Sophie Nélisse, star of ‘Yellowjackets,’ delves into the ‘Painful’ Death in the Finale and Shauna’s ‘Guilt.’
‘Yellowjackets’ ended its first season with a tragic and startling death. Sophie Nélisse speaks with HL EXCLUSIVELY about what this loss means for Shauna in Season 2. SPOILERS!
It had been building up to a significant death in Yellowjackets, and it was one of the last characters fans expected to die. After spending the night outside following her horrific battle with Shauna, Jackie was the one who died in the season finale.
As the first snowflakes fell, Jackie froze to death. Shauna noticed snow outside her window the next morning. Jackie was already dead when she arrived. Shauna wailed at the thought of losing Jackie and the words she would never be able to take back.
Sophie Nélisse speaks with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about Jackie’s tragic demise. She believes Shauna may become «numb» as a result of losing Jackie, but she also believes Shauna is too «logical» to follow in the footsteps of Lottie and others. Sophie also talked about season 2 and who the Antler Queen is, according to her. Take a look at our Q&A below:
When you read in the script that Jackie would be the one to die, how did you react?
Sophie Nélisse: We all knew she was going to die from the beginning. We knew she was only supposed to be in the first season from the start. However, we had no idea how she was going to die, so that was unexpected. I had no idea it would happen so soon after the fight.
I had no idea how much guilt Shauna would have to bear as a result of this. I felt that was a pretty powerful moment, and I also enjoy the beat right before it, which has a small dream sequence. You think to yourself, «Oh, everything will be OK; we all adore her now,» and then her death hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s a pretty sad situation. While reading the script, I believe I shed a tear.
Your scream is devastation personified.
With a presentation like this, everything is open to interpretation, including that small dream segment. Is that a scene in Jackie’s or Shauna’s mind? Because I mistook it for Jackie’s death at the time.
Sophie Nélisse: I believe that’s Jackie fading away.
Shauna seems to be picking up on something. That’s why she’s worried, but I believe Jackie is dying and slowly ascending to some form of heaven. You can view all of the characters who have died, as well as the rest of the people. It’s both beautiful and spooky, as well as sad and hopeful. You think they’ll rip her out as they did previously, but they don’t.
Jackie’s death occurs shortly after Jackie and Shauna’s horrific battle. What effect do you believe this guilt will have on Shauna, especially as the stakes continue to rise?
Nélisse Sophie: I think she’ll have a hard time afterwards because, even though things with Jackie were getting sour, I don’t think they’ve ever had such a large argument before. So, if it leads to her death, I believe she will just put all of the weight on her shoulders. She’ll most likely be slightly traumatized as a result.
We’ll see what they write in season 2, but I have a feeling she’ll go numb and just go into full-on survival mode, emotionless for a long. Later on, I believe it follows her. Years later, I believe the shame is still present. She feels terrible about what occurred.
She believes she is to blame. To be honest, it’s possible that it wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t fought in the first place. Perhaps she would have died differently. Perhaps she wouldn’t. I believe that simply having the baby serves as a continual reminder of Jackie, which is equally heartbreaking.
In the midst of it all, there’s that scene with Lottie, Van, and Misty at the very end. Over the course of the season, this mystical gloom factor has been building. Van has been moving in that way quite a bit. Do you think Shauna believes any of that or could lean towards it now that Jackie has died?
Nélisse Sophie: Shauna seemed to be way too reasonable to believe that at the moment. I believe she thinks more like Taissa and has always been rational, but I’m not sure. I believe that more and more characters will gravitate toward spiritual cults because they need something to cling to.
To survive or keep the peace, you need something to believe in. Although I believe the cult is what will start to cause problems. Some individuals will go one way, and I believe that two groups will converge. I’m quite interested to see what happens.
But, thus far, Shauna doesn’t appear to be the type to believe in such things. Also, with her sarcasm and black humour, I believe she would make fun of that kind of stuff later on. But, again, I believe that when the stakes are so high in the wilderness, your mind latches on to anything there is to hang on to.
There was a scene earlier in the program when they were skinning the bear, so it could be nothing. Shauna considers savouring the bear’s blood. Do you believe that was a hint to what was to come?
Nélisse Sophie: I believe there is a hint of foreshadowing here. I believe it has a lot to do with the last episode when they were all tripping and on shrooms. It’s as if you can see this primal instinct in them, going all the way back to when we were monkeys and whatever.
I believe that the fundamental instinct of hunting and killing, as well as the animal instinct, is beginning to show. After that night’s experience and almost killing someone, I believe she’s just curious to try it or see what it tastes like. Even when skinning the rabbit, she enjoys it in an odd manner. I believe it’s all a part of Shauna’s dark side, like when she cheats on Jeff and her terrible side that she hides all the time.
I believe it is gradually increasing. I believe it’s just curiosity, but it certainly foreshadows what’s to come. That’s what I believe you’re seeing. They’ve been building up to the point where it’s likely that they’ll eventually go full-on cannibalism mode.
People have been speculating about who will be the first to be eaten. And now that Jackie is no longer alive…
Nélisse Sophie: I understand. It could be Jackie, after all. I’m not sure. That, though, would be a pity. I’m not sure she’d even be able to eat Jackie. She’d break down in tears. She’d vomit. She didn’t seem to be able to. She was going to puke it all up. They’ll have to at some point. You don’t want to be forced to eat someone.
But they’ll have to accept it at some point. Either Jackie or I have a theory, but that would be downright repulsive. However, because we’re barely eating, I don’t think my child could survive. I’m not sure if it’ll even make it through the pregnancy. But what if we end up eating my child? That would be just ridiculous.
I really wanted to chat with Jackie and Shauna about that fight scene. It was the first time I believe Shauna has ever stated what she was truly feeling out loud. How did it feel to let your guard down with Shauna and Jackie?
Nélisse Sophie: It was enjoyable. It was especially great because I believe that all of Shauna’s talks and other interactions throughout the season are her attempting to express herself or concealing a secret. She never fully expresses her thoughts. I do that a lot when there’s been a lot of accumulation and it all comes crashing down at the most inconvenient time when you weren’t anticipating it or planning on it. She loses it and goes berserk.
I believe she feels bad as soon as it is made public because, while what she said was accurate, she would have preferred it to be done in a more courteous and calm manner, with more of a sit-down chat with Jackie about things in the perfect world. Even if she says some unpleasant things or speaks her opinion, I believe Shauna is a fundamentally decent person. She regrets how she expressed herself. But I think it’s also lovely.
I believe it is a watershed moment for Shauna’s character to be able to put aside other people’s opinions and ultimately voice what she feels. When she speaks, she says she’s always been put in a box and told what to enjoy and what to do. I believe it is a watershed moment for her to finally speak up about what she believes.
That scenario also demonstrated how alliances and hierarchies have been shifting. You can tell who in the group has the most power. In that time alongside the rest of the team, you can clearly perceive Shauna’s strength.
They rallied around Shauna, regardless of whether they liked Jackie or didn’t like her. The roles may easily have been switched. Things may change on a dime when it comes to young girls. Beaches sprang to mind when I read that quote, so I had to mention it. Are you familiar with the film Beaches?
Nélisse Sophie: Beaches is a movie I haven’t seen yet. Everyone keeps telling me that I should do something about it. But I’ve never seen it.
Ella had to say her goodbyes after Jackie’s death. On social media, you all appear to be very close. What was it like to say your goodbyes to her?
Nélisse Sophie: During that sequence, I became really emotional because, not in a terrible way, it did feel like Ella and I were our roles at points. Just our personalities, for example, Ella is out there and when she enters into a room, she turns her head. I’m more reserved. Ella and I had never fought before, so it felt almost normal.
It resembled a real-life battle. I was extremely ashamed of myself for yelling at Ella. She was presumably in a lot of pain. When Grandma died, it was an extremely emotional occasion. When I do a scene, I usually imagine someone close to me who is dying. I was already quite attached to Ella in this scenario, so just visualizing her and something bad happening to her made me so sad.
I was taken away when I saw her when she came in with some makeup to do for the entire frozen face thing. I was overcome with emotion. As a result, there wasn’t a lot of acting going on. It was a horrible experience. I’m hoping she’ll return for some flashbacks or anything in season 2 because the show wouldn’t be the same without her.
Do you know who the Antler Queen is yet?
I know you didn’t know early in the season.
Nélisse Sophie: I’m still undecided, but like everyone else, I’m rooting for Lottie’s character. I think it’s Lottie, especially in episode 9 when she wears that item on top of her head, and it makes sense because she’s the one who’s been putting the cult together so far. Lottie, I believe, will be the winner. She’d make a fantastic Antler Queen. I’d blindly follow her.