Melanie Lynskey Is Celebrating Her First Emmy Nomination the Way Sarah Paulson Told Her To

The “Yellowjackets” star said being recognized by her peers is “just the most wonderful, joyful thing”

yellowjackets melanie lynskey
Melanie Lynskey in "Yellowjackets" / Showtime

Portions of this interview with Melanie Lynskey were also used in the Down to the Wire: Drama issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.

Melanie Lynskey figured that she would start Emmy nominations morning on a positive note. “I just slept in because I was so nervous,” she told TheWrap. “I didn’t want to be watching [the Emmy announcement] as it happened. I just thought: OK, either I’m going to be woken up cause my phone’s buzzing or I’m going to have a good sleep. Either way, it’s going to be a good morning. So I got woken up ’cause my phone — a lot of people were texting. It was a nice way to wake up.”

The texts were, of course, congratulatory messages for Lynskey’s first-ever Emmy nomination, for lead actress in the hit Showtime series “Yellowjackets.” Most Emmys prognosticators (including our own Steve Pond) favored her for a nomination, noting that her work has been under-appreciated for years. Lynskey, of course, has a different perspective. “It doesn’t feel long overdue to me,” Lynskey said. “It feels like a different category to my work and my career. It’s extra. It’s just the most wonderful, joyful thing.”

Lynskey jumped on the line with TheWrap just hours after celebrating the news with her husband, Jason Ritter.

Congratulations on your nomination.
Oh my God. Sarah Paulson left me this audio message, which was so sweet, where she was fully weeping ’cause she was so happy for me. It was so sweet. She had this lovely perspective where she said, “It doesn’t mean anything — but it does because it’s your industry and your peers paying attention to your work, and it is so meaningful.” I wish I could just repeat everything that Sarah said ’cause she put it so perfectly, where in the context of your life, you have to realize where [an Emmy nomination] lands. There are things in life that are so much more important – but it’s a really lovely moment to have.

Have you celebrated?
I’ve just kind of been doing interviews. (Laughs) But Jason made me some toast that he cut into different shapes that spelled out the word “Emmy.” So that was very sweet of him.

It’s disappointing that your co-stars Juliette Lewis and Tawny Cypress weren’t nominated, but it’s great that Christina Ricci got a supporting nomination, as well as the show’s other nominations, for writing and directing. Has the “Yellowjackets” team been talking and texting celebratory messages all day?
We’ve all individually been in touch. I’m also bummed for Juliette and Tawny. I mean, I wish every single cast member could be nominated, honestly — all the younger cast, too. I feel like we’re gonna have more seasons and people are gonna be recognized in years to come. That’s my hope. But it does make it kind of bittersweet. I mean, the show got nominated, so we are all celebrating together. But I do wish that more of us got nominated. When I heard Christina’s name, I burst into tears and I texted her right away. I was so happy. So happy.

When we spoke in May, you mentioned how much you love awards shows and how you watch them all on TV. But this year, you’re going to be at the Emmys as a nominee. How does that feel?
I don’t even know. It’s funny. Critics Choice [Awards] was the first one [that I went to as a nominee], really. I mean, one year I went to the Emmys for “Two and a Half Men,” like, the second year or something. But it’s gonna be crazy. It’s gonna be very nerve-wracking and very exciting. The category I’m in — I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m on this list with these women.

You also told me you were going to wait until July to bug the “Yellowjackets” writers about Season 2. It’s July. Have you started bugging?
That’s true! No, I just sent them an email today saying, “Congratulations!” I’m so thrilled that they got nominated for two different episodes, which is amazing. There’s so much great writing on television. I just love that they were recognized. But I haven’t [asked them about Season 2] yet. I’m nervous. I feel like they’re gonna be like, ‘Oh my God. Leave us alone!’ (Laughs) I wanna know. I’m desperate to know.

You’ll know soon, right? You’re going into production in August?
Yeah, I think we go back in mid-August.

How are you feeling about going back?
I feel really excited. I can’t wait to see what happens. It was great last year, to be working on a show that I thought was really good with people I liked. Now that people have been watching and responding to it, it’s just an extra level of excitement and just feeling very, very fortunate.

Read more from the Down to the Wire: Drama issue here.

Squid Game Emmy magazine cover
Photograph by Irvin Rivera for TheWrap