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Yellowjackets' Christina Ricci Says Misty's Neediness Makes Her Relatable

"Yellowjackets," the Showtime thriller drama created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson, is one of the buzziest TV shows to debut as of late. The series follows a high school girls' soccer team who, in 1996, get stranded in the wilderness — and eventually resort to cannibalism. In the second timeline, 2021, some of the survivors grapple with the lingering repercussions of their time surviving in the wilderness.

One of these survivors is equipment-manager-turned-nurse Misty, who is played by Sammi Hanratty in the 1996 timeline and by Christina Ricci in the 2021 timeline. Misty is one complex character, to say the least. In the wilderness, we see her revel in their strandedness, as she finally feels needed, whereas at school, she is more of an outcast. Just as she longs to be a part of a friend group, she also longs for romantic love — which leads her to pursue assistant coach Ben Scott (Steven Krueger). In the present, Misty does whatever it takes to find out who is blackmailing her and her fellow survivors, including holding fake reporter Jessica Roberts (Rekha Sharma) hostage because she is looking into the Yellowjackets' past. We also see her still longing to be close friends with her fellow survivors, such as Natalie (Juliette Lewis), just as she did as a teen.

There's a lot about Misty that isn't relatable — not a lot of viewers can relate to intentionally destroying the plane's emergency locator transmitter or keeping someone hostage — but Ricci believes the one quality that people can relate to is her neediness.

Ricci loves Misty's neediness

In January of 2022, Christina Ricci spoke with GQ about all things "Yellowjackets," including her thoughts on her character, Misty. During the conversation, she revealed what makes Misty a relatable, albeit complex character, despite the extreme circumstances that she navigates (and the extreme measures she takes to handle such situations).

"People really do connect with that need [Misty] has that motivates everything, which is to be accepted, to be a part of the group," Ricci said. "But what's interesting about this character and what I think these writers do so adeptly is, they show you how badly she wants to be there, and then they show you the reason why she deserves to be kicked out." For instance, we see this when Misty destroys the emergency locator transmitter of the plane; she does so because she finally feels useful and like people want her around, but it's to the dire detriment of everyone else stranded who desperately want to be rescued — and, even more so, to those who end up dying in the wilderness, such as Jackie (Ella Purnell). 

In fact, Misty's neediness is Ricci's favorite trait of the character, especially in terms of how it acts as a motivator for Misty. Further, Ricci is drawn to how Misty ends up making her own rules when it comes to how she interacts with others. The actress explained, "After years and years of being stepped on and dismissed and not accepted and punished for who she is, very much at a point where she's like, 'Well, no one's ever going to give it to me. So I'm going to f***ing take it.'"

Ricci was drawn to the role because of Misty's criminal behavior

Christina Ricci may think that Misty's neediness is something that she can use to connect herself to her character, but it was actually Misty's less-than-relatable behavior that made the actress want to sign on for the role in the first place. In an August 2022 interview with Deadline, Ricci described how she decided she wanted to play Misty in "Yellowjackets," and she explained how she was immediately compelled by the only scene she has in the pilot. In the scene, adult Misty deals with a difficult elderly patient, who refuses to eat before then angrily knocking her plate to the floor for Misty to clean up. In retaliation, Misty tells the patient that her morphine must be messing with her stomach, so they'll skip a dosage, leaving the patient to suffer through the night. Before leaving the patient behind, Misty leans over her and intimidatingly says, "Don't f*** with me."

Of the scene, Ricci said, "[It] was such an incredibly well written, succinct, informative, evocative scene. It was about a character type I've always been fascinated by — petty, small people who are so powerless in the world that their only way to fight back is through these tiny little instances of being able to force their will onto someone else."

Then, Ricci found out that Misty would be involved in some criminal behavior down the line, such as kidnapping and torture. This is what really sealed the deal for the actress, who became even more intrigued with the character. "I was excited, because I really, really, really enjoy playing characters that do bad things," Ricci concluded.