Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” was an instant success among fans and critics alike. According to Deadline, the show’s final episode brought in 1.3 million viewers across all platforms the same night it aired. The psychological drama, which debuted in November 2021, quickly gained a fan base following its release; Deadline reported that the show’s viewership quadrupled over the course of the first season. According to the news outlet, “Yellowjackets” averaged 5 million weekly viewers—the highest for a new series on Showtime in six years. It also received a perfect 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a rarity on the website.
In December of last year, Showtime confirmed that Season 2 is in the works; the first season wrapped on Jan. 16. For actors hoping to join the popular series, we’re here to lend a hand. In this in-depth guide, we’ve got audition tips from ensemble members, information about the casting directors, and insights on open casting calls to get you ready for “Yellowjackets” Season 2 (and hopefully beyond).
- What is “Yellowjackets” about?
- Who is in the cast of “Yellowjackets”?
- Is Season 2 of “Yellowjackets” currently filming?
- Where can you find “Yellowjackets” casting calls and auditions?
- Who are the casting directors for “Yellowjackets”?
- How does the casting process work for “Yellowjackets”?
- What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “Yellowjackets”?
This Showtime 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 switches back and forth between 1996 and the modern day, following four former team members who are now middle-aged.
The Season 1 cast 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
On TV’s Top 5, a podcast from the Hollywood Reporter, Showtime entertainment president Gary Levine said: “We are overwhelmed by both the acclaim and the audience response to our series, including several ‘Best of 2021’ lists, a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and snowballing viewership.” He added, “I can’t wait to see the surprises they have in store for us in Season 2.” On the same day, the show’s official Instagram account also shared the news with the caption: “Those girls were special. They were champions. The #Yellowjackets will return for Season 2!”
Levine said that Showtime is trying to get Season 2 into production as soon as possible. “We are working towards a premiere at the end of 2022,” he revealed to Vulture. “We’d love to stay on an annual cycle. I think our audiences deserve that, and I also think that when you have a show that has this kind of a momentum, you don’t want to let it dissolve.”
Much like Misty, fans of “Yellowjackets” did some of their own snooping to investigate the show’s filming status. Per Parade, die-hards found telling comments on cast members’ Instagram pages. Christina Ricci, who plays Misty, wrote to Tawny Cypress, who plays Taissa, “Love you @Tawnycpress! Can’t wait for this summer.” Meanwhile, Sophie Nélisse, who plays young Shauna, told Courtney Eaton, who plays Lottie, “Can’t wait for more road trips together this summmaaaa.”
Season 1 of ‘Yellowjackets’ was primarily filmed in Vancouver, according to Distractify, so it’s likely that the show’s second season will also be shot there.
While there are no current casting calls for the series, keep an eye out for opportunities, especially in the summer months. As soon as filming and production begin, we can expect a few casting notices to hopefully come our way. Until then, keep an eye on Backstage for other Showtime series that are casting. You can also check out this roundup of psychological drama and horror gigs to find active listings.
Junie Lowry-Johnson and Libby Goldstein were the CDs for “Yellowjackets” Season 1. Lowry-Johnson has 166 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”; she has 90 casting credits and five Emmys under her belt.
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 is 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.”
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 the key to success. “Take your work seriously, study diligently, and always keep studying and deepening what you do,” she told Backstage. “Do not pursue this life for fame or fortune, but for the inner satisfaction it gives you.”
If you have the chance to audition for one of these CDs, there are a few things you can expect. For one, Goldstein likes to have her dog, Franny, present at the audition. “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 believes that it’s all about authenticity. “We are always looking for the realness, the simpleness, for the scene to elicit our getting involved emotionally—not witnessing someone overacting.” Read more of Goldstein and Lowry-Johnson’s advice in our interview.
Check out Backstage’s TV audition listings!