How to Get Cast on ‘Yellowjackets’

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Photo Source: Lorenzo Agius/SHOWTIME

If you’ve been captivated by Showtime’s “Yellowjackets,” you’re not alone. In its debut season, the series earned seven Emmy nominations, including leading and supporting acting nods for Melanie Lynskey and Christina Ricci, respectively. The dark comedy–cum–survival drama is now airing its second season—with more to come; production got the greenlight for a third installment in December 2022.

Do you have what it takes to rough it out in the wilderness with this talented ensemble? From insights into the casting process to audition tips from industry veterans, here’s your field guide to landing a role on “Yellowjackets.”



What is “Yellowjackets” about?

Showtime’s series is equal parts psychological drama, horror, dark comedy, and coming-of-age story. “Yellowjackets” follows a talented high school girls’ soccer team whose plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness in the ’90s. The passengers who make it out of the wreckage are then forced to survive in the woods for 19 months. The story alternates between 1996 and modern day, following four survivors who are now middle-aged.

Who is in the cast of “Yellowjackets”?

The Season 1 cast of “Yellowjackets” includes: 

  • Melanie Lynskey as Shauna 
  • Tawny Cypress as Taissa
  • Christina Ricci as Misty 
  • Juliette Lewis as Natalie
  • Samantha Hanratty as Teen Misty
  • Sophie Thatcher as Teen Natalie
  • Sophie Nélisse as Teen Shauna
  • Jasmin Savoy Brown as Teen Taissa
  • Steven Krueger as Ben Scott
  • Warren Kole as Jeff
  • Ella Purnell as Teen Jackie 
  • Courtney Eaton as Teen Lottie
  • Liv Hewson as Teen Van
  • Jane Widdop as Teen Laura Lee
  • Keeya King as Teen Akilah
  • Kevin Alves as Teen Travis
  • Alexa Barajas as Teen Mari
  • Peter Gadiot as Adam
  • Luciano Leroux as Javi Martinez

Season 2 added some fresh names, including Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under,” “Servant”) as adult Van and Simone Kessell (“Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Our Flag Means Death”) as adult Lottie. Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings,” “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”) and Jason Ritter (“Candy,” “Another Period”)—who happens to be Lynskey’s real-life husband—have also joined the series as two brand-new characters.


When does Season 3 of “Yellowjackets” begin filming?

Production has yet to begin on the third season. But according to Chris McCarthy, the president and CEO of Showtime and Paramount Media Networks, filming will likely get underway sooner rather than later. On Dec. 15, 2022, he told Variety, “With ‘Yellowjackets’ ’ runaway success in Season 1 and the pent-up anticipation for Season 2, we wanted to maximize the momentum by fast-tracking Season 3 now.”


Where can you find “Yellowjackets” casting calls and auditions?

Currently, there are no open casting calls for the series. However, with Season 3 confirmed, we’re hopeful that there will be audition opportunities in the near future. In the meantime, keep an eye on our main casting page for the latest notices, and check out our guide on how to audition for Showtime to prepare for your moment in the spotlight. You can also check out this roundup of psychological-drama and horror gigs.


Who are the casting directors for “Yellowjackets”?

Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein serve as the CDs for both “Yellowjackets” Season 1 and 2. Lowry-Johnson has 167 casting credits to her name, eight of which won her Emmys. She’s been a CD on “Six Feet Under,” “Desperate Housewives,” “True Blood,” “Homeland,”  and dozens of other series and movies. Goldstein is also known for her work on “Six Feet Under,” “True Blood,” and “Homeland.” Additional credits include “Ugly Betty,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.” Goldstein has 91 casting credits and five Emmys under her belt.

If you get the chance to audition for one of these CDs, know that Goldstein likes to have her dog, Franny, in the room with her. “It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, and we are very casual. It’s who we are. And in the end, we think actors appreciate our relaxed vibe,” she said

Lowry-Johnson says that a good audition is all about authenticity. “We are always looking for the realness, the simpleness,” she explained, “for the scene to elicit our getting involved emotionally—not witnessing someone overacting.”


How does the casting process work for “Yellowjackets”?

According to co-creator Bart Nickerson, casting was an uphill battle due to the massive amount of characters on the series. “It really felt like production was bearing down on us,” Nickerson told E!. “And it was, ‘Oh, my God, we have so many roles to fill, and we are not finding the right people.’ But then it just all somehow comes together after hours and hours and hours.”

Co-creator Ashley Lyle, who’s also Nickerson’s wife, went so far as to describe the casting experience as “emotionally devastating.” The amount of talent that came through the door made their decisions even more difficult. “Early on, we said, ‘This is a really big challenge, and I think we really need to focus on the essence of the character as opposed to the specifics of their physicality,’” Lyle recalled. “And in a weird way, by doing that, we ended up with actors who miraculously all could look a lot alike.”

“The casting process was this giant puzzle where two ensemble casts that could play each other also had to sort of stand alone,” Nickerson said in a bonus clip on the Season 1 DVD. 

“It was more about the spirit and the essence of these characters than a physical match,” Lyle added. By working closely with one another, the adult actors and their younger counterparts have developed complementary personas that continue to deliver on the creators’ intentions.


What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “Yellowjackets”?

Come prepared: Goldstein emphasizes the importance of taking acting classes prior to walking into the audition room. “When opportunity knocks—and you never know when it will—you must be ready for it,” she told Backstage. “It’s easy to get into a casting office for one audition, but you want them to remember you for the next one. It’s not about getting this job—it’s about getting the next one.” 

Lowry-Johnson believes that preparation is key to success. “Take your work seriously, study diligently, and always keep studying and deepening what you do,” she added. “Do not pursue this life for fame or fortune, but for the inner satisfaction it gives you.” 

Embrace criticism: As an industry veteran, Christina Ricci knows the business better than most—and her continued success likely comes from her willingness to learn and grow. “I would give this advice to anybody, really, starting in pretty much any field—and certainly in an artistic field. You should always be open to constructive criticism; but also, find the thing that you do that’s special, and do that thing,” Ricci said. “No matter how strange the thing is that you’re good at, if you’re the only person who does that, and does it beautifully…play to your strengths, even if they’re not popular at the time.”

Check out Backstage’s TV audition listings!