Brake alert: This interview contains spoilers from “She Chooses” Episode 8 From the second season of “Yellowjackets,” now airing on Showtime.
In the final moments of the season 1 finale of “Yellowjackets,” viewers were led to the fact that Lottie was alive and well, and somewhere in the world. In the show’s second season, the adult version of Lottie, played by Simone Kessell, was revealed to be running a health center in Upstate New York — and there was an air of suspicion around her. Can she be trusted or not?
As it turns out, no.
Lottie’s sessions with her therapist were just a figment of her imagination, and she is still haunted by the Queen Antler, as is her past in the wilderness.
Episode 8 sees Lottie’s mask really come out, as she reveals to her fellow Yellowjackets that they have to make a blood sacrifice, their pasts catching up to them.
In a climactic scene, flanked by Shauna (Melanie Lynskey), Misty (Christina Ricci), Natalie (Juliette Lewis), Taissa (Tony Cypris) and Van (Lauren Ambrose), Lottie offers them a round of Russian Roulette tea. Cobb was poisoned, and you don’t even know which one.
Kessel spoke with diverse about her confusion surrounding Lottie’s therapy sessions. “I didn’t know,” admits the actor who plays Princess Leia’s mother Preah Organa in Disney+’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and Blackbeard’s (Taika Waititi) mother in HBO Max’s “Our Flag Means Death,” admits.
“My confusion as Simon was very real.”
The revelation of the cure heralds a turning point in the character, Kessel says: “She’s disjointed, completely broken down — and something needs to change. We’re transported into another world of Lottie.”
Kessell also shares her opinion on whether women actually suffer from PTSD, or if there is a supernatural force at play.
Let’s go back to therapy sessions for a moment, and Lottie’s therapy is a figment of her imagination. There was something out of the box that hinted at this, but how well do you know?
I didn’t know until later. I want to introduce her, we decided that the wizard would wear the same color palette as Lottie in her civilian clothes. You’ll be in the cream, and Lottie will be in the cream. We matched them on purpose, so it was subconscious, not clicking until it happened.
Someone said, “Well, you know it’s not real.” And she asked, “Who isn’t real?” I spoke with the director about it, which was great because as an actress I was under the illusion that it was real in that first session. With the second, I was a bit overwhelmed, and by the third therapy session, she was the Queen of Antler. So my confusion as Simon is very real.
I get goosebumps, because Jennifer Lines [who played the therapist] It was awesome. I went out and came back as Queen Antler, and I thought, “Oh wow” — because it was the full costume, and she’s sitting in an armchair, and we’re doing the scene again. It’s so horrific and painful, because it’s a vision of what these girls went through.
Therefore, when we see the Queen Antler in her full regalia, it means that the past has assimilated to the present day, and the wilderness exists with them. And something must change, because she really sees it.
We get a hint when Natalie is on her lap, looking down from above and seeing a shadow. But for the first time as an audience, we see this as a symbol of the past. I think it’s a big turning point for Lottie in the season where there’s no therapist, and she’s completely disjointed and broken and needs to change something. We move to another world of Lottie.
But aren’t they all deranged?
They are all disjointed. The others are really grappling with it in their own way, and they’re all in a little denial, but for the most part, Lottie realizes before the others that something drastic has to happen. It is more than a sacrifice, it is a blood sacrifice. The past torments her so much that Lottie says, “I will take my own life if it means we can all be free of this pain.”
When you think about what the girls have been through, trauma and PTSD, how do you sink into Lottie, dump her when you don’t know what’s going to happen?
I don’t know. He is very honest and real. When I can, I take a moment from Courtney Eaton’s Lottie, put it in my pocket and take a pick: I wonder if that would vibe in her now as a woman in her mid-40s.
There was a moment when Melanie Lynskey’s character Shauna had the goat, and she just burst into tears. My instinct was to touch and hug her, because Lottie is very touchy, but I chose not to. Knowing Shauna beat the shit out of little Lottie, and Lottie took it as a way to feel alive – if you looked at Lottie, and that was my take on this, it was, “Give me something to feel. Bring me back to life, ’cause I’m numb.” These women are very spoilers. This sacrifice Lottie made when she was young.
This was just my inner performance, because there was still a little person who deeply offended you. As much as Melanie was one of my dearest, I chose not to touch her in that moment — and that was a choice. So you’re right, the past is catching up to them in some ways, and as actors, it’s our job to find where that plays out and where that cadence is.
When you have shit out of you, it will screw you up no matter what. How does that affect Lottie and does she carry any of that with her?
Early in the season, Nicole [Maines, who plays Lisa] Juliet deformed [Natalie] with a fork. We see Lottie standing there watching her.
All of these rhythms play a role in where we get to. Lottie has this way of watching everyone. Even when Misty shows up, is it a celebration? She knows what Misty did. She doesn’t know about fentanyl or the journalist, but she knows crazy things have gone down in the past: a crystal falling off a ledge, a black box flight recorder, she knows it all. So, she offers that. As I try to make it so over the top in Lottie’s performance, that every moment just clicks like a class. It’s how you decided to speak this class, and how you decided to play it. We can say post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic past, but the truth is that all of this will still be alive inside of you. So it’s just a choice of where to play that.
I’m going back in time, girls in the wild, and trying to see what I can find. Because those layers are so vital to making those shows so down to earth that they’re not caricatures, and they’re real women.
Well, Lise Garbus asked This is after I talked to her about directing Episode 6, but do you know what a stick figure means?
I think we should all be confused by it. It’s the writers again, Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, they’re just too cool for the school. They’ll say, “It means what it means.” I don’t think there is right and wrong.
I’m on the fence with this one, but I don’t think it’s supernatural: I think monsters are girls, with everything they’ve been through. What is your position on that?
I agree with you, because I don’t think it’s anything supernatural either. I don’t think Lottie works in another world – little Lottie might. I think these are all mechanisms they put in place to survive.
I guess it’s their karma to catch up. I think they are very distorted by what happened. There is no treatment that will fix it. Lottie says so – and this is a turning point for Nat. It’s like, “You made me live in this community and you can heal and fix me and I have to see and get over Travis, and now you’re saying there’s no cure that can fix what’s inside of all of us?”
On the topic of Nat, almost every Friday Lottie is always trending on Twitter. Are you aware of that?
Kourtney texted me and told me, “Honey, we’re headed.” Since Elon Musk took over, I’ve been pretty hesitant, but I keep going once in a while.
I keep coming back to this fan base of Lottie and Nat, and they love them. They admire the reflection, and I am grateful and intrigued for that. Star Wars was different, because that’s like religion – and it’s a law. With “Yellowjackets,” the fan base is pretty amazing, and the theories are wild.
They will feel sad after episode 8And Are they not?
When Nat and Lottie turn against each other? Everyone thinks we’re going to be the greatest love in the world, and we’re going to go get married.
Do you enjoy this reaction?
I am. Juliet wasn’t watching the episodes. She always asks, “What’s the vibe about Lottie and Nat? Are they in it?”
When we were making scenes, we were a little bit in each other’s space. Again, the writers are very open about everything. Nobody ever said, “You’re going too far with this intimate, tangible thing.” If anything, the hype was created and the fans are right. It was surprisingly fun and exciting to play. I think there was one scene where we kind of started on each other, so maybe that’s what they’re reading into. But yeah, I think fans will be devastated when they see this episode.
Lottie’s mask comes off and Natalie wants to kill her. This will be annoying to many.
This interview has been edited and condensed.