Update April 4: At the Yellowjackets PaleyFest panel, series creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson shared the moment Hewson won their hearts. “We had toyed around with a tragic, tragic death for Van,” Lyle said. But the writers room eventually decided it was funnier for Van to keep cheating death over and over again. “There was a great moment that we found when Jackie lined everybody up at the kegger, and Liv made the choice that before they went, they topped off their beer,” Nickerson said. Which prompted Hewson to exclaim “That was it?!” Apparently, that was it.
On the red carpet, Hewson explained how grateful they are for Van. “I read somewhere once that the actors who play face characters at Disneyland aren’t allowed to say that they play those characters. ‘I’m a friend of Snow White’s,’” they said. “That’s how I feel about Van. She’s real, and she’s my friend.”
Original story follows.
Never believe showrunners when they say they have a five-year plan. Much like the pirate code, a show bible is really just a set of guidelines. Yellowjackets has any number of plot twists, timelines, mysteries, and prophecies to keep straight. But there’s still wiggle room in that grand plan. Speaking to SiriusXM’s Jessica Shaw at the 92nd Street Y, Melanie Lynskey let it slip that one member of the Yellowjackets team wasn’t supposed to make it past season one: Van. “Liv, who is now a regular, was supposed to die in the first season,” Lynskey said. “But they were so great, they were kept around.” Van came close to dying a couple of times in season one of Yellowjackets, but apparently one of those near-deaths was originally intended to stick. Now, not only is Van alive, her adult self is Lauren Ambrose. That’s the least dead a person can be!
Lynskey is all about the free sharing of information. She told Shaw that she gave her younger self, Sophie Nélisse, every bit of information she had during the first season. “People keep coming up to me like I’m the town psychic, and being like ‘When do I die?’” she said. Shaw made sure Lynskey meant that her fellow castmates were asking when their characters die, not random people on the street. So if you want to know when you die, please do not ask Melanie Lynskey. She has as much information on that as you do.