When Yellowjackets’s Ella Purnell was on the hit Showtime show, she knew her time was numbered. But boy, she didn’t want it to be.

The actress played Jackie Taylor, the captain of the Yellowjackets soccer team. She (spoiler!) ultimately doesn’t make it out alive in season one. While working with the rest of the cast, she formed tight bonds and didn’t want to die in the series, so she tried to convince the creators to keep her around. But she couldn’t convince them…

Purnell spoke with THR about her experience and how tough it was not to be part of the stranded schoolmates.

Ella Purnell on why it was so hard not to be a part of Yellowjackets

“I was like, ‘It’s only a one-year deal. I’m not locked into a seven-year contract,'” Purnell said of being on Yellowjackets. “So, at the time, that seemed really appealing. And then when we started filming — I didn’t want to die.”

She added, “I tried to convince the writers to keep me on the show a bit longer. So they thought about it, and then they called me and were like, ‘She’s got to go. We tried. We did our best.'”

Knowing that her time on the show was coming to an end was a bit rough. But she got a taste for it again when they brought her back for a few episodes after her death.

“Yeah, it was [bittersweet],” she said. “It was a totally new experience for me. It was hard watching everyone go back for season two, even though I was doing Fallout and was busy. I wanted to be there. We really formed such a close bond, partially because of the nature of the very intense scenes that we did. There were a lot of heavy scenes, and you bond with your scene partners when you’re doing heavy stuff.”

Part of the bonding involved being isolated due to COVID and the pandemic.

“We also filmed Yellowjackets [season one] during COVID in Vancouver. None of us knew Vancouver at all, and we weren’t allowed to leave the country or have anyone come visit us. We were just in this bubble for a really long time. And because we only filmed a couple days a week, we spent most of our time just hanging out. And I never worked on something where that’s been the case. So we got really, really close, and it was hard [not to be be there]. I definitely missed them and I got serious FOMO, but then they had me back for a couple of episodes and that scratched the itch for me. I was all right after that.”

About Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets premiered on Showtime on November 14, 2021, and became a critically acclaimed hit that included seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

It’s about a girls’ high school soccer team traveling to a national tournament, but their flight crashes in a remote wilderness. The survivors are left stranded and fend for themselves for nineteen months. It depicts what they did to stay alive and also has the survivors reflect on their time 25 years later.

Since Yellowjackets wrapped, Ella Purnell can now be seen as Lucy in Prime Video’s Fallout. Season One is available now, and Season Two is expected to arrive in late 2025 or early 2026. Hopefully, since she’s the main character in the series, her character will be around for a while longer than it was in her previous show.