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Yellowjackets: Who's Who in Showtime's New Survival Drama

A stellar cast portrays the survivors of a harrowing years ago plane crash, then and now.
  • Photo: Brendan Meadows/Showtime
    Photo: Brendan Meadows/Showtime

    It's fixing to be a big month for dark drama on Showtime. Not only is Dexter back, but potentially even more exciting is the new series Yellowjackets. From writers Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (Narcos) and director Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body; The Invitation), the series tells the story of a high school girls soccer team who survive a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, and are forced to survive by any means necessary. In this case, that means a descent into warring, cannibalistic clans. The series tells their survival story while also following four of the now-adult women as they're forced to confront the truth of what they survived — and the threats of someone who's sending them messages that suggest it may not be over.

    Just in case the premise alone doesn't have you intrigued, the show has gathered a fantastic cast of actresses to play the adult and teenage versions of these soccer survivors. Here's who's playing who, and where you may have seen them before:

    Melanie Lynskey as Shauna

    The first person cast on the show, Melanie Lynskey plays Shauna Sheridan, one of the survivors of the plane crash who finds herself trying to piece her life back together as an adult, all the while trying to keep her darkest secrets safe. Lynskey has been a dynamite character actress for years, starting with her debut opposite Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures. Since then, she's had supporting roles in dozens of films, from Shattered Glass to Away We Go to Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, and TV shows like Two and a Half Men and Togetherness. The New Zealand-born actress most recently shined as Rosemary Thomson in the ensemble cast of the limited series Mrs. America.

    Sophie Nelisse as Teenage Shauna

    Playing the teenage version of Shauna is Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse, who captured early critical attention at age 11 for her performance in the Oscar-nominated French-Canadian film Monsieur Lazhar. She went on to star in the film adaptation of The Book Thief, and most recently took on a shark in the 2019 horror flick 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.

    Tawny Cypress as Taissa

    A star on the Yellowjackets' soccer team in her teen years, adult Taissa is now a politician whose ambitions threaten to derail the secrecy pact agreed upon by all of the surviving girls. Tawny Cypress is probably best known for playing Simone Deveaux on Heroes and Carly Heath on House of Cards. She was also a regular on the CBS procedural Unforgettable, and on NBC's The Blacklist: Redemption.

    Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teenage Taissa

    Playing teenage Taissa is Jasmin Savoy Brown, best known for playing Regina King's daughter Evie on the second season of HBO's The Leftovers. She was also a regular on the ABC legal drama For the People, and in January, she'll be one of the teens menaced by a resurgent Ghostface in the fifth Scream movie.

    Samantha Hanratty as Teenage Misty

    Misty, the Yellowjackets' equipment manager, has an overabundance of team spirit but is easily overlooked... which may be how she keeps her dark side under wraps. Playing the teenage Misty is Sammi Hanratty, who's starred on TV shows like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and in the title role in the TV movie An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong.

    Christina Ricci as Misty

    Playing the adult version of Misty is Christina Ricci, one of her own generation's best-known child actors. After debuting as Cher's daughter and Winona Ryder's sister in Mermaids, she picked up a signature role as Wednesday Addams in the Addams Family movies. Following well-remembered teen roles in Casper and Now and Then, Ricci transitioned to more daring work in films like The Ice Storm, The Opposite of Sex, and Monster. More recently, she's portrayed Lizzie Borden on Lifetime, and later this year she's set to appear in the fourth Matrix movie.

    Sophie Thatcher as Teenage Natalie

    Teenage Natalie's natural athletic talent is complicated by her punk rock spirit, which often gets her into trouble. She may be the most unlikely member of the team, but she ends up stranded with them in the remote woods all the same. She's played by Sophie Tucker, who's best known for her role in the sci-fi film Prospect, in which she starred opposite Pedro Pascal and Jay Duplass.

    Juliette Lewis as Natalie

    As an adult, Natalie battles to quiet the demons that still haunt her from that time after the crash. She's played by Juliette Lewis, the acclaimed actress whose roles include the Martin Scorsese film Cape Fear, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination, Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days, and Drew Barrymore's Whip It! Most recently, she had a featured role in the 2019 film Ma and the HBO limited series I Know This Much Is True.

    Ella Purnell as Jackie

    Ella Purnell made her film debut in 2010 as the younger version of Keira Knightley's character in Never Let Me Go. Since then, she's starred in such films as Maleficent (playing the younger version of Angelina Jolie's character) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. She also had the lead role in the Starz series Sweetbitter, and in 2020, she starred in the Zack Snyder film Army of the Dead. In Yellowjackets, she plays Jackie, the team's popular, charismatic, and occasionally entitled captain.

    Steven Krueger as Ben Scott

    Steven Kreuger's first break came in a handful of Pretty Little Liars episodes, although his first big role was as the character Josh Rosza on The CW's The Originals. He's currently got a recurring role on Roswell, New Mexico. On Yellowjackets he plays Ben Scott, the assistant coach of the soccer team.

    Warren Kole as Jeff Sadecki

    Jeff was once the prom king and the high school sweetheart of a popular Yellowjacket, but as an adult he's dissatisfied with how his life turned out. He's played by Warren Kole, best known for his roles on USA's Common Law, where he starred opposite Michael Ealy, and the Jennifer Lopez-starring cop drama Shades of Blue.

    Yellowjackets premieres on Showtime Sunday November 14th at 10:00 PM ET.

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    Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Yellowjackets, Showtime, Christina Ricci, Ella Purnell, Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress