Christina Ricci is having a lot of fun playing the morally-objectionable Misty Quigley in the new Showtime drama “Yellowjackets.” As a teen, Misty went through the trauma of surviving a plane crash with her soccer teammates, an experience that changed her life forever. After living in the wilderness for over a year, she has returned to civilization, where her ruthlessness hasn’t dissipated. “She exhibits so much hostility through this hard smile,” says Ricci in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “I just love the idea of playing somebody who, by virtue of their history, has found the only way to get what they want is this passive-aggressive behavior, forcing people, manipulation, and I love the idea of really playing that manifestation of rage. ” Watch the video webchat above.
A big part of Misty’s willingness to go to extreme measures to get what she wants, including spying on others and injecting fentanyl into cigarettes, is her inability to fit in. “Probably the reason she has suffered for decades is she’s always shunned from the group, but she probably should be shunned from the group, because she is not a safe personality,” reasons Ricci. She notes that after clearly showing sociopathic tendencies when her character was younger, it is the experience in the wilderness that only exacerbates her troubles. “We see her do really crazy things the second she has a little tiny bit of social standing.”
Ricci finds it helpful to read the flashback storyline, where Samantha Hanratty inhabits the role of teen Misty, just to understand the full context of the character. “So rarely do you get to go back and see the first moment that a character experienced power, being shunned, falling in love,” explains Ricci. “Those things, because we get to see them in such detail, they’re so informative for me.” Shortly before the second episode, she conversed with Hanratty about their shared character and how they intended to project a consistent version of Misty while also showing how different those periods in her life were.
While “Yellowjackets” was renewed for a second season, Ricci is intentionally choosing not to learn anything or hope for anything in regard to Misty until it’s necessary. Because of the openness of television, she doesn’t know where Misty’s character is heading, so she would rather not use up the extra energy of expecting something only for it to not pan out. “For me, it’s felt like a learning experience, a challenge, developing this open kind of skill,” she admits. “It makes me not even want to ask what comes next season, because I really want to be able to learn how to do that perfectly, no matter what they throw at me.”
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