By Quinci LeGardye published
The latest show taking the internet by storm is a survival drama, a psychological thriller, and a mediation on trauma and grief all in one–and that's before we get to all the fan theories. In the Showtime hit Yellowjackets, a high school soccer team headed to Nationals gets stranded in the wilderness for nineteen months. The immediate aftermath is one timeline; in another, 25 years later, we see how the survivors were affected by their time in the wild, as they covered up the horror of what they had to do to survive.
In addition to the twisted, mysterious story, the series—which has already been renewed for season 2—also boasts incredible casting. The show includes the actors behind our favorite '90s heroines, paired with rising stars playing their teenage versions. (Seriously, the resemblance is uncanny). Here's our guide to the characters of Yellowjackets, and.just where you've seen all these incredible actresses before.
Melanie Lynskey as Shauna
Shauna, the first survivor we meet, is a stay-at-home mom still living in her hometown. Experiencing issues with her marriage and parenting her teenage daughter, the last thing she needs is a reporter sniffing around for what really happened after the plane crash.
Australian actress Lynskey has appeared in several indie and cult-classic films, including Heavenly Creatures and But I'm a Cheerleader, as well as the shows Castle Rock and Two and a Half Men. Her latest role was playing Leonardo DiCaprio's wife in the Netflix comedy Don't Look Up.
Sophie Nélisse as Teenage Shauna
As a teen, Shauna is quieter than her other teammates, and usually stands in her best friend, Jackie's, shadow. However, she also has an intense side that emerges on the field in the wilderness, and she has some big secrets that she keeps from Jackie.
Nélisse grew up in Montréal, Canada, and got her first roles as a child actress in French-Canadian films. Before Yellowjackets, she starred in the big-screen adaptation of The Book Thief, as well as the films 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Pawn Sacrifice.
Juliette Lewis as Natalie
Natalie is a recovering addict who dealt with the trauma from the wilderness and other events in her life with alcohol and substances. After receiving mysterious letters about the crash, she heads back to New Jersey to catch whoever's behind them.
Lewis became an awards darling after starring in several indie films in the '90s, including Cape Fear, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Natural Born Killers, and From Dusk Til Dawn. She also starred in the family drama August: Osage County and the roller-derby film Whip It.
Sophie Thatcher as Teenage Natalie
Teen Natalie has a rough home life and is called a "burnout" for drinking and doing drugs with her friends outside of the team. She's still a devoted player though, and she's not afraid to stand up for herself and others.
Thatcher has appeared on several network shows since her first TV role on Chicago P.D. in 2016. Her biggest roles so far are the miniseries When the Streetlights Go On and the rom-com The Tomorrow Man.
Tawny Cypress as Taissa
When we first see Taissa as an adult, it's through a campaign ad for her State Senate run, despite the surviving Yellowjackets' agreement to lay low. When she's not dodging questions about the crash on the campaign trail, she's raising her young son with her wife.
Fans may recognize Cypress from her supporting roles on several hit shows, including Heroes, House of Cards, The Good Wife, and Billions. The actress is also a New Jersey native herself, like her character Tai.
Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teenage Taissa
Teen Taissa is determined and kind of cutthroat when it comes to achieving her goals, which comes out on the field and in the wilderness.
California-native Brown has starred in several shows, including the Shonda Rhimes legal drama For the People and the HBO drama The Leftovers. Next she's set to appear in this year's revival of Scream.
Christina Ricci as Misty
As an adult, Misty works as a nurse in a retirement home. She has a bad history with the other survivors, so when Natalie approaches her about the cryptic letters, she doesn't know whether Misty is another victim or the one sending them.
Ricci got her start in the industry as a child star, playing Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and Addams Family Values films. Some of her most notable films include Casper, Penelope, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Prozac Nation, and Lizzie Borden Took an Ax.
Samantha Hanratty as Teenage Misty
Teen Misty is the team's ball girl, who's mostly held at length from the team and is bullied by other girls at school. After the plane crash, she becomes a central figure in the group thanks to her survival skills, though no one really trusts her.
Hanratty got her start as a teen actor on the Disney and Nickelodeon shows (Drake and Josh, iCarly, Shake It Up, the works). After her multi-season run on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, she also appeared on the shows Pushing Daisies, The Vampire Diaries, and Shameless.
Ella Purnell as Teen Jackie
Popular Jackie is the team captain with a devoted best friend, Shauna, and boyfriend, Jeff. She also has insecurities that come out after the crash, as she loses her influence over the team.
Purnell's first role was the dystopian film Never Let Me Go, and since then she's appeared in several films, including Maleficent, Kick-Ass 2, and Army of the Dead. She also voices Jinx in Netflix's League of Legends adaptation Arcane.
Courtney Eaton as Teenage Lottie
Team member Lottie gets freaked out by the woods pretty immediately, putting her at odds with Taissa. She's also the first to notice that there may be something extra sinister behind their time in the wilderness.
Australian actress Eaton had her first acting role in Mad Max: Fury Road as one of Immortan Joe's wives. She's also acted in the films Gods of Egypt and Line of Duty.
Warren Kole as Jeff
Shauna and her husband Jeff have a strained relationship when the series starts, after getting married young. He also knew the team before the crash, and had a complicated relationships with both Shauna and Jackie back then.
Kole has a stacked TV career, with roles on the network shows 24, Common Law, The Following, and Shades of Blue. He also recently starred in the Paramount+ show Why Women Kill.
Steven Krueger as Coach Ben
The assistant Yellowjackets coach is the only adult to survive the plane crash, and has to teach the teens as much as he knows about surviving, including how to hunt.
Krueger's best known to CW fans for playing Josh in The Originals and Heath in Roswell, New Mexico. He's also appeared on Pretty Little Liars, Good Trouble, Parenthood, and Two and a Half Men.
Quinci LeGardye is a LA-based culture writer who covers TV, movies and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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