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‘Yellowjackets’ Stars on Misty’s Need to Be Needed & Dynamic With Natalie

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Yellowjackets Episode 2 “F Sharp.”]

When it comes to life in the wilderness for the Yellowjackets after their plane crashed in Showtime’s drama, Misty (Samantha Hanratty as the teen version) is thriving and the others are noticing — in a good way.

Take, for example, what happens as everyone assesses their own and each other’s injuries, and Coach Ben Scott (Steven Krueger) is found with his leg crushed by part of the plane. Misty chops it off immediately. “What a scene, right? I was in quarantine when they sent me the script and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ but you know what is so funny is I feel like everyone’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that happened,’ and for me, I’m like, ‘Of course, she did,’” Hanratty tells TV Insider.

“I kind of feel like I would do the same thing if I felt like that’s the way to save somebody. I think she’s so in that zone of ‘I’ve looked up what to do in this type of situation, I’ve read books, and I’m going to go and I’m going to help out in any way that I can,’” she continues. “It’s fun to see people’s reactions because some people are like, ‘What a nut job!’”

The teens assume the plane had an emergency transmitter sending out a distress signal, and after hearing others talk about her behind her back in a positive way (something new for the soccer team’s equipment manager), Misty stumbles upon it — and smashes it!

“Her whole life, she’s not mattered and you see that flashback with her being 13 years old and people talking about her, and I love they play the same song then and at the end,” Hanratty explains. “It’s all this buildup of not mattering, not mattering, and finally hearing people talk about her nicely. This is the world that she finally belongs in and then there’s something that can get in the way of that and she’s going to destroy it at any cost, to try to stay in this place where she matters.”

Colin Bentley/SHOWTIME

But teen Misty isn’t thinking ahead. “It’s all about ‘How do I stay in this moment, where I finally feel good?’” Hanratty says. “I believe that at this point, she will do anything and everything she can to not allow anybody to leave her new happy place.”

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It’s in that new happy place that Misty thinks she’s found “the person that she’s in love with,” Coach Scott, the star says. “Number one focus is Ben Scott because that is her world. Most of my scenes are with Steven, and it’s going to get very fun and very intriguing.”

That could spell trouble, especially for him. “She doesn’t really know love and replaces love with obsession, and that can be very dangerous when Misty feels obsessed with somebody who might not feel the same way for her,” Hanratty teases. “She just really wants to paint herself in the best light that she can with Coach Scott, and if he ever has any type of resistance from that, she’s not afraid to take her power back with him.”

Christina Ricci as Misty in Yellowjackets

Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

Misty hasn’t had luck with relationships as an adult (Christina Ricci) nearly 25 years later, either. “Misty’s known nothing her whole life but rejection and ostracism and so, at that point we catch back up with her, she doesn’t have any delusions about what life will be throwing at her and what to expect from people,” Ricci says. “She very much is somebody who provides for herself what she needs and what she wants and everything she does in public is artifice, so that she can navigate a world in which she has no real power or standing.”

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But she does still want to be needed, and she just so happens to pull up alongside adult Natalie (Juliette Lewis) as she’s having car trouble on her way to try to track down Travis. “I had some errands to run, but I could take you up there, if you wanted,” Misty offers. “It could be like a road trip.” Natalie agrees, and Misty just so happens to have an extra coffee with her. She always gets two so she has something to share, she claims. Time for a road trip!

“Those two characters together are totally bananas, put the dark one with this soft sociopathic thing,” Lewis laughs. “I was so excited to work with so many people in the show, but I just felt a kindredness with Christina because we came up at a time together, and we found that we operate on a set very similarly. I sort of nicknamed us Bette and Joan, minus the cigarettes. We were like these old veterans, the way we would just sit in the car and the mic and everything because we’ve been doing this a long time.

Juliette Lewis as Natalie in Yellowjackets

Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

“Christina has such a wit and I love what she’s doing, I feel like she’s a revelation in the show,” she continues. “She’s doing something we’ve never seen, I would never expect, and it’s really exciting to watch.”

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According to Ricci, it makes sense that her character is drawn to Lewis’. “I think that when they were younger, Natalie was probably one of the people that was not mean to Misty,” she says. “As far as the group goes, Natalie was the best version of an outsider and Misty very much identifies as an outsider, so for her, ‘this is another outsider like me but she’s so cool and she’s an outsider but by choice.’ She represents the best version of what Misty could be but isn’t capable of being, so she sort of covets Natalie’s time and affection. She sort of wants to possess her in a lot of ways.”

And if you’re wondering if Misty could be the one sending those postcards bringing everyone back together and hinting that someone knows what really happened out in the wilderness all those years ago, “there are lots of questions [about Misty]. She’s very suspicious at this point,” Ricci allows. “The show is leading the audience to suspect her.”

Yellowjackets, Sundays, 10/9c, Showtime

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