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‘The Woman in the House’ Creators Reveal Will Ferrell’s Notes, Season 2 Prospects and Why the Surprise Finale Cameo Almost Didn’t Happen



‘The Woman in the House’ Creators Reveal Will Ferrell’s Notes, Season 2 Prospects and Why the Surprise Finale Cameo Almost Didn’t Happen

[This story contains spoilers to Netflix’s The Woman in the House.]

Just one look at the title for Netflix’s absurdist thriller series The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window makes it clear that crime-show fans aren’t going to get the typical ride they might expect from the genre. Indeed, the show, starring Kristen Bell and featuring one bonkers plot twist after another, has managed to earn plenty of attention while shattering viewer expectations, not unlike the fate befalling many a doomed casserole dish in the series.

Created by Rachel Ramras, Hugh Davidson and Larry Dorf, who all three previously worked together on Adult Swim’s similarly baffling animated series Mike Tyson Mysteries, The Woman in the House came to life with the support of Gloria Sanchez Productions’ Will Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum after Ramras found herself fascinated by such page-turners as Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window. The project centers on Anna (Bell), a painter still struggling to make sense of the tragic death of her daughter when she has suspicions about the attractive single father across the street. Somehow, major plot points involve cannibalism on Take Your Child to Work Day, a classic death-by-lighthouse situation, a final fatal showdown between Bell and 9-year-old Emma (Samsara Yett), and a completely unexpected cameo turn from Glenn Close as a mysterious-yet-fabulous (and fabulously murdered) plane passenger.

“If it was very joke-driven right from the start, people probably wouldn’t have cared as much about the story and what was happening, and maybe people wouldn’t have stuck with it,” Dorf explains. Indeed, the show has gotten people talking, spending significant time in the No. 1 slot on Netflix’s Top 10 since premiering late last month and launching plenty of memes in the process — even if critics, who gave the project a 56 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, haven’t exactly known what to make of it.

During a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the three co-creators reveal the notes they received from Ferrell and Netflix; the reason that a pivotal final scene needed to change; the panic they experienced in trying to fill Close’s part, which led them to initially consider an even more unbelievable public figure for that cameo; their take on the critical response; and whether the cliffhanger ending hints at more episodes in the future.


This show reminded me of Will Ferrell’s 2015 Lifetime movie, A Deadly Adoption, where he took it seriously but heightened everything just a bit. Was his involvement part of what helped establish the tone for your project?

Hugh Davidson: I do think when we pitched Gloria Sanchez, A Deadly Adoption probably informed for them why saying things very straight could be successful or could appeal to some people. There are a lot of people that didn’t get the joke for A Deadly Adoption, I’m sure. We didn’t want things to be so straight — you didn’t know that it was supposed to be funny. But it does feel like a more grounded approach would get you to the ending in a more satisfying way, both comedically and as a storyteller, than if it had been joke-ity, joke-ity, joke-ity, all the time.

Many TV projects in the streaming era seem to involve some kind of mystery element to get viewers to keep bingeing. Did Netflix encourage that?

Larry Dorf: Netflix really pushed us to not be so joke-driven, at least at first. Because they wanted people to get invested in the mystery and also have these cliffhangers at the end of every episode. Our background is more comedic — we’re all from The Groundlings — and so that was new for us in our writing style. That was a great way to go for this where, instead of being so joke-driven, it starts out very grounded, and then it just gets more and more absurd. That was definitely a Netflix want.

Between the title and Kristen Bell’s casting, viewers might have assumed they would be watching something very overtly comedic. How was it to navigate having Kristen doing more dramatic acting than fans might expect?

Rachel Ramras: I do think it was a challenge for her that she was really eager to take on, because no one can deliver a funny line as well as Kristen Bell, but we weren’t giving her funny lines. We were giving her a funny premise and a funny notion. I think she just kept that inside of her the entire time and stayed super committed to the performance, knowing that what she was doing was inherently funny without having to overtly act funny. There’s just something behind her eyes when she is saying these lines that you know she’s in on this joke.


The show has clearly found an audience, but perhaps some of the reviews have suggested not everyone quite knew what they were getting. What’s been your take on the response?

Dorf: I like that there’s this divide. There’s something delightful about it that some people are very confused over: “What is this? It’s not the type of comedy that I’ve seen before, where there’s a bunch of jokes — not that. Is it a thriller? But the thriller’s weird because there’s the daughter that gets murdered in the most horrific way.” Then there’s the other people that are like, “No, it’s a comedy.” And I like that. It seems like the people that know it’s a comedy are mad at the people that don’t know it’s a comedy and haven’t figured it out. I just find it enjoyable that it makes people talk about it. And it might not be for everyone, and that’s OK, too.

Davidson: I think the people that enjoy knowing what something is far outnumber the ones that enjoy ambiguity. So some of these, they could be like, “Pick a lane — be funny or be serious.” And the truth is, we did pick a lane — it just might be one that’s uncomfortable because it gradually gets more absurd. I bet that could make some people feel like a joke is being played on them. The three of us love things that are inappropriate on some level. It’s inappropriate to have the type of jokes that are in this — the daughter is murdered, and we’re supposed to laugh at that. Whether it’s not funny enough at the beginning and then it’s too absurd for some at the end, it’s like the whole thing feels a little inappropriate, and that’s something we like.

You’ve said the show was only intended as a limited series, but it’s now had such a moment, and you also wrote the finale the way you did, between introducing Glenn and then ending on a cliffhanger. What are your thoughts on where this could still go?

Ramras: A couple of the books that I read ended with a chapter of the author’s next book and so we thought it would be funny and a nod to these books, and evocative of these books, to have a final dangling chapter as to what could be next in this world’s adventure. In our fantasy, it would have an actress like Glenn. We just never thought it would actually be Glenn, but when you think back, from Fatal Attraction and Jagged Edge, it’s like she’s the OG of the female-led thriller. It just seemed like too fun of a concept to have her in at the end. She was so on board and game and wanted to look fabulous, and she does. So, I don’t think anything has changed in terms of what we set out to do. It is a limited series, and it is fun that people are imagining that there could be more to the story, and perhaps there could. But for us, even though it seems like the beginning of a new story, it really was just an absurd denouement.

Were there other names on the dream list for who could have been in the Glenn role, or was Glenn the first name that you approached?


Davidson: For forever, our script just said, “A major movie star walks down the aisle of the airplane and stops at Kristen’s seat.” It kept saying “a major movie star” until maybe two or three days before we were supposed to shoot the scene. We were all freaked out, and we were all imagining, “If we couldn’t get a star, what could we do?” We were crazed at one point. I remember suggesting Miss Piggy, and Rachel and Larry laughed. Thank God, that went no further than the three of us talking.

Ramras: But it really did boil down to sitting there with our producing partners from Gloria Sanchez, and we’re all saying, “OK, everyone go through your phone. Who do you know?” Thank God, Netflix somehow got Glenn on board, at least enough to get on the phone with me.

Davdison: How brave of her to choose to do it. The scripts themselves are not chock-full of jokes or something. We had written it so that she could just do the one part where she sits down next to Kristen. And then when she’s dead, we thought, just to save her time and being uncomfortable, we would just get a body double to be squished down in the lavatory of the plane. And then when it came for that moment to shoot it, Michael Lehmann, our director, said, “Do you want to be dead in the bathroom?” And she said, “Yes.” And it was great — her face is so funny in that last scene in the lavatory.

Were there any key moments that required some tinkering?

Davidson: The ending was going to be when you discovered the kid has murdered everybody and murdered her own mother, and then there was this ice-skating scene where the kid lures the mom out onto the thin ice, and she goes down in the ice. And that had to get changed. For whatever reason, that became the scene where she’s at the end of a pier and drowns in the water. But that got changed because we couldn’t shoot ice-skating in COVID, and it would cost too much money. And that befuddled us forever. We wanted that death to feel literary, as opposed to maybe cinematic, even though, hopefully, it was.

Dorf: In one draft, they were taking a tour of a chocolate or a candy factory, and the mom was going to die that way. So we kept writing.


Davidson: She was going to fall into the hot chocolate.

People have really voiced their thoughts on social media. Lots of memes, and lots of casserole memes.

Dorf: I like that there are a lot of people commenting on the casserole, and there’s a group of people that are mad that we destroyed all of these CorningWare dishes because I guess they’re hard to get. But in truth, every CorningWare dish harmed in the making of the show was in fact made by the prop department because we needed the dishes to shatter and not just crack. And if you just drop a CorningWare dish, you can’t be sure that it’s going to shatter.

Ramras: I read a few of the tweets, and then I’m someone who really can’t do that, because if I read someone not liking it, unfortunately, it takes over, and I can’t even enjoy all the people who are enjoying it. But I do like the tweets that say, “WTF did I just watch?” That’s satisfying to me, and that feels like, “OK, good. That’s what we wanted, actually.”

Did it take some convincing for Samsara’s parents to get on board with what she was going to have to do?

Ramras: When Samsara got the part, we did a Zoom with her mother, and I don’t think she knew until that moment that Samsara was the killer. So that could have backfired, I suppose, but they were game. Kristen being a mother was so beautiful with Samsara that, truly, I think the experience for her as an actress was pure fun.


Even if there aren’t future seasons, does a project like this impact what’s next for your careers?

Davidson: We had a little postmortem with Will Ferrell, who none of us had gotten to meet because of COVID, and we just saw him on a Zoom call. It’s his thing, too, and he’s seen it in from the beginning pitch — it was like an outline form that went to him that he read — through the script, through the filming, the whole thing. He told us that we should be very proud that it’s very rare that something stays the same — from the moment he hears what the idea is, is what he saw at the very end. We had these things that struck us as funny that are high-risk, like Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and the kid gets murdered and eaten. It’s incredibly close to what we imagined it was going to be from the start. If we can keep doing that, that would be very exciting.

Did your perception of Netflix change, in terms of being able to work with such a mainstream brand on something that’s so weird?

Ramras: What surprised me was there were a lot of cooks, and that can go real bad, real fast. I didn’t know that you could work with all these big names, big people and a big company, and have them willing to take risks.

Davidson: We’ve worked on an Adult Swim show, so we’ve written plenty of crazy stuff, but that’s like college radio versus giant mainstream pop music. It’s a totally different thing. You’d think you would lose the sharp edges if you make that bargain to be on the radio. But it seems like it retained all of its sharp edges.

Interview edited for length and clarity.


The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window is now streaming on Netflix.

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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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