Melanie Lynskey: ‘We all know people who could really use therapy’

You guys convinced me to watch Candy. I’m not finished but you were right, it’s good. I’m really impressed with how they are working with tension. And the cast is great. Everyone is holding up their role. Melanie Lynskey is marvelous as the unfortunate Betty. She nailed that person we feel sorry for, but also try to avoid at parties. Melanie spoke to Variety about her latest roles, Shauna from Yellowjackets and Betty. She mostly spoke about how they drew her in. Both are very different ‘fits’ for Melanie, which she liked because she said she learns something about herself in most of the roles she takes on. Melanie thinks Shauna could have benefitted from some therapy. I think it’s safe to say both Betty and Candy could’ve clocked a few hours on a therapist’s couch as well. According to Melanie, that’s not surprising because, as she said, “we all know people who could really use therapy.”

On choosing roles: It’s kind of like putting on a dress and you know if it’s comfortable or not. You’re like, ‘Oh, God, I’m not gonna want to wear this,’ or ‘OK, this feels good.’ Something kind of happens when I feel like I’m in it. Shauna sometimes feels very different for me. Sometimes Shauna feels like my ideal, what I hope I become one day. Without all the murdery bits! The confidence and the toughness, I don’t think I have.

On why Shauna spoke to her: We all know people who could really use therapy. I think everybody could use therapy. There are some people where you’re like, ‘Gosh, if you’ve gone to a room and talked through some of the stuff that would really help you.’ She’s one of those people. There’s so much that she has been terrified to discuss, that she’s never talked about with anybody, that she’s holding very close that fills her with shame, fills her with regret, and she’s just not processing anything ever. She’s just kind of pushing forward and moving on and then things will crop up and she’ll push them back down

On why Betty spoke to her: Betty unfortunately is a lot easier for me to act because I’m a person who has tended towards depression at times and I am very, very shy. I’m not sure of myself at all. I’m filled with self-doubt a lot of the time. I’m working on it and doing my best. But it’s a lot easier for me to play that person than to be not feeling especially confident and then have to go and play somebody who was filled with confidence.

What she learned playing Betty: I needed to do it. I needed to get into that aspect of Betty to really be like, ‘Is this as big a part of me as I still think it is? The self-doubt and the shyness?’ I kind of realized I think I am a little bit beyond that. [I thought,] ‘I think I’m a little bit stronger than this.’ That was an interesting thing to realize about myself.

[From Variety]

I’m with Melanie, Shauna needed therapy. I’m having a hard time believing therapy wasn’t mandated for the girls who made it home. (It’s just a TV show, Hecate!) Melanie said a big challenge in playing or understanding Shauna was that Shauna doesn’t share anything regarding her feelings or trauma. Melanie, however, shares most things. She said she can’t do small talk, she launches right into the heavy topics and cries all the time as a way to process. Shauna doesn’t cry at all. I love what Melanie said about playing Betty and realizing that she was stronger than she thought. I tend to believe the worst about myself, too, and I’m genuinely surprised when someone points out improvement on my part. So it’s encouraging to hear someone who suffers from the same self-criticisms able to see growth in herself.

I also like Melanie’s analogy about trying a role on like a dress. She’s just as good about knowing when to get out of a role that’s not a good fit. One of her best-known roles is Rose on Two and a Half Men. Two years in, while she was still contracted as a regular, Melanie felt trapped by the show. Just as they were ramping up her involvement, Melanie negotiated herself out. She said the whole thing just didn’t feel right and she knew it would crush her, so she was able to work Rose into a reoccurring part instead. Melanie gives Chuck Lorre credit for allowing her to do that after he had written a whole season around her. Good for Chuck for listening to her but good for Melanie for knowing when it wasn’t right for her and acting on that.

OMG – Jason looks so much like his father here

Photo credit: Instagram and Avalon Red

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