair for doing genre-based work in his post-"The Lord of the Rings" career. He frequently appears in horror films such as "Maniac, thrillers like "Grand Piano," and the odd, dark comedy series "Wilfred." He often plays over-the-top and weird characters but makes them feel completely believable and earnest.
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