Yellowjackets’ Sophie Nélisse: I’ve been obsessed with Jake Gyllenhaal since I was 10

Spoilers for previously aired episodes of Yellowjackets
Yellowjackets season two premiered on Showtime last weekend. I won’t post S2 spoilers and I deleted the spoilery parts of the excerpts, so you’re safe on this post. I’m already angry at some of the characters and the incredibly stupid choices they’ve made. But, there are some things that have intrigued me. And I’m here for Juliette Lewis.

Last season, the four main actresses playing the older versions of the Yellowjackets got the most press, which makes sense given their star power. This season I think the four younger actresses will breakout. They did a great job last season and with the amount of attention the show’s getting, I bet the spotlight will shine very brightly on them. Like 22-year-old Sophie Nélisse, who plays the young Shauna to Melanie Lynskey’s adult Shauna. This will be a spoiler if you didn’t watch season one, but since Jackie died, young Shauna will become even more prominent this season, for a variety of reasons, if episode one is to be believed. Sophie got a big profile in InStyle where she spoke about how she and Melanie approach playing the two versions of the same character, the craziest theories fans have about the show and how she’s been obsessed with Jake Gyllenhaal since she was 10.

On how she and Melanie play Shauna: We talked together before starting the first season, just to make sure that we had the same essence and we pictured Shauna the same way. And we just both personally had a bunch of things in common with Shauna, and I think that’s how we never really got into the specifics of any mannerisms that we wanted to match or body language,” she notes. “It was really just more about who she is, fundamentally. And I think once we locked that down, we just went with it.

I definitely tried to pay close attention when watching the first season, now that I finally got access to her acting in the scenes. I was like, ‘OK, so she’s doing this and this and this.’ Before shooting the second season, she has a lot of tiny mannerisms that she does naturally. For example, she bites her lips quite often, and I was like, ‘Oh, let me incorporate that.’ I tried doing it in front of the mirror, and I looked so stupid doing it. It just looked so forced. I abandoned just trying to mimic whatever Melanie was doing. The audience seemed to think it’s a great fit, so I just thought, ‘Let’s not change a working recipe.’

On watching the older cast after the fact: Watching the post-trauma is fun for us, because we haven’t seen anything from what they’ve shot, so it’s like watching a show for the first time. Even though we’ve read it, when we watch it, we haven’t shot any of it, so it’s like we’re watching a TV show that we haven’t been on.

She doesn’t believe in ghosts: I guess I believe more in energy, more than a ghost. I don’t think that anyone stays in a house, per se, the way you’d picture a haunted house and there’s a ghost,” she says. “I don’t think you could ever see one. I think maybe you could feel. You just don’t feel right or there’s definitely a presence entering a room. I don’t think I’ll ever see someone standing in the corner of my room or have someone touch me or feel someone going through me.

The craziest fan theories she’s heard: Shauna eats her baby, I think, is one that a lot of people have suspected. I can’t say anything about it, but that’s a pretty crazy one. Who’s going to kill who is very interesting. That Shauna might be the Antler Queen, I think, is a cool one. Watching the first season, [fans are] like, “Oh, Shauna will be the Antler Queen, because at this moment she was standing underneath this piece of artwork, and you could see the antlers in the back.” And I didn’t even notice that when shooting it, so the things that the fans pick up on, it’s pretty amazing.

She’s obsessed with Jake Gyllenhaal: Jake Gyllenhaal. I cannot. I cannot. I’ve been obsessed with him since I was 10, and I say that I’ve met him, but I just said hi when I was 10, on a red carpet. And then that was before I was really into him, and literally, after that carpet is when I started watching all of his work. And to this day, I’m upset that I didn’t say more when I met him.

There was this one time I also saw him at a festival in Venice. I can’t remember where, but I started crying. It was for a premiere of his show. I was there and I started crying, and my mom was there with me. And she was literally mad. She was like, “Sophie, get a grip. This is embarrassing. You are not someone that gets starstruck. This is … no. Get yourself together.” It was pretty funny. I was crying.

[From InStyle]

That InStyle link has spoilers, btw. As for how Sophie and Melanie approach the same character, what they’re doing is smart. I don’t know if all the actresses do the same thing, but it feels like they do. The older/younger versions feel like the same person but clearly a person who was forever changed by a traumatic event. There’s no mimicry but there is consistency. And I could see how watching the adult portion of the series would be entertaining to see how ‘they’ turned out. It’s like getting to see into the future.

As for Sophie’s obsession with Jake G, I mean, she’s the right age for him. I hope her Mom sticks around to keep speaking sense to her when it comes to him and young protegées. But I understand getting starstruck. We all have a celebrity that causes all the words to fall out of our head. My mother, who gets rattled by no one, gasped when Paul Newman smiled at her. And I got giggly around Seattle Slew, for crying out loud. A racehorse. So no, I won’t fault a besotted 10-year-old for not keeping it together when she met Jake.

I forgot Elijah Wood was going to be in season two of Yellowjackets. They show him for just a second in the trailer. Now that’s the kind of info that’s going to keep me coming back. And Juliette Lewis, of course.

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