We Previewed TV’s Fall Lineup, and These Are the 6 Fresh Faces to Watch

WHO: Sophie Thatcher 

WHAT: I first came across Sophie Thatcher last year. It was right around the time her Quibi short series When the Street Lights Go On debuted, and her cool-girl insouciance and razor-sharp features immediately caught my eye. I knew then that this is someone to watch. Fast-forward a year, the 20-year-old is starring alongside the likes of Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey in a new psychological thriller for Showtime called Yellowjackets. The premise alone will have you marking its November 14 premiere date on your calendar. When a champion soccer team survives a plane crash in the Ontario wilderness, the seemingly normal high school teens descend into Lord of the Flies-esque savage clans. Twenty-five years later, the survivors attempt to piece together what actually happened. 

The thing I loved most about the Yellowjackets script was… The script felt daring and raw and reminiscent of some of my favorite shows growing up, but with a far darker twist. Each role in Yellowjackets is so incredibly rich and multidimensional, accompanied by intricate backstories. I was immediately immersed into their world, and that feeling for me is rare reading most scripts. 

I can’t wait for audiences to see what we have created with this show because… It’s pushing boundaries and thematically covers so many areas. The premise of the show is large, which excites me personally because our story can go anywhere. We never know where the next script will take us or what to ever expect. Hopefully, people can find solace within all of the vastly different characters and their complications and backstories. Our story beautifully covers the motif of trauma and how it molds each person so significantly within the two storylines in a gritty, more naturalistic manner. The older generation will have rich characters to relate to in current times, while the younger wilderness storyline will bring out a nostalgia for the ‘90s in them.

Getting to work with the likes of Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey on this project was… Firstly, they’re all legends. I’ve looked up to all three of them since I was a child. Tawny Cypress is also among the older versions in the cast, and she’s a fantastic actor and all-around really grounded person who I really look up to. Christina Ricci’s performance in Prozac Nation was a really big milestone for me as a teen, and getting to know her in person has been such a lovely, humbling experience. I also grew up completely bewildered by Juliette’s performance in Natural Born Killers and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. She has this natural glow in her eyes on camera—this curiosity, rawness, and openness. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her behind the camera in a couple scenes, and I’ve never felt such electricity from an actor before. I was truly immediately brought into her inner world. She has the spontaneity too that is so wild and rare within actors that cannot be matched, and it’s been beyond an honor to watch and learn from her and share such a beautifully complicated character with her.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Something I’ve never seen before. Something that will bring others comfort. I want to help others feel less alone in my work somehow. I hope I can do that in this and any future projects, no matter the character. I want to dig deeper into the human experience at its core and our inner desires and find a way to bring that to the screen and make others feel less alone in the way that Cassavetes has done with his films. There are certain directors with visions I admire (I would also love to one day be working on my own projects, too) like Kelly Reichardt, Gus Van Sant, Todd Solondz, and Derek Cianfrance. If you haven’t seen I Know This Much Is True on HBO, please watch. Juliette is also in it, and it’s my favorite show of all time. On a less serious note, a big goal of mine is to voice a badass character in a video game. I dream about that a lot!

Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… I make music, too. I play my synth and record and produce all my vocals by myself and put my songs on Bandcamp. It’s very low-key at the moment, but music is my first love, and it’s always been therapeutic. I would love to score films one day soon. I paint and draw too and make collages and mixed-media art. I would love to work on an animation with my twin, who’s a very talented animator, sometime really soon. Poetry has also been a really nice, therapeutic outlet for me always in a similar way that music is. When I’m not working, I’m probably playing a video game on my PS4 (soon to be PS5 maybe… if I want to treat myself) and my virtual-reality headset.

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Anything slightly Victorian with big, puffy sleeves. I love playing dress-up, and roles I see in movies or different video game characters definitely inspire my taste at the time. I love some good shoulder pads. I went through a funny phase where I would stuff some socks into my shirt on my shoulders and tape them to give the dramatic illusion that I had bigger shoulders. I’ve always been one to experiment with different looks and make it my own way, no matter how goofy the steps are to get there. I always alter most of my own clothes, cut them up whatever way I want to create a more rugged look. I would love to learn to sew one day to take these looks to the next level! I also own many leather jackets, and that’s become one of the biggest parts of my wardrobe. I will wear one no matter how hot it is outside. 

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Usually anything Japanese, anything late ‘90s or early 2000s, something you would see in an older Japanese video game. Some designers/brands I’ve been really into are Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Christian Lacroix, Aya Takano, Hysteric Glamor, Junya Watanabe, and Batsheva. 

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

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