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10 Inventive, Neo-Western Series to Watch if You Love ‘Yellowstone’



10 Inventive, Neo-Western Series to Watch if You Love ‘Yellowstone’

Wide-open spaces filled with vengeful cowboys galloping across mountains and rivers on their noble steeds rule the land in Yellowstone, the neo-Western created by Taylor Sheridan currently airing on the Paramount network. With four seasons under its belt and a prequel series along the way, the series is showing no sign of slowing down as the wild west will never run out of cowboys, outlaws, or horses. Sheridan helped usher in new interest for the neo-Western television genre, with many other series following suit.

Also serving as a screenwriter, Sheridan effectively strips away tired caricatures of the Western genre and creates complex modern portraits of the various Dutton family members, who own the Yellowstone Ranch in Montana. In the largest ranch in America, Kevin Costner stars as the family patriarch John Dutton, and along with his four adult children, and he leads the charge in fighting back against various outsiders who want to steal their land away. While there have been countless Western shows dating all the way back to the golden age of television during the 50s telling epic stories of the wild west when shoot-outs, hangings, and brothels littered the streets, Yellowstone has helped put into context what it means to be a cowboy living in modern times. If you love Yellowstone, here are ten other inventive neo-Western television series to watch next.


RELATED: Every Movie Written by ‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan, Ranked


Where to stream: Hulu, AMC+

Preacher is unlike any other Western television series out there, tumbling around on treacherous southern roads with vampires, devils, and angels tearing up the streets. Based upon the comic book series under the same name created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, the AMC series is a brutal, darkly funny Western full of gunslingers and violence. The series stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a former outlaw-turned-uninspired-preacher in a rundown church somewhere in small-town West Texas. Everything changes when he becomes struck by an unknown entity and begins exhibiting supernatural powers as he attempts to rid himself and other town members of sins while causing gruesome casualties along the way.


An incredibly bloody affair, Preacher takes the Western archetypes and flips them on their head, with the mysterious outlaw wandering into town now turning into a destructive ex-girlfriend named Tulip, played by a scene-stealing Ruth Negga, and the aimless wanderer transforming into a bloodthirsty, alcoholic vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun). Executive produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the pair that would go on to executive produce the Amazon Prime series, The Boys, Preacher matches its successor’s boldness with uproariously shocking moments of violence that are as sudden as lightning striking. The supernatural Western hasn’t found its place until the 21st century, and Preacher allows all of its powers to thrive amongst the jukeboxes, washed-up cowboys, and blood-soaked taverns.

Wynonna Earp

Where to stream: Netflix

Wynonna Earp is another supernatural neo-Western that’s up to its elbows in blood, guts, and vengeful spirits. Melanie Scrofano stars as Wynonna Earp, the cynical, hard-drinking great-granddaughter of the legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp. Determined not to follow in his footsteps, destiny proves to be a stronger force when Wynonna unwillingly returns to her hometown of Purgatory after years away only to find herself going face-to-face with demonic spirits in shootouts across the town’s streets.


After her great-grandfather Wyatt Earp killed dozens of criminals over a century ago, their souls rise from their graves to exact their revenge on Wynonna as she steps foot back into Purgatory, and she carries on her great-grandfather’s legacy by becoming the all-powerful demon slayer. Equipped with quirky humor and quick-witted dialogue, Wynonna receives back-up from her sister Waverly (Dominque Provost-Chalkley), the immortal Doc Holiday (Tim Rozon), and Deputy Marshall Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson) as they attempt to send the so-called Revenants back to hell, one stand-off at a time.


Where to stream: The CW, HBO Max

The CW’s family drama, Walker, is an updated take on the many classic family Western television series from the 50s and 60s filled with modern twists. Jared Padalecki stars as Texas Ranger Cordell Walker, a tough-talking, whiskey-drinking Texan with a closest full of demons. Raising his two teenage kids on his own, Stella (Violet Brinson) and August (Kale Culley), he struggles with being a single parent after his wife was murdered in a mysterious incident over a year ago. As he attempts to mend relationships with his kids while battling his sobriety, he also solves various cases with his new partner, Texas Ranger Micki Ramirez (Lindsey Morgan).

The two Rangers have an effortless back and forth rapport as they hunt down thieves on horseback and in pick-up trucks throughout Texas. It makes for exciting action sequences that always end with them catching the bad guy. A reboot of the 1980s series, Walker, Texas Ranger, the series is currently in the middle of its second season and will make its midseason premiere on Thursday, January 13 on The CW.



Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video

The Ewings walked so the Duttons could run. When the Western soap opera, Dallas, came onto the scene in the late 70s, it completely revolutionized the television Western. One of the small screens most popular genres during the 60s, most Western series including Big Valley, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza all took place in the old wild west, and each would draw in millions of viewers each week.

But nothing could prepare television for the sensation that Dallas would become when it debuted in 1978 on CBS. Taking place in modern-day Texas, it followed destructive feuds amongst the conniving Ewing family. The owners of the independent oil company, Ewing Oil, Dallas proved to be an addictive formula consisting of backstabbing siblings, forbidden love affairs, and criminal tycoons lunging for each other’s necks all the while practicing southern hospitality. Running for a total of 14 seasons, the iconic 1980 episode “Who Shot J.R” was watched by over 41 million people, and remains one of television’s most-watched episodes of all time.


Where to stream: Netflix

The Netflix original crime series, Ozark, has echoes of The Godfather as it follows one family’s descent into madness and crime as they trade in skyscrapers for a grey-skied Missouri wilderness while gradually transforming into ruthless killers amongst farmland and corrupt churches. Following the Bryde family, they relocate from Chicago to the Ozarks after the family patriarch, Marty (Jason Bateman), gets one last chance to fix things with a Mexican drug cartel after a job he was working for them goes wrong. A financial advisor, Marty hatches a scheme that involves massive amounts of money laundering, and once the Brydes settle in Ozark they quickly begin butting heads with various criminal-leaning town members.


Laura Linney co-stars alongside Bateman as Wendy Byrde, with Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner portraying their oftentimes neglected children. The four of them give the Corleones a run for their money as a cold-blooded crew of crooks. The most memorable performance within the series belongs to Julia Garner, who stars as the vicious and dangerous town local, Ruth Langmore. Garner is like a venomous snake slithering through the cornfields as she stalks her prey, and she went on to win two consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

Big Sky

Where to stream: Hulu, ABC

The Montana-set crime series Big Sky burst onto the scene when it premiered on ABC in 2020 and quickly became one of the most-watched series on network television. Based on the book series The Highway written by C.J. Box, the show follows ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) and private detective Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) as they hunt down a disturbed truck driver who’s kidnapped two sisters amongst the isolated highways and unforgiving wilderness. Hoyt and Dewell prove to be a lethal duo of crime-fighting lawbreakers, and while tracking down the girls they uncover a much bigger plot that entails human trafficking. The series also stars John Carroll Lynch in a deliciously juicy role as an evil state trooper, Brian Geraghty as the kidnapping truck driver, and Jesse James Keitel as a town local and aspiring artist who finds herself getting kidnapped alongside the two sisters.


Where to stream: Hulu


You can take a cowboy out of Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky out of a cowboy. When old-school U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) justifiably pulls his gun and kills a mob boss while working a job in Miami, he’s sent back to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky, where he’s forced to revisit his past while upholding the law amongst family and friends. As Raylan adjusts to his newfound surroundings, his unconventional methods of capturing criminals stir up trouble in the town as he uses brutality, cunning defenses, and guns.

The FX series is filled with memorable supporting characters and features Nick Seary, Joelle Carter, Jacob Pitts, and Erica Tazel as various town members and co-workers of Raylan who are forced to contend with his wild west antics. Olyphant is right at home as a battered and bruised cowboy in Justified, taking what could have easily been a caricature and turning it into a thoughtful examination of what it means to be a cowboy living in the 21st century.


Where to stream: Netflix

Longmire is a never-ending parade of criminals, thieves, and cowboys who cause nothing but trouble in the frigid and beautiful state of Wyoming. Robert Taylor stars as Sheriff Walt Longmire, and he rules over Absaroka County with an iron fist. A tortured soul with a troubled past, Longmire is often at odds with his surroundings but perseveres in upholding the law as he solves kidnappings, murders, burglaries, and more.

There to provide backup is the headstrong deputy Victoria Moretti, played by Katee Sackoff, who frequently challenges Longmire and badgers him into becoming a better sheriff and man. Lou Diamond Phillips co-stars as his best friend, bartender Henry Standing Bear, in addition to Bailey Chase and Adam Bartley rounding out the police force as deputies Connally and Ferguson. Based upon the Walt Longmire Mysteries book series written by Craig Johnson, the series ran for a total of seven seasons, with it debuting on A&E before making the jump over to Netflix for its final seasons.


True Detective

Where to stream: HBO Max

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are at the top of their game in the dark and twisted first season of the HBO anthology series, True Detective. Taking place in a grey-skied, death-ridden Louisiana where the sun hardly ever shines, the pair play two detectives on the hunt for a serial killer. Spanning over 17 years, the investigation leads them down countless dark alleys and dirty bars as they contend with red herrings and criminals while rarely seeing eye to eye. McConaughey is a revelation as the depressed and philosophical Rust Cohle, and Harrelson perfectly balances him out with his ever-optimistic charm as the oftentimes clueless Martin Hart.

Though the second season starring Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams was universally panned, the third season returned to its roots and told another terrifying mystery with Mahershala Ali starring as Detective Wayne Hays. Taking place in a drab Arkansas town during 1980, Hays hunts down two missing children with the help of his partner, Roland West (Stephen Dorff). The pair have an effortless chemistry and practice violent antics as they chase down possible suspects across the desolate Arkansas woods, and it makes for a thrilling eight episodes.


Where to stream: Peacock


Briarpatch is an eclectic combination of a neo-noir, neo-Western, and drama series all rolled into one. When Allegra “Pick” Dill (Rosario Dawson) returns home to the corrupt small town of San Bonifacio, Texas after her sister is killed in a bomb explosion, she stirs things up as she uncovers a slew of criminal enterprises operating amongst the local zoo and bar. Painted with cigarette smoke, sleek suits, and cowboy hats, Briarpatch is a stylish murder mystery that is self-aware of its various western caricatures, femme fatales, and cheesy dialogue. Dawson carries the show as the cool and complex Allegra, as she combats the loss of her sister with various self-destructive vices while continuing her quest to solve the crime.

Oftentimes witty and strange, Briarpatch features many larger-than-life performances laid down by Jay R. Ferguson, Alan Cumming, Edi Gathegi, and Kim Dickens. Based on the 1984 novel under the same name written by Ross Thomas, the series emits mythological qualities and takes the form of a Southern odyssey as Allegra walks down a long and winding road towards revenge.


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After Driving Again And More, Britney Spears Shares Her Latest Taste Of Post-Conservatorship Freedom




After Driving Again And More, Britney Spears Shares Her Latest Taste Of Post-Conservatorship Freedom

They say it’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary, and that’s likely particularly true if you’ve been denied access to those things for an extended period of time. After Britney Spears was released from the conservatorship she’d been under, the singer has been reintroducing herself to some of life’s simple pleasures. Last summer Spears was super pumped about regaining the freedom to drive, and in January the “Toxic” singer documented drinking her first glass of wine in over a decade. The newlywed continued to celebrate the post-conservatorship life by sharing her first trip to a bar.

Fans of the former pop singer are accustomed to seeing Britney Spears dancing and twirling and modeling different outfits at her and Sam Asghari’s new home. However, the “Toxic” singer took her followers on an exciting field trip, in which she and her assistant patronized a local drinking establishment. She shared her trip — and a sarcastic remark — on Instagram:

(Image credit: Instagram)

As she and her assistant Victoria Asher apparently enjoyed a drink and an app, Britney Spears couldn’t help but throw a little shade at her family, remarking that she was “so so grateful” for not being allowed to have a cocktail for the 13 years after her father Jamie Spears took control of her life. In fact, the 40-year-old said in her post this is her first time to partake in such an adventure. In the video, she shared:

This is my first time at a bar. First time. I feel so fancy, and I feel so sophisticated.

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How ‘Yellowjackets’ Stars Survived Hollywood




How ‘Yellowjackets’ Stars Survived Hollywood

Sure, they may have eaten a person back in the day. But there are some things the grown women of Yellowjackets just wouldn’t do. On this, the actresses who play them — Tawny Cypress, Juliette Lewis, Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci — agree, as they gather in a backyard in L.A.’s Topanga Canyon in late July, just a few weeks before they start filming the second season of their breakout show.

The Showtime survival thriller, created and executive produced by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, earned seven Emmy nominations, including outstanding drama series and acting nominations for Lynskey and Ricci. The Yellowjackets storyline alternates between 1996 and the present day as it follows members of a high school girls soccer team whose plane crashes and strands them for 19 months in the wilderness, where they resort to cannibalism to survive.

Part of the show’s nostalgic appeal relies on its casting of these actresses, three of whom audiences knew as young women for their slyly offbeat roles in films like The Addams Family (Ricci), Cape Fear (Lewis) and Heavenly Creatures (Lynskey), to play the crash survivors as adults. In this conversation with THR, Cypress, Lewis, Lynskey and Ricci disclose their ’90s regrets, share what it means when you call an actress “quirky” and reveal how survival bonds women — including in the trenches of Hollywood.

Who here knew each other before the show?

MELANIE LYNSKEY (Points to Christina Ricci.) We knew each other a little bit. I went to a Nick Cave concert by myself, and Christina came up and —


CHRISTINA RICCI I was very excited to see you.

LYNSKEY So excited. We were having a lovely chat, and then she’s like, “Are you here by yourself?” She’s the coolest person of all time, and I was intimidated. I just felt embarrassed to say, “I’ve come to a concert by myself.” I was like 24 or something.

RICCI I was impressed because I couldn’t go anywhere by myself.

LYNSKEY I also went to see Clay Aiken by myself because nobody would come with me.

It’s surprising that none of you had worked together over the years.

JULIETTE LEWIS It’s wild when you’ve been around so long, and you sort of have a kindred connection to people. There’s certain actors you’re like, “Mmm, we’re not of the same tree,” and then there’s other actors you’re like, “Oh, yeah. We have some roots.”


Juliette, Melanie and Christina, all three of your Wikipedia entries say some version of, “Often plays quirky or offbeat characters.” What do those words mean to you?

LEWIS Real people, specific and unpredictable.

LYNSKEY I remember I got cast in a movie when I was like 21, and the description of the character before I auditioned was “Blah, blah, blah, the beautiful girl who sits next to him in school.” Then, at the table read, it had been changed to “Blah, blah, blah, cute and quirky.” I was like, “You don’t need to change it. Just keep it …” They’re like, “We better change this description or people will be like, wrong actress.” So, sometimes it feels … I don’t know. I never liked that word, “quirky.”

RICCI When you say that all of us had this description, that to me speaks to a past time, when, if you weren’t the leading-lady ingenue then you were quirky and offbeat. All right, so there’s two groups for actresses? In a way, I’m fine with being in the category I’m in because what it means to me is that I have made an effort in my career to do things that I feel like I haven’t seen before. So, in some ways, I like it. In other ways, I’m like, “Ugh.” It’s a little dismissive. A little cute and dismissive.

LEWIS We come from the ’90s where, when I had blond hair, I was the pretty airhead, and then I dyed my hair dark, and I was the wisecracking, sarcastic girl. But yeah, I think it’s really neat that we’ve all carved this path of range and specificity.

Isn’t another term for that “character actor”?


RICCI But “character actress” used to be something they used to describe an ugly woman.


RICCI Back in the late ’90s, my agents were always like, “We have to be so careful you don’t become a character actress. If we’re not careful, you’re going to end up just like Jennifer Jason Leigh.” I was like, “I like her.” They were so afraid of me not being a leading lady, of me not being sexually attractive to people. It was really the last thing I ever wanted, was for anyone to be attracted to me.

LEWIS My dad was a character actor. So to me, it was something that was super noble. It was a world of adventure and not limiting. I rebelled against the system, the PR system of being in some bizarre idea of beauty. I really revolted against that, for better or for worse. Crying in a bathroom at a photo shoot, like, “I won’t come out.” They want these doe-eyed looks. That’s for sure what I didn’t do in pictures, so I always looked slightly insane, which I prefer over, like, “Do you want to fuck me?”

Tawny, what was your sense of what the expectations were for you when you were starting out?

CYPRESS I’ve had a different row to hoe. I’ve spent my whole career doing shitty roles of the sassy one on the side. Honestly, growing up as an actor, I wanted to be an ingenue.


LEWIS Isn’t that funny? And I wanted to be sassy and opinionated.

CYPRESS I couldn’t be an ingenue. I just couldn’t. It’s just not in me, you know? I was never presented with those roles, ever, and I was like, “Oh, OK. That’s not who I am.” I sort of, growing older, have embraced my Jersey side, and I am who I am, and this is what you get.

LYNSKEY I started calling myself a character actor in interviews when I was really young because I think it was reclaiming the term or something. I think I just was like, “That’s what I am.” My agents had all that kind of intensity around it, too. I remember when I did Coyote Ugly

RICCI Oh my God, you got a piece in that? I went up for that, and I didn’t get it.

CYPRESS I did too.

LYNSKEY I played the best friend from Jersey. But the scrutiny that was on Piper [Perabo], who’s one of the coolest, smartest women, just the way people were talking about her body, talking about her appearance, focusing on what she was eating. All the girls had this regimen they had to go on. It was ridiculous. I was already starving myself and as thin as I could possibly be for this body, and I was still a [size] four. That was already people putting a lot of Spanx on me in wardrobe fittings and being very disappointed when they saw me, the costume designer being like, “Nobody told me there would be girls like you.” Really intense feedback about my physicality, my body, people doing my makeup and being like, “I’m just going to help you out by giving you a bit more of a jawline and stuff.” Just the feedback was constantly like, “You’re not beautiful. You’re not beautiful.” In your early 20s, so much of it is about beauty, and how people respond to you, and do people want to fuck you? Do people think you’re their best friend? Even the best friend thing, I started to be like, “I don’t want to do that too many times.”


Did you have to unlearn anything that people tried to teach you when you were starting out?

LEWIS I had developed such a survival mechanism to protect my autonomy, sort of, “You don’t own me. You don’t tell me my value. Only I do.” I was extremely self-critical — it still happens — of my work. It’s almost like a defense mechanism that no one could talk shit about me more than I can. There’s all these things that are wrapped up in how to survive a system. That’s what I’m unlearning today — to be softer. This is a really remarkable industry to be a part of. I feel honored to be a part of it and what it gave me, but I do still hold on to what it took from me in my youth.

Given what you all experienced coming into the industry, do you feel at all protective of the younger actresses who play the younger versions of your characters?

LYNSKEY (Begins to cry.) So much. I feel very protective. At the beginning of production, I sent them all an email, and I just was like, “Whatever you need, if you need a voice, if you need someone to go to the producers for you, whatever you need,” and they were kind of like, “Cool. Thanks.” They’re fine.

CYPRESS Totally fine. Jas [Jasmin Savoy Brown] was a boss on set. She’s like, “This is how we’re doing my hair. This is what we’re doing.”

RICCI They’re very much of a different generation.


CYPRESS I am protective of Jas in the fact that she is so sexually positive, which I love. She has taught me so much, just knowing her as a person. But I’m like a mama bear to her, or a big sister. I’m like, “What are you putting online right now?” She’s like, “Whatever. Whatever. This is life, man. I love myself.” I’m protective, but I’m also in awe of her, you know?

LEWIS But there is a thing I always want to say to young people: Cultivate other interests deeply so that you’re not getting all your life’s blood from this industry, or your self-worth.

Is there anything you miss about the ’90s?

LYNSKEY I have a lot of love letters from the ’90s.

RICCI Someone used to fax me love letters when he was on tour. I did not save them. I throw everything out. I had a specific thing when I was a child, that we would be punished by the things that we loved being destroyed. My husband, who is a much healthier individual, has gone back and found all my old magazine covers on Etsy because he thinks it’s horrible that I never saved them. As a child, I learned that this is going to be taken from me, so why save it anyway?

LYNSKEY That’s heartbreaking. Well, I saved everything because I’m basically an emotional hoarder. I have this literal suitcase, an old-fashioned suitcase.


RICCI This is very dark, but I would just like to go back to that age and do it over again and not make so many fucking mistakes. Honestly, I regret so much.

CYPRESS Me too. One thousand percent.

LEWIS Me too.

RICCI I’d like to go back to 1996 and be like, “All right … we had a practice run. It went OK, but it wasn’t really as great as we wanted it to be. We’re going to do this again.” People who are like, “I have no regrets.” What fucking magic life did you live?

LEWIS Where they go, “I don’t regret anything because that led up to this moment.” Really? The thing that could’ve put my dad in an early grave, I fucking regret it. Yes. I was very scary as a young teenage person.

CYPRESS Yeah. I hurt a lot of people growing up, and I wish that I didn’t. I was going through my memory box. It was my great-great-grandmother’s she brought over from Hungary. It’s huge, and it’s filled to the brim with everything from my life. I came across a note from high school. It was my first gay friend, and it broke my heart because he was like, “I want to thank you for not talking to me anymore and just cutting me off the way that you did. It made it hurt less.” I literally was crying, and I had to call him and be like, “I just came across this note, and I’m so sorry that I was that person to you.” When I think back, I think how wonderful our relationship was, but I was a shit, you know? I would definitely do so many things differently.


LEWIS I’ve had those moments where I turned into … Because I’ve been bullied, but when I was 11 and got in a fight with a girl, I was mean [the same way] how a girl was mean to me. I was really vicious.

LYNSKEY I think people without regrets are narcissists. I think they’re lying to themselves.

RICCI Denial is the only way to get up that river.

What did you all feel when you learned that Roe v. Wade was overturned?

RICCI It’s really horrible to be told so plainly what your value is.

LEWIS I wish the two factions can talk, like, “Hey, what do you do with a bad situation, poverty and drug addiction, and rape?” You have to have an option that is salvageable or is sustainable for the survival of a person, a woman who’s living.


CYPRESS I don’t really give a shit what your reason to have an abortion is. It’s your fucking body. I don’t really fucking care. You don’t want to be a mom, right? That’s your fucking decision. Look, we can put morals on it and say, “Well, only when you’re raped, or only if it’s …” It’s like no, dude. It’s either in or out. We’re either telling women what to do with their bodies or we let them have their own choice. I am of the mind, choice. I’m not going to judge you for making that decision.

LYNSKEY And there seems to be this general lack of compassion and empathy that’s just growing and growing. There’s so much hatred, and people are unable to look at another person’s life and go, “Oh, you know, that’s an untenable situation,” or even, “That’s a difficult situation.” There’s no grace given to anybody else. There’s no empathy. You don’t get to make decisions for somebody else. You don’t know what’s right for them.

Is there a place for TV and film in that conversation?

CYPRESS I mean, that’s what TV and film do. That’s what art is. On Yellowjackets, let’s talk about Shauna’s baby in the woods, you know? Yeah. I think we have a lot of room to speak on this subject, and I hope we do.

Did anybody have their kids on set for season one?

LYNSKEY (Points to Ricci.) We did.


RICCI And I was pregnant. I didn’t tell anyone but these ladies that I was pregnant for six months. When we started, I was six weeks pregnant. It was difficult. There were so many times where I was like, “Ooh, when they find out I’m pregnant, and they made me sit in this smoky room all day. When they realize that they made me stand for eight hours, and I’m pregnant, and I have this horrible sciatica, and it’s 100 degrees, oh, they’re going to feel so bad.” They didn’t feel bad at all. But anyway, it was fine. In fact, it would’ve been helpful if I was playing a more emotional character because I can give a real good performance when I’m pregnant, real emo.

How would you finish the sentence, “Yellowjackets is really about …”?



CYPRESS Friendship.

RICCI Haunting, the way trauma haunts you. The way you can never escape. The way it twists people in different ways.


LEWIS Aberrant survival tactics.

We know that these characters have done a bunch of aberrant things, as you say, including cannibalism. But do you have in your mind an idea that, “OK, she may have eaten another human being, but she would never do this“?

RICCI I know when they confront me because I’m like, “OK, she wouldn’t do that.” Misty wouldn’t drink that drink. Originally, in the script, she was drinking a Brandy Alexander, and I said, “No, Misty would drink a chocolate martini.” I have rules and stuff for her in my head, and they do conflict with the writers sometimes. I don’t think she actually is interested in men, at all. I think she does it because she’s bored, or because she thinks that’s what she’s supposed to do. Then, she’s also realized that she can have a lot of fun trying to trick them into having sex with her when they don’t want to. It’s like men will kind of know that you don’t want to have sex with them, but if they can get you to have sex with them, they won.

LEWIS It’s a power thing.

RICCI Misty’s way of doing it is through this really horrible manipulation, making him feel guilty and having sex with her while feeling guilty, which would be a terrible experience.

When you have a different perspective on your character than the writers, what do you do?


RICCI That’s part of the thing with TV that I’ve learned now, being involved in a production but not being one of the EPs, so you aren’t a part of creating what people do. “OK, they wrote this scene. I have to play this scene. If she was in this situation, how the fuck would she be in this situation, and why would she be?” Then, you don’t have to tell other people what you come up with. They can find out about it later when you do press.

Does anybody else have a line in their mind that their character wouldn’t cross?

LYNSKEY I had one. There was something written into a script where I was going on a date with my lover, and they had me going into my daughter’s bedroom and taking her underwear, which was just not practical because I wouldn’t fit it. She’s little. But also, ew. I think there was something, apparently, somewhere, people liked the thing in the pilot where I’m masturbating in my daughter’s bedroom. I was like, “Can that just be an isolated incident? I don’t want it to be a theme.” So I just was like, “I don’t want to do that.” They were great about it.

LEWIS It comes, I think, with experience and respect, that they appreciate if you have a point of view. I have an “anything goes” stamp on me, which they all know. But I have strong ideas, especially about my trajectory in midlife. I’ve looked at Natural Born Killers recently, and I’m like, “Jesus.” Thank goodness I had a partner like Woody Harrelson, but it is so sexual. No one forced me into that. I was a young nihilist who didn’t give a fuck, and I felt comfortable with Woody, and I liked the material. But nowadays, I’m very particular. So, they had written a sex scene, and I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t know that she even gets off. I don’t know that she even can have orgasms.” That’s how deep I went. So it was more like, is she doing something to get something? At the end of the day, I just didn’t even think she fucks, sorry to be so graphic, at this juncture that you saw in season one. I think she might’ve had relationships with all of them in the wilderness. I don’t know if they’re going to write it, but that’s what I’d like to think of Natalie.

LYNSKEY That’s what I think too.

RICCI What? I never thought of that. Who would they be making out with? I guess each other.


The finale hints that there may be additional Yellowjackets who survived into adulthood. Have actors been cast for those roles?

LEWIS Wait, Melanie, didn’t you say that on our chain, that someone we like is cast to be … (At this point there is meaningful eye contact among the four women.)

RICCI We don’t know for sure. That’s what we’ve heard was close to happening.

LYNSKEY We don’t know anything.

On season one, you were making this show under the radar. Now there’s so much fan speculation. Does that change the way you approach the work?

RICCI There’s more pressure going into season two.


CYPRESS Have you guys also had that feeling of like, “Can I do this? Is it going to be good, the second season? Am I going to fuck this character up?”

LYNSKEY I have those fears.

RICCI Me too, but because TV is so fast, and you have so little time with the information, the process of talking about the show afterward helps you to evolve your take on your character. To understand things that were intended with the character that maybe weren’t clear originally because you get to hear the EPs talk about it. I’m going to make changes in the next season based on what I have come to realize through all this talking.

Like what?

RICCI Well, that’s a secret.

How much do you want to know about the path that your character is on?


CYPRESS Fuck, I want to know everything. I sit there, and when I think about the show, I think, “What the fuck are they going to do with this character?” There’s so many different parts to her right now. The dog thing. She’s now a senator. There may be an old love coming back, you know? I’m like, “How are they going to do this?” I just want to know.

LYNSKEY Now you’re a full-time dog killer.

RICCI I didn’t even know that you were supposed to be the one that killed the dog.


RICCI I thought, “Oh, well maybe somebody broke in.”

LYNSKEY That could still be, right?


CYPRESS Wait, give me more to think about.

So you don’t go to the writers and say, “To be clear, did I kill the dog?”

CYPRESS Oh, we do. They just say, “Mmm.”

RICCI “We don’t know.”

CYPRESS But they do know.

RICCI I don’t think they’re trying to control us with no information or anything. Sometimes, they don’t want to commit to something that hasn’t been necessarily set in stone. I do find it frustrating to not know, and we’re never able to know fully. I have decided to learn how to function with knowing nothing.


Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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James Gunn Addresses Peacemaker Future Amid Batgirl Cancelation




James Gunn Addresses Peacemaker Future Amid Batgirl Cancelation

Shockwaves from Warner Bros.’s cancelation of Batgirl have had many fans questioning the possibility of other DC-connected projects following suit. Amid outcries from fans of Batgirl, Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser, and even Snyderverse fans who are always eager to picket Warner Bros., Peacemaker fans started asking James Gunn whether there was any possibility that his DC work was going to suffer amid the company’s cost-cutting exercise. Ironically, considering the history that led James Gunn to work with DCEU characters, it seems that the director and his shows are the only ones who are “safe.”

What seems like a lifetime ago, James Gunn was all set to start work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Disney and Marvel Studios when some old Twitter posts led to him being unceremoniously sacked. By the time Disney backtracked on their firing, Gunn was already committed to directing The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros., which is why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has taken so long to arrive. Now, during all the chaos at Warner Bros., it appears that Gunn is not worried at all about the second season of Peacemaker getting the ax. When asked if the show was safe, Gunn simply replied:


“Yes, guys, calm down.”

That is a relief for fans of the small sub-universe Gunn is building inside the DCEU, which along with The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, is set to include at least another unannounced project and be linked to the Amanda Waller series that is in development. At least that side of the franchise doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Related: Peacemaker: Will More Suicide Squad Members Appear in Season 2?

Is Warner Bros. Still Planning on Rebooting The DCEU?

There have been rumors of a “soft-reboot” coming to the DCEU for a long time, and while it seems at times like Warner Bros. is heading in that direction, they have constantly denied any such intention. During San Diego Comic-Con, the entire focus of the Warner Bros. live-action DC panel was on Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Both of these movies have their small links to the wider DCEU, and once again, Warner Bros. seemed to be causing confusion by including a Justice League montage within the Shazam sequel while at the same time professing that they are not revisiting that particular DCEU set up in any way.

One thing clear from Dwayne Johnson’s appearance at SDCC is that he believes that Black Adam is setting the tone for a new DCEU, and based on everything else that is happening, he could be right. While there is no way of telling exactly where the franchise will be heading beyond The Flash in 2023, with new additional entries like Wonder Woman 3 constantly being stuck in limbo, it has been made clear that some big changes are being made in regards to the DCEU and fans will be hoping that those changes bring some kind of consistency to the franchise before it ends up crashing down around itself.


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