Welcome back to TV Topics, where host Steven Prusakowski, joined by his co-host Abe Friedtanzer walk guests through their TV landscape. Every episode we have one guest who sits in for the entirety of the show to discuss their relationship with television plus to do a deep dive into their latest work. For this episode we speak with an actress who is relatively new to the scene but is making a big impact both on the big and small screen.
You will know her from work on Showtime’s Yellowjackets playing the misunderstood and mysterious Lottie Matthews, or from her joyride from hell as Cheedo the Fragile in the modern masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road. Soon you will see what all the buzz was about at SXSW as she takes a starring role in the upcoming film, Parachute. It’s the delightful and talented, Courtney Eaton.
Courtney sat down on the TV Topics couch as we asked questions about her TV viewing experience: her favorite primetime show as a kid, what series she would wish to have one more season, what show she would like to live in and much more. Courtney, who is from Australia, delivered her unique perspective of being a TV watcher from down under. It was a lot of fun with plenty of laughter.
We then take a break from her trip down TV memory lane to deep dive into her must-watch work as the vision-suffering leader of the young wilderness-stranded Yellowjackets. It is a conversation that avoids many spoilers (but not all – so you better go watch now) while providing some hints about what is to come in the mysterious bonus episode. We had a lot of fun learning about Courtney’s work and TV habits.
Below are some excerpts from our conversation. Be sure to listen to it in its entirety in episode 6 of TV Topics featuring Courtney. It is a record 46-minutes long, but we would have gladly gone longer. One question was accidentally skipped.
FULL TV TOPICS EPISODE FEATURING COURTNEY EATON
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Courtney on the original pitch for Lottie Matthews:
“I’m trying to think back – it was a while now. It was hard because it was still pretty shrouded in mystery. They didn’t tell us as much as they do now. I remember I went in for one scene during my audition that was just kind of where Lottie lives now, but a bit wackier and a bit more witchy. Then I talked to (show creators) Bart (Nickerson) and Ashley (Lyle) about where she lived because they mentioned -just because I had questions about the pilot episode and especially the medication. I wanted to make sure that if she was someone with a mental illness that she wasn’t portrayed in a certain way. So we had conversations about that. But really, I was left to my own devices to kind of just figure it out as I went along. I didn’t know if I would get an adult counterpart but I did have an inkling that I would probably be around for season two.”
On having Jackie for dinner, literally:
“I remember just walking onto set and it smelled off – just the mix of the prosthetic dummy with barbecue sauce and jackfruit. But, Samantha (Hanratty) threw up. I was gagging next to her. I will say there’s one, in the last take, poor Steven Krueger. We had shot all of our stuff and he had his emotional take on it and was walking back into the room. We just were like, non serious, had probably gone a little crazy from the acts that we were doing. We were just bent over the body and the camera is close on him and you could just hear us going ‘num num num num num.’ So I’m really sorry to Steven that we didn’t take our seriously at the end. I remember our crew was dead silent for a beat after we finished filming and then our producers Bart, Ashley and Jonathan just were like, ‘Holy crap! We’re about to break the internet – this stuff is insane.”
“It’s a weird kind of day on set, because you kind of joking around in between takes. But, at least for me when we start filming, there’s something that switches in your brain that you’re like, ‘This is so wrong.’ And the smell and the environment. You don’t really see the cameras and all your classmates you’re kind of engulfed in this moment. I think that’s why a lot of us, when a called cut – like Samantha was throwing up, I was gagging. Our bodies were just telling us that we were doing something really wrong.”
On the varied online reactions to Lottie including ‘Who the f*** is Lottie Matthews:
“I’ve seen like some things. I get tagged on on Instagram and they’re amazing. There was also this Instagram called the Church of Lottie Day Saints. But, yeah, I was worried going. I mean, the idea of leash she’s very easy to hate if if you don’t get to spend enough time with her. So I was worried that the internet’s reaction to her would be just like hatred and be like this one. She’s crazy. Killer. All right, yeah. That seems really sweeping online.”
On handing over the antlers:
“I think by the end of the season she’s waning in her faith. She definitely can see the manipulation starting to happen. I think she’s also a person that people are naturally drawn to and she maybe has natural leading abilities. But she is also someone that will probably crumble under too much pressure, because she’s so insecure and doesn’t trust her own brain. I think she has these walls up that don’t allow her to do that. By the end of the season, it’s half her kind of pawning it off and that – this is just my opinion, I don’t know if the writers agree. Then half that she does think the wilderness is passing it off. It’s hard because with the antler queen, we don’t even know really if like Nat (Sophie Thatcher), if that roll was considered the ant McQueen yet. But I do think it will probably be a rotating position maybe.”
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