Post Mortems

Yellowjackets' Tawny Cypress Talks Episode 4's Tai/Van Reunion: 'We're All Worried About Taissa'


This post contains spoilers from Season 2, Episode 4 of  Yellowjackets. Proceed accordingly.

Taissa and Van see each other for the first time in years at the end of this week’s Yellowjackets, a reunion we’d be much more excited about had a scary mirror version of Tai not been the one making the arrangements.

After spending the hour having at least one sketchy blackout and then hitchhiking with a big rig driver, Tai winds up in a small town. And when she walks into the old-school video store, Van (played by new cast member/Six Feet Under alum Lauren Ambrose) is standing behind the counter.

Naturally, we couldn’t wait to chat with Tawny Cypress about her character’s troubling trajectory, the state of things between Tai and her former love, and the horrifying specter of the No Eyed Man (who apparently is quite lovely in real life). Read on for her thoughts.

TVLINE | I mainly wanted to talk to you because I’m worried about Taissa.
We’re all worried about Taissa. [Laughs]

TVLINE | At the moment, in the present, she’s clearly not OK. But how does she think things are going?
She thinks things are going pretty bad. [Laughs] I think she recognizes that she needs help at this point so, you know, that’s why she goes and finds Van. Because Van was the one that was able to talk to this other Tai so, hopefully we can get some answers and she can get some help. You know, she’s a very selfish person, inserting herself back into Van’s life, just to get some help for herself. That’s why she should see a therapist! But, you know, she’s not really into helping herself. [Laughs]

TVLINE | It seems to me that Tai is someone who’s become really good at compartmentalizing over the course of her life.
Oh, absolutely.

TVLINE | That said, do you think Van is someone who she’s kind of put away in her mind and her heart? Or has she thought about her a lot in the years between the crash and when they’re adults?
That’s a really good question. I think that she has compartmentalized her, put her away in a box when they ended their relationship. She says how many girls she f–ked in college and all this other stuff. It didn’t even dawn on her to connect with Van again until the other Tai came out and told her to do so. Yeah. No, I think she is too much into making her life as perfect as possible and she’s a narcissist so, she’s not just thinking about old, past relationships.

yellowjackets-recap-season-2-episode-4-tawny-cypress-interviewTVLINE | In the past timeline, we see that Van is someone who’s a little more open to Lottie and her spirituality, while Tai doesn’t want to engage with it in terms of what’s happening to her. Do you think, as an adult, Tai is any more open to exploring what’s going on?
I think she wants to shut it down and get back to her life. She’s been in repair mode, you know? She’s trying to repair her life, she wants to get back to her life and her kid, and you know, why can’t it be perfect again?

So, I definitely don’t think she cares about like, figuring out who she is. She just wants to get rid of this other Tai. So far, what we’ve seen is that young Taissa isn’t a part of the [Lottie] group. But you know, there’s five seasons so, it could change. Everything could change.

TVLINE | Right.
Who knows, you know?

TVLINE | That makes sense. It also makes sense to me that, when the girls are teenagers and starving, their positions on things might change real quick, right?
Yes. Exactly. I think it’s absolutely natural to want to eat your dead friend. [Laughs]  I would even say it’s natural to eat the baby! [Laughs] But as we know, they do not eat the baby.

TVLINE | Talk to me about the man with no eyes, who scares the s—t out of me, quite honestly.
Me, too. I have seen him in real life, and he’s just as scary in real life.

TVLINE | Please tell me about this. Are there prosthetics? What’s going on there?
Yeah, it’s an entire prosthetic that goes over his face and eyes that like, makes that look. Yeah. But it looks really natural. I can’t figure out…I don’t know, he says he can see so, I don’t know. He’s so tall and thin, it’s crazy, and he’s in that suit, that funeral suit. It’s a lot.

TVLINE | I just pictured you and him at, like, craft services in between takes.
He loves it. I was like, “You need to go to conventions with this look, because this is going to get people going.” He loves it. [Editor’s note: Brody Romhanyi plays the No Eyed Man in Season 2. Brahm Taylor played him in Season 1.]

yellowjackets-recap-season-2-episode-4-tawny-cypress-interviewTVLINE | We know that she saw him as a child, which also was during a time of heightened emotion and grief. What can you tease about how much he’ll figure into the rest of the season?
He’s not going to figure a lot in Season 2. In fact, Taissa’s whole story doesn’t figure a lot in Season 2. You’re going to have to wait at least until Season 3 to get some real answers on what’s going on with her. But you know, there’s plenty of fun shenanigans to be had this season between the girls. But yeah. The man with no eyes, he’s a mystery to all of us at this point.

TVLINE | Tai spends most of Episode 4 in transit before winding up at Van’s door in the final moments. How in control of herself would you say Taissa is when she walks into that video shop?  
Oh, no. She has no control over it. In fact, I think for the rest of the season she gets very, very reliant on Van, to the point where she’s a shadow of herself. She has completely lost control. She’s just a bad human being trying to get her life back. It’s not working out for her. But yeah, I think Van has the main control in the interactions between the two of them.

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