The Making—And Undoing—Of Yellowjackets Queen Bee Jackie

In the superficial hierarchy of younger maturity, Yellowjackets queen bee Jackie Taylor (Ella Purnell) has an ideal existence.

Pretty, wealthy, and in style, the suburban New Jersey youngster in Showtime’s horror sequence is the captain of an all-star ladies football crew in 1996 and has large plans to visit Rutgers—assuming, with out actually asking, that she’ll reside together with her highschool bestie, Shauna (Sophie Nélisse), and that their dorm room will probably be purple and inexperienced. Sure, her boyfriend, Jeff (Jack Depew), is more or less a meathead. But he’s actually only for display anyway.

Then the non-public aircraft wearing Jackie, her teammates, and their coaches to a countrywide match crash-lands in the course of a creepy wooded area. For Jackie and the crash’s different survivors, the social constructs of what makes any person in a position to kill it at highschool imply not anything if they’re all going to starve to demise.

But in the similar approach that Jackie has to turn out herself to her teammates, Purnell and others concerned with the sequence needed to persuade the target audience that she used to be any person price rooting for—and that there used to be extra to her tale than simply being a stereotypical imply lady.

“I feel there have been a large number of individuals who got here in pondering, This goes to be Regina George,” Ashley Lyle, who created and runs the sequence with husband Bart Nickerson, says of one of the most actors who auditioned for the function. “That used to be completely now not what we would have liked. We sought after someone who had a herbal, inherent fragility slightly below the easiest, gorgeous floor.… In my revel in, there’s no such factor as an adolescent with out insecurities.”

Purnell didn’t need the queen bee trope both, despite the fact that the 25-year-old has encountered it a number of occasions over the process her occupation. “I no doubt used to be over taking part in the rest as regards to stereotypical, so I sought after to ensure that she used to be prone,” she says. “Maybe she says some issues that come off a bit insensitive, however that’s most effective as a result of she’s insecure.”

Ironically, in an excessively Jackie-like transfer, Purnell were given the section with minimum effort. She used to be filming the zombie film Army of the Dead right through casting and most effective had time to ship in a self-tape of some of the 3 audition scenes—one thing she’s embarrassed to confess, calling the transfer “unprofessional” and the audition “natural shit.” But it used to be sufficient to make casting administrators Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein ship Lyle and Nickerson an pressing e mail, with what Nickerson says had been “one million exclamation issues,” telling them to observe the audition right away. The duo watched Purnell’s tackle Jackie in a van right through a location scout, with Nickerson risking movement illness to take action.

Purnell is so fitted to the section that some of the iconic pictures of her within the function is in reality simply from pilot B-roll pictures of the actor goofing off on set. The scene, proven within the opening credit, is made to appear to be archival pictures: Jackie, in her football uniform, pretends to threaten an opponent by way of miming reducing her throat sooner than turning to smirk for the digicam. When Purnell noticed the credit, she didn’t even take into account filming the clip and needed to flip to the Yellowjackets team chat to invite when it used to be shot.

Pre-crash: Heading to Nationals

The first time we in point of fact see Jackie is within the pilot. She’s at the football box and, due to a wonder header, ratings the successful function that will get her crew seeded for a countrywide match in Seattle.

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