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‘Twin Peaks’: The Saga’s Most Terrifying Spirits and Supernatural Creatures, Ranked



‘Twin Peaks’: The Saga’s Most Terrifying Spirits and Supernatural Creatures, Ranked

Twin Peaks first terrified audiences when it was released in 1990, as it featured some of the most iconic villains and horrifying sequences in American TV history. David Lynch and Mark Frost crafted a show that captured audiences firstly for its suspense, mystery, and the charming Pacific-Northwestern town of Twin Peaks, and then subsequently for its surreal and often supernatural horrors. Despite some of the CGI becoming dated, and the show relying on a couple of now-overused tropes, the original series — which tells the story of FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan) as he tries to solve the mystery of who or what killed Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) — still holds up as being totally terrifying.

When the original series was cancelled, a spinoff film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was made in 1992 as a prequel to the events of the series. Taking the franchise off the air, where it was restricted to mainstream TV network audiences and regulations, and instead presenting it as an R-rated theatrical release led to an exponential increase in the viciousness and explicitness of the horrors shown. When Twin Peaks: The Return, the “third-season” reboot of the show, hit the cable-TV screens in 2017, the particularly dark undertone of the spinoff film was carried over, leading to some exceptionally grisly and frightening scenes.


RELATED: The 7 Creepiest Moments in ‘Twin Peaks’

Twin Peaks is rife with horrors, whether they’re from the original series, the film, or the reboot. Only some of these horrors qualify as paranormal entities. But when they are supernatural – whether they’re Lodge spirits or something else even more mysterious – they’re a special kind of frightening. Let’s dig into some of the franchise’s scariest creatures, and talk what makes them so completely terrifying.

9. The One-Armed Man

Once you’ve seen the entire Twin Peaks saga, it’s hard to find The One-Armed Man (Al Strobel) all that scary. During Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, he actually ends up helping Laura Palmer, and throughout The Return he provides fleeting moments of relief when Cooper, who’s being mistaken for a doppelgänger named Dougie Jones, struggles to handle the world he finds himself in post-Black Lodge. However, when watching the original run of the show, we don’t know who The One-Armed Man is or what his motives are. We only know that he may be implicated in Laura’s murder and is connected to BOB (Frank Silva). That makes him just as scary as any other spirit. In a town where you can’t trust anyone, at the beginning of it all, he’s far down the list of people you would expect to find solace in.

8. Phillip Jeffries

Any moment when Phillip Jeffries is on screen, whether he’s in his human, FBI agent form (David Bowie) or in his Dutchman’s Lodge form (Nathan Frizzell), is an intensely stressful affair. Despite not appearing until Fire Walk With Me, Jeffries is an enormously important, if hugely confusing, character in the Twin Peaks mythos. It’s not entirely clear what he is, spirit or otherwise, but his erratic behavior and ability to teleport in and out of places leaving an explosion in his wake is pretty concerning.


In his Dutchman’s Lodge form from The Return, Jeffries appears as a large container that spouts steam and cryptic numbers while speaking in non-sequiturs. As fans have pointed out, he basically resembles a giant teapot. This doesn’t stop him from being an incredibly alarming entity. The Dutchman’s Lodge, where he resides, is scary in and of itself. Consistently referred to as being a “space above the convenience store,” where the other malevolent spirits such as BOB and The Arm (Michael J. Anderson) live, it’s hard to see why anyone innocent would take up residence there.

7. Jumping Man

Relatively speaking, the Jumping Man (Carlton Lee Russell) appears onscreen only briefly. He’s first seen in the convenience store sequence in Fire Walk With Me, then again in The Return. He doesn’t appear at all in the original script for Fire Walk With Me, despite being introduced in the film. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a memorably frightening performance, though. Something that we do know however, from an interview with Russell in Moving Through Time: Fire Walk with Me Memories, is that Lynch directed Russell to “act like a talisman.” This could suggest that perhaps the Jumping Man is a small part of the bigger picture of nightmarish beings that inhabit the Twin Peaks universe.

Russell’s physical acting is especially gripping. When we see the Jumping Man, he is moving in an inhuman manner as he silently screams. Russell is a performance artist with a background as a clown — so already pretty scary! His costume is chilling, as he dons an unpainted plaster cast mask with a sharp nose, similar to that of Pierre’s (Austin Jack Lynch and Johnathon J. Leppell). The main difference between the Jumping Man’s face and Pierre’s face is that we see Pierre unmasked, revealing a normal human child’s face underneath. The Jumping Man’s prosthetics, on the other hand, appear to be part of his actual face.

6. The Experiment/Judy

While we don’t know much about Judy, we do know that it managed to eviscerate two people in New York. The scene where they meet their bloody end at the end of The Return‘s “Part 1” is gruesome and grueling. Between this, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding Judy’s existence, there’s enough evidential support to rank Judy high up this list.


Judy was being researched by the Blue Rose Task Force, a specialized unit within the FBI focusing on investigating supernatural occurrences. Judy is thought to be an ancient spirit that feeds off of human suffering, similarly to how the other malevolent Lodge spirits feed off of garmonbozia. It’s also clear that, in some way, Judy is implicated in the disappearance of Phillip Jeffries and possibly also in the disappearance of Major Garland Briggs (Don S. Davis). Judy is immensely powerful, although the extents of their horrors mostly happen off-screen. While we don’t see a lot of Judy, what we do see of them is nerve-racking.

5. Mrs. Tremond and Pierre

At face value, the human appearance of a grandmother and her grandson may seem less frightening than the inhuman spirits. However, some of the storylines that Mrs. Tremond (Frances Bay) and Pierre are involved with are incredibly dark. In season two, Mrs. Tremond and Pierre appear to be involved in Harold Smith’s (Lenny Von Dohlen) suffering and ultimate death. When Harold dies, a note is found with his body that says “I am a lonely soul” in French. This echoes something that Pierre, who inhabited a liminal space in the building beside Harold’s house, repeated when meeting Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle). Throughout the series, the exact relationship between these spirits and Harold is never defined, but based on the fact that the spirits appear to thrive on fear, it’s probably safe to assume that their presence wasn’t for pleasant reasons.

Mrs. Tremond and Pierre may be the same entity across two vessels. Although they appear as two individuals, they only ever appear together. This suggests that they may be connected in the same vain as the One-Armed Man and The Arm. Although they appear to be less physically commanding than some of the other spirits, they’re still deeply unnerving thanks to a pair of spectacular performances and a number of rattling sequences.

4. The Arm/Man From Another Place

Like Jeffries, The Arm has two forms. In one form, he appears as a human. He wears an all-red suit, like the Jumping Man. The Arm is an extension of the One-Armed Man. The One-Armed Man reveals he lost his arm when he stopped killing alongside BOB, culminating in the creation of The Arm. When the One-Armed Man stopped killing, he became benevolent. This suggests that all of the evil contained in the One-Armed Man got shifted into this new entity. In The Arm’s non-human form, he appears as a tree. It isn’t a normal tree, though — it’s bare and twisted, with a fleshy orb near the top. It’s seen pulsating with electricity, and although it still speaks, it has a voice different from its human form.


Although The Arm’s tree form lacks the physical capacity of its human form, it’s still frightening. It resembles a neuron cell, with dendrites hanging off its branches and electrical impulses visibly and audibly travelling through it. This is interesting: “dendrite” and “tree” share the same etymology, and so the similarities may be more than coincidental. The implication of these physical similarities suggest that regardless of which form The Arm takes on, it’s always a part of a bigger picture – whether it’s as a cell within a larger organ, such as the Lodge, or as an appendage to the One-Armed Man. Whenever The Arm appears, whether following Jocelyn Packard’s (Joan Chen) death or to entice Cooper-as-Dougie into violence (“Twist his hand off!”), it’s always a terrifying experience.

3. The Woodsmen

The Woodsmen are a bit of a moveable feast as a creature, given they seem to appear in several different forms and cover a number of different entities. Each form is more horrifying than the last. The first Woodsmen we see are mysterious shadow creatures, with incredible strength and speed. Other Woodsmen have more distinct characteristics, such as the one portrayed by Robert Broski in “Part 8” of The Return. Unlike some of the other supernatural beings in Twin Peaks, The Woodsmen appear to be a group or type of spirits, instead of a singular creature. They often seem to act as a group, attacking people like a pack of wild dogs.

The most iconic Woodsman is portrayed by Robert Broski in “Part 8” of The Return. In a flashback, we see a radio station in New Mexico in the 1950s. In the darkly surreal scene, the Woodsman enters the station and crushes the skulls of the staff. This scene is graphic and disgusting, but it somehow gets even scarier from there. He takes the mic to recite a cryptic poem continuously over the airwaves: “This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within.” On hearing this chant, listeners around the state start falling unconscious.


As if this isn’t bewildering enough, the Woodsman’s words echo horrors yet to come. The aforementioned horse is in some way relevant to BOB-as-Leland-Palmer’s (Ray Wise) drugging of Sarah Palmer (Grace Zabriskie). We see an apparition of a white horse in the Palmer household each time she is drugged. Horses appear frequently throughout Twin Peaks, from ceramic figurines to Windom Earle’s (Kenneth Welsh) pantomime horse costume. It’s possible that horses act as a part of the Lodge’s eyepiece, similar to the owls. While we don’t know the exact piece of the puzzle the Woodsmen are holding, it’s chilling to think that they could play some part in the wider terrors of Twin Peaks, from BOB’s tormenting of the town’s civilians, to the tragic case of Laura Palmer.

The Woodsmen’s exact motive and origin are both unknown. Fans have speculated that there may be a connection between them and Richard Tremayne (Ian Buchanan), due to his use of the phrase “Got a light?” which is also repeated by Robert Broski’s Woodsman, or with the victims of the “Night of the Burning River” disaster in 1902. Neither of these theories have been confirmed by Lynch or Frost, however. Arguably, being shrouded in mystery only makes the Woodsmen even more frightening.

2. BOB

BOB is heralded as being one of the most frightening villains in TV history. Between Frank Silva’s outstanding performance and the character’s morbid backstory, it’s tough to argue against it. BOB acts as the series’ “big bad.” He features in some of the series’ most harrowing scenes, such as Maddy Ferguson’s (also Sheryl Lee) death, as well as a number of Maddy and Sarah’s visions.

BOB has the ability to use people as vessels — namely Laura’s father, Leland, who went on a killing spree targeting women. And Leland isn’t the only person he inhabits. He appears to be intertwined somehow with Cooper’s evil doppelgänger, too. BOB’s ability to slip through the cracks and control people’s actions without it immediately becoming apparent is part of what makes him so frightening: he could be anywhere.


BOB is suggested throughout the series to be the embodiment of “the evil that men do,” specifically as stated by Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer). This could be interpreted in a number of ways. It could refer to the whole of mankind. This seems likely, considering the series’ focus on violence and war, from Briggs’ role as Major to the significance of atomic bombs and nuclear weaponry in The Return. An equally likely theory is that BOB specifically represents the violence perpetuated by abusive men and cycles of trauma, as suggested by the overarching themes of trauma, power imbalances, and gendered violence across the entire franchise. Although BOB is a mythical being, the very real issues at the core of its themes and lore make for spectacular horror.

1. Doppelgängers and Tulpa

While BOB is unarguably spine-chilling, there is one creature that ranks above him in terms of fear factor: doppelgängers or Tulpa. There are a host of confirmed and speculated doppelgängers and Tulpa alike, from Cooper to Diane Evans (Laura Dern) to possibly even Laura. Doppelgängers may be a cornerstone of horror tropes, but it hasn’t compromised their effectiveness as a device whatsoever, particularly in the case of Twin Peaks.

The doppelgängers’ scariness is partially evolutionary. The “uncanny valley” effect suggests that humans have adapted an innate fear of things that look human, but aren’t. There are a number of reasons speculated to cause this, unifying on the fact that this fear is developed for survival. For example, it’s suggested that the fear of being replaced by competing species is triggered by the presence of a doppelgänger if they are too similar to humans. Twin Peaks’ doppelgängers adeptly tap into that biological fear flawlessly.

Even besides the deeply-rooted biological fears, the doppelgängers in Twin Peaks touch on the fear of loved ones not being who they seem. In the season-two finale, Cooper is replaced by an evil doppelgänger when he fails to escape the Red Room. Cooper, who the audience spends the entire series growing to trust, is a beacon of goodness in an otherwise twisted universe. It’s mortifying realizing that he has been replaced with the embodiment of immorality he spent his entire visible character arc striving against. This sense of misplaced trust, paired with an unshakeable evolutionary fear, makes the doppelgängers truly hair-raising entities.



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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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