Yellowjackets Melanie Lynskey: Watching myself on screen is torture

“I’ll watch it once so I know how to talk about it if I need to talk about it, and then I’ll never watch it again.”

Even after 30 years in Hollywood, Melanie Lynskey isn’t a fan of seeing herself on screen.

The “Yellowjackets” star joked that she “would forget every audition if I could” and said watching herself act is torture.”

“I watch it once so I know how to talk about it when I need to talk about it,” Lynskey told the Los Angeles Times, “and then I’ll never watch it again.”

The Candy actress joked, “Because it’s my horrible face. I can’t bear to watch myself. I’m so confident.”

Lynskey, who was discovered by director Peter Jackson for 1994’s Heavenly Creatures, added that she “hates compliments in general,” especially for actors on set. “It just feels like a waste of time,” Lynskey said. “People who operate together don’t say, ‘Oh my God, what a great turning point.’ you work.”

Instead, Lynskey is drawn to directors who lead like doctors: “A good director is like a good therapist,” Lynskey said. “They are able to convey something to you in a way that unlocks something in your brain and you see it a little bit differently. And you’re like, ‘Oh my God, of course.’”

Lynskey had many such breakthrough moments while filming the hit Showtime thriller Yellowjackets, in which she played Shauna, a mother who survived a plane crash as a teenager.

“There’s one episode where I give this whole speech about what Shauna thought was going to happen in college and in her life, and I improvised the whole thing,” Lynskey said. “It’s hard for me when someone is very technical or feels they don’t trust me and tells me a lot of stuff before they even see me. I’m getting so careful.”

The Emmy nominee previously told IndieWire that she adjusted her own body language as she transformed into a traumatized Shauna for the series.

“I had a director who said to me in an audition, ‘You look like you’re apologizing with your hands when you’re acting,’ and I’ve been pretty insecure ever since,” Lynskey said. “And [Shauna] is not a character who would apologize with their hands. So I tried to have more stillness than usual and tried to inhabit some of that wildness.”

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Lindsay Lowe

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