Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Sophie Thatcher Is Just as Obsessed with 'Yellowjackets' Theories as You

The performer who plays Nat talks about her cast karaoke nights, her thoughts on the Travis romance, and her 'Book of Boba Fett' badass.

Sophie Thatcher was cast as the teenage version of Nat—the shaggy-haired, Nirvana-loving, lovelorn badass with a shotgun—on Yellowjackets before Juliette Lewis was picked to play the older version of the character. So in fact Thatcher isn't a young Juliette Lewis; Juliette Lewis is an older version of her. "Somehow, I'd blocked that out of my memory, and the creators had reminded me of that," Thatcher says. "That was crazy. That was pretty fucking crazy."

Of course, Thatcher is more than reverential of her elders. This Cassavetes-obsessed 21-year-old, worked on mimicking "the icon" Lewis's mannerisms, and the way her voice was even lower in her youth, something Thatcher can relate to, explaining she gets into that register when she's nervous. "I've dug pretty deep in Reddit, everyone's like, 'Oh, like, my hair looks like her hair in Natural Born Killers,'" Thatcher says. "Everyone doesn't know if it's intentional or not. I don't think it was, because I just had that blonde mullet at the time, and decided to go with it, but maybe it is. Honestly, there's so many theories that could be true, I have no idea what's going to happen next."

sophie thatcher yellowjackets
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Yes, in the lead up to the finale Thatcher and her co-stars have been combing the internet sending speculation and memes back and forth to one another in their group chat. When Thatcher shows up at Thrillist's studio for her photoshoot—where her self-styling evokes another '90s cool girl, Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice—I explain that my colleagues and I have been taking the BuzzFeed quiz to determine which Yellowjackets character we are. She laughs when I tell her I'm a Shauna, and explains that she first got Lottie before reverse engineering the answers to make sure she ended up with Nat.

It's a big week for the New York-based performer, who also made her debut on this week's Robert Rodriguez-directed episode of The Book of Boba Fett as Drash, a member of a Mos Espa street gang with a droid arm and a British accent. Her first day on set she had to stab an evil Wookiee. "This is Star Wars," she says. "This is as intimidating as it gets." 

She's eager to see how fans are going to react to the Yellowjackets finale, particularly the shocking death, but she also has her own hopes for Natalie's future as she gears up to return to Vancouver to shoot season 2. She wants to be in more of the group scenes with the other girls since Nat is often off with Travis (Kevin Alves), and she also doesn't want that inevitably doomed romance to define her character. "Usually my characters that I play don't really have romances, and I think it's interesting that they chose mine," she says. "It gives her a certain vulnerability, and a softness, and then it gives older Natalie more trauma. I think it'll just get worse. I mean it has to. But I hope that's not it for Natalie for season 2, because I think she has so much range in her emotions, and her ability. I don't want to see her just destroyed by a boy when someone's giving birth and people are dying." 

Thatcher, who hails originally from Chicago, shot the pilot of Yellowjackets before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. When the show was picked up to series, she and her cast mates returned to Canada from isolation and instantly bonded. "I remember we had this big FaceTime, with all the younger cast. I was like, 'Jesus, these are going to be my people for the next five months,'" Thatcher says. "Within the first two days of shooting, it was pretty manic, and everyone was really excited to be around each other, and it's also just heightened emotions, because everyone had been isolated for so long." 

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Thatcher slurps noodles from Kopitiam, one of her favorite restaurants in New York. | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

While Thatcher is a little more private with her social media posts, her cast mates have flooded the web with documentation of their off-hours silliness. Thatcher became famous for her karaoke nights—some just solo, and some with the rest of her fake soccer team. (You can even see a bit of one posted on Instagram by Jasmin Savoy Brown, aka Young Taissa.) At one point, the singing got so loud that Thatcher was almost kicked out of her Airbnb. Her go to karaoke songs? "Criminal" by Fiona Apple; "Superstar," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and "Close to You" by the Carpenters; and some musical theater for good measure.

I ask Thatcher about one video that Alves put on his feed, featuring her and her co-stars acting very silly after commandeering his phone after he left it unattended. Someone ripped the footage and captioned it on Twitter: "the girlies before they eat you." "That video, that just shows that I would get really manic on set," she says. "I turned into another version of myself that was the polar opposite of Natalie. I had to bring lightness all the time." Thatcher does seem like she's all moody vibes—even the art she posts on Instagram is thematically dark—that's not her only quality. She was also the girl singing Sondheim on set with Brown and Liv Hewson, who plays Van.

While she admits that she was similar to Natalie in high school, Thatcher is adamant that she's not the aloof rebel she's making a name for herself as on screen. "I'm so not that," she says. "I'm not that at all, but I can act. I got cast into that world pretty quickly, because of my outward appearance, and how I present myself, and my taste. So casting directors immediately thought of me that way. I think that's interesting, but I really don't want to be stuck in that. I just want to explore." 

That said, she, for now, won't get rid of the hairstyle that's becoming her signature. One person on Twitter even called it the "coolest mullet of the year." "I can't let go of it," she says. "I'm always like, 'I'm going to grow it out. I'm so sick of being famous for a mullet.' Now, it's super mainstream, and I know that sounds like some hipster bullshit, but everybody fucking has it. Every single time I try to do that I get really bored, and then I cut my hair, so there you go. I think the shag is staying for a bit." 

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.