Even after 30 years in Hollywood, Melanie Lynskey isn’t a fan of watching herself onscreen.
The “Yellowjackets” star joked that she “would forget every audition if I could” and said seeing herself acting is torture.”
“I watch it one time so I know how to talk about it when I have to talk about it,” Lynskey told the Los Angeles Times, “and then I will never see it again.”
The “Candy” actress joked, “Because it’s my horrible face. I cannot stand watching myself. I’m so self-conscious.”
Lynskey, who was discovered by director Peter Jackson in 1994 for “Heavenly Creatures,” added that she “hates compliments in general,” especially for actors on set. “It just feels like a waste of time,” Lynskey said. “People doing surgery together are not like, ‘Oh my God, such a great incision.’ You’re working.”
Instead, Lynskey is drawn to directors who lead like doctors: “A good director is like a good therapist,” Lynskey said. “They’re able to put something to you in a way where it unlocks something in your brain and you see it a bit differently. And you’re like, ‘Oh my God, of course.'”
Lynskey has had many such breakthrough moments while filming the hit Showtime thriller “Yellowjackets,” in which she plays Shauna, a mother who survived a plane crash as a teenager.
“There’s one episode where I do this whole speech about what Shauna was thinking would happen during college and in her life, and I improvised the whole thing,” Lynskey said. “It’s hard for me when somebody’s very technical or feels like they don’t trust me and tells me a lot of stuff before they’ve even seen me do it. I get so guarded.”
“I had a director tell me, ‘You look like you’re apologizing with your hands when you’re acting,’ in an audition, and since then I’ve been sort of self-conscious about it,” Lynskey said. “And [Shauna] is not a character who would be apologizing with her hands. So I was trying to have more of a stillness than I usually would and trying to just inhabit some of this fierceness.”