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Yellowjackets Star Melanie Lynskey Opens Up on Tragic Connection and Personal Loss Shared With Her Character

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Yellowjackets fans have gotten to learn a lot more about Shauna in Season 2, as the pregnancy story finally takes center stage in the 1994 timeline. Of course, everything that happens in that storyline directly affects the present-day version of the character, so a lot of the story is pulling double duty. In the sixth episode of the season, we learn that Shauna lost her first baby during childbirth in the woods. While that informs a lot about the adult version of Shauna, Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey avoided the topic altogether throughout the show’s first season.

Speaking to Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast, Lynskey explained that she had experienced a pregnancy loss not long before working on Yellowjackets, and it was a topic she wasn’t comfortable dealing with at the time. That not only brought her closer to her character, but also helped inform Shauna’s closed-off demeanor in Season 1.

“I’ve talked about it publicly so many times, but in the first episode, I had just had a pregnancy loss in my own life and I couldn’t talk about it,” Lynskey said. “I couldn’t ask [the show’s creators] what happened. I had a weird wall up about it. But so did the character in the first season. It was just something that wasn’t discussed in my timeline. And then this season, I think I had enough distance that I was like, okay, I can start to get into it. At the same time as older Shawna is also letting herself remember and feel it.”

In the ’90s timeline, Sophie NĂ©lisse plays the young version of Shauna, so she’s the one who portrayed the loss of the baby on-screen. Lynskey said she knew that her young co-star was going to deliver a great performance.

“When I read that script, I cried. It was so heartbreaking. I knew Sophie would do a beautiful job, and then seeing it… Just her little face, there’s so much happening on her face at all times, and just how freely she feels emotion,” the explained I know that Sophie sometimes doubts herself because she’s like, ‘Oh, ‘I’m not tortured. I’m not curled up in a ball on the corner, trying to get to a place.’ And I’m like, ‘you have a gift, where you can just be in front of a camera and the emotion comes out of you. And you don’t have to try to beat yourself up to get there. It’s just natural.’”

New episodes of Yellowjackets are released on the Showtime streaming app every Friday, followed by the traditional airing on Showtime each Sunday.

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