The actress talks to ET about Natalie’s transformation into a huntress and joining the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
Not many budding stars can claim to be in two of the most buzzed-about TV series, but Sophie Thatcher can. The 21-year-old actress not only plays Natalie on Yellowjackets, Showtime’s hit series about a soccer team who turns to cannibalism after surviving a plane crash, but she recently joined the Star Wars universe as Drash on the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett.
“I wasn’t expecting this kind of response from either,” Thatcher says, acknowledging the fandom surrounding both series. “It’s now hitting me that what I’ve been acting in the past year is reaching a huge audience.”
When it comes to Yellowjackets, in which she plays the teenage version of Natalie during the 1996 timeline, when she and her teammates are still stranded in the Canadian Rockies, the twist-filled and captivating first season came to a close Sunday night.
Over the course of the first 10 episodes, Natalie, whose adult version is played by Juliette Lewis, is labeled as a burnout and initially portrayed as the most anti-social of the group. Over time, she proves herself to be an asset by getting clean and learning how to shoot one of the rifles they found in an abandoned cabin. While she quickly becomes an excellent shot, she uses her hunting expeditions to get closer to her coach’s son, Travis (Kevin Alves).
In the emotional finale, which Thatcher says “does a really good job answering questions, but then also setting up a lot more for season 2,” Natalie and Travis profess their “f**king love” for each other before the latter runs off to find his younger brother, Javi (Luciano Leroux).
But the actress warns that the two teenagers, who audiences learn have a toxic, on-and-off again relationship after being rescued, aren’t in romantic love. “It’s a specific kind of love,” she says, warning that they have unhealthy codependency that was forged from their shared trauma of surviving the plane crash.
“I feel like that’s not the most stable ground to start a relationship on,” she continues, explaining that she believes that things will only get worse from here. “She finds a new addiction and that becomes Travis.”
That said, Thatcher would like to see Natalie spend more time with the rest of the girls and re-embrace her “huntress” persona in season 2. “She finds a purpose for a bit taking on that role,” the actress says, sharing that she and Lewis have discussed what they would like to see for Natalie moving forward. “I love that idea of her being the hunter of the group. But then she got distracted and started sleeping with Travis and I want to go back to that.”
No matter what, “there’s this gap between the two of us,” Thatcher says of teenage Natalie and adult Natalie. And because of that “there’s going to be crazier things that bring the two together.”
When it comes to the impending the cannibalism that was first teased in the premiere episode, Thatcher doesn’t believe it’ll happen with Jackie’s (Ella Purnell) dead body, which was found outside the cabin the next morning after she was kicked out by the group. “I don’t know we’re actually at that point of breakdown,” she says of the mental shift required for them to finally eat one of their own.
“I think some people are very close to the edge of that, but I definitely don’t think Natalie is,” she continues. “At the moment, Natalie is a bit more levelheaded than everyone. I think she was the most prepared for this... She endures the trauma in a different way, and she can’t disassociate from it.”
What happens in season 2 remains to be seen, but during the same week as the Yellowjackets season 1 finale, Thatcher finally made her debut as Drash in episode 3 of The Book of Boba Fett. The noticeably younger and more colorful character had an action-packed introduction, with the leader of the cyborg biker gang facing off with a Wookie named Black Krrsantan (Carey Jones) and racing through the backstreets of Tatooine. She is eventually recruited by Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) himself.
That Wookie scene, the actress reveals, was her first day on set. “I was so scared,” she says with a laugh. “That itself, I jumped right into it. I was incredibly nervous, but I had to fake the confidence until I finally believed myself. Drash has a lot of confidence and I have to look that way.”
Helping her assuming that look was her wardrobe, which Thatcher couldn’t stop gushing over. “Putting on the costume was a big step forward into the universe. And I never fully had that with any role,” she says. “So, getting into my costume was such a big moment. It gave me this confidence that I didn’t have before.”
While she can’t say much about what comes next for the newest character in the Star Wars universe, Thatcher says that “she’s a badass, who immediately stands up for herself and probably grew up always having to fend for herself.” She teases, “I can’t wait for people see [more]. She’s a really cool character.”