Melanie Lynskey has revealed that her “Yellowjackets” co-stars banded together after a member of the production made critical comments about her body.
“They were asking me, ‘What do you plan to do? I’m sure the producers will get you a trainer. They’d love to help you with this,'” the actor recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone published Saturday.
Her co-stars Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis rallied around her in support, with Lewis even writing a letter to the show’s producers on Lynskey’s behalf.
In the Showtime series, which revolves around the now-adult survivors of a high school soccer team that went down in a plane crash, Lynskey’s Shauna has an affair with Adam (Peter Gadiot), a hunky younger artist. Lynskey said she faced online criticism by viewers who didn’t buy that he would be attracted to her character.
“I’m just like, ‘Wow, really? That’s where people’s heads are at, that the most important thing is being thin or young?'” Lynskey said.
Because the show portrays its characters in a sex-positive way, Lynskey said she did not want the focus to be on her character’s physical appearance.
“It was really important to me for [Shauna] to not ever comment on my body, to not have me putting a dress on and being like, ‘I wish I looked a bit better,'” Lynskey explained.
“I did find it important that this character is just comfortable and sexual and not thinking or talking about it, because I want women to be able to to watch it and be like, ‘Wow, she looks like me and nobody’s saying she’s the fat one.’ That representation is important.”
This isn’t the first time Lynskey has endured scrutiny about her body in the course of her three-decade career. In 2012, critics expressed similar skepticism about her relationship with Christopher Abbott’s character in the film “Hello I Must Be Going,” in which their characters share a sizable age gap.
“It was a real bummer because I was like, ‘The movie’s about this couple who find each other and have this fling for a summer.’ Like, really, you don’t think an 18-year-old would just want to spend the summer sleeping with me?” she said. “From experience, some 18-year-olds are willing to sleep with me.”
In the interview, Lynskey also detailed the insecurities and eating disorder she developed as a young actress in Hollywood. You can read the entire interview here.
The Season 1 finale of “Yellowjackets” airs Sunday, Jan. 16 on Showtime, with plans for a Season 2 already in the works.