Sophie Thatcher has spent the past three months splitting her time between Vancouver and Los Angeles—jetting from Hollywood North, where she is filming the second season of the hit Showtime series that propelled her into the public eye, Yellowjackets, to her boyfriend’s new house in East L.A. But this summer, the Illinois native spent time in New York City, where she shot Calvin Klein’s fall 2022 campaign alongside Ella Emhoff. (“We’d never met, but I’d known who they were because we run in a similar Bushwick circle,” Thatcher tells me over the phone from the West Coast.) In the black-and-white, grainy photographs shot by Drew Vickers, Thatcher sports a light-wash Canadian tuxedo reminiscent of what Kate Moss wore in her iconic CK ads from 1992. “That photo of her with the double denim is a really specific image that’s stuck in my head,” Thatcher says. “Double denim was a big thing for me in high school. But I can never pull it off the way she did.”
But the most recognizable look from the campaign is all Thatcher’s own—the actress has become known for the shaggy mullet she sports in Yellowjackets, in which she plays Natalie, a 1990s teen who suffers a plane crash that leaves her and her soccer team stranded in Canada. Her personal, everyday style is inspired by the likes of Brigitte Bardot and other French New Wave stars, cementing Thatcher as a vintage fixture on the fashion circuit. “Everyone recognizes me for my Yellowjackets hairstyle, and I’m fine with people knowing me for that,” she says. “But there’s a lot more I want to experiment with, taste-wise and looks wise. Because my taste is far beyond an Eighties mullet.” Below, the 22-year-old—who just wrapped shooting the horror film The Boogeyman—shares behind-the-scenes details from Yellowjackets season two, and her teenage style phases.
If your Yellowjackets character, Natalie, could wear anything from Calvin Klein, what do you think it would be?
A pair of high-waisted, acid wash jeans that I wore in the campaign. They were actually pretty similar to the jeans I wore in the pilot—except I could move better. There’s also that black, sleeveless crop top. It’s effortlessly punk without trying to be punk. That feels very up Natalie’s alley.
I read an interview that you were excited to lean into Natalie’s darkness in season two, and that you, “Want to go bat shit a little bit more.” What has that ended up looking like?
This season, there’s a little bit more conflict with me and Lottie, which is interesting, because we’re such polar opposites and have such different beliefs. That really tears Natalie down in the first couple episodes. I know they’re really trying to piece things out, because the hope is that it would be a couple more seasons, so it’s still a journey that will continue throughout. I still haven’t gotten the script for the later episodes, but I have this feeling it’ll get pretty intense; it’s already gotten pretty intense. But I’m waiting for episodes eight, nine, and 10.
Wait, you haven’t gotten a preview of what’ll happen this season?
I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. I like not knowing. Because [the characters] don’t know, and that’s what is keeping them going every day. It keeps everyone on their toes. Survival is their main focus. But everything’s heightened now, because the stakes just keep raising. I keep thinking, how could it get any higher-stakes? But I guess it’s gonna keep going up [Laughs].
Natalie’s hairstyle has become the subject of much Yellowjackets-related lore. It’s a look reminiscent of Juliette Lewis’s character in Natural Born Killers. Did you expect your hair to become such a focus for fans?
For the pilot, it was my natural hair, and it was so much like Juliette’s as Mallory in that movie that they decided to keep it. I knew the mullet was a huge tie to Juliette in the Nineties. But this season, I have dark roots, which makes a lot more sense. I think it’s actually going to create more of a connection between me and Juliette.
Do you have a favorite salon?
I actually have an addiction. I cut my own hair with scissors. I get trims every once in a while, before events. They’ll be like, oh my god, this is so incredibly uneven [Laughs]. But I think I’m growing up, because I’m cutting my hair less. For the first time in my life, I want healthy hair, and I want to be separate from my character. Now, I’m on a different path.
Let’s get into the Style Notes questions. What is your favorite fashion moment from pop culture?
I don’t know if this is a pop culture thing specifically, but I think of 2010 Coachella. It’s funny, in season two, they’ve experimented with my huntress look: I wear a headband over my forehead. It’s very 2010, MGMT, Indie Sleaze. I remember experimenting with that in middle school. And now, suddenly, having it for my Natalie going-out-hunting look is so awesome.
Do you have a style icon?
I’ve always stuck to anything French and reminiscent of the Sixties or Nineties: so France Gall, or Charlotte Gainsbourg for modern references. As a musician, as an artist, Charlotte is probably my biggest inspiration. I remember watching Tess—not to bring up Roman Polansky—but Nastassja Kinski in that film was, and still is, a big fashion inspiration for me.
Which friend or designer’s style do you most admire?
I have been modeling with Batsheva for the past couple years, and I’m a huge fan of her work. It’s nice to see her blow up; everybody’s wearing her dresses now. I also have a friend named Zoë Bleu Arquette, she has this very post-apocalyptic, Eastern European style that I really appreciate. She’s starting a new brand called Caca Couture. We both have very similar hair.
Do you have a style pet peeve?
I’m really over pins as earrings, and the dangly cross earrings. Being in Bushwick and going to bars, seeing a lot of those is a bit much. Some people can pull it off, but wearing just one dangling cross earring has gotta go.
What was your style like as a teenager?
It was pretty close to Natalie’s. I went through a big French New Wave phase freshman year of high school. Because I grew up Mormon, I was always wearing button-ups and turtlenecks to cover my body. It’s been interesting growing out of that as I left the church when I was around 13. Turtlenecks still feel very comfortable for me. It just looks classic.
I went through a clog phase in high school, too. I would wear these light wood, silver clogs with bright leggings. Anything Victorian has always been a big inspiration. When I was 18, I cut up all of my clothes, and I would wear these neck scarves and ties. I wish I was more into making my own clothing, which is a route I wanted to go down, but the truth is, I can’t sew. My style has always been super quirky. And I’ve clearly gone through a lot of phases!