Melanie Lynskey Says the 'Yellowjackets' Cast Defended Her After She Was Body Shamed on Set

The actress said that a member of the hit show’s production staff asked her how she planned to lose weight

Melanie Lynskey
Melanie Lynskey. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Melanie Lynskey had her Yellowjackets costars on her side when she was allegedly body shamed on set, the actress said.

The 44-year-old Lynskey, who stars on the hit Showtime series, said in an interview with Rolling Stone that a member of the show's production staff implied that she needed to lose weight.

"They were asking me, 'What do you plan to do? I'm sure the producers will get you a trainer. They'd love to help you with this,' " she said.

After the incident, Lynskey's costars, Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis, immediately came to her defense, she said, with Lewis writing a letter to the Yellowjackets producers.

PEOPLE has reached out to Showtime for comment.

(L-R): Christina Ricci as Misty, Juliette Lewis as Natalie, Tawny Cypress as Taissa and Melanie Lynskey as Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS, “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”.
(L-R): Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Tawny Cypress and Melanie Lynskey on Yellowjackets. Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Along with the alleged on-set conflict over her looks, Lynskey said she was also frustrated that fans didn't believe that her character could have an affair with Adam, a mysterious young artist.

"I'm just like, 'Wow, really? That's where people's heads are at, that the most important thing is being thin or young?' " she said.

Lynskey said that she didn't want to diet for the show — she wanted her character Shauna to look like a real woman, not the Hollywood version of one.

"It was really important to me for [Shauna] to not ever comment on my body, to not have me putting a dress on and being like, 'I wish I looked a bit better,' " she said. "I did find it important that this character is just comfortable and sexual and not thinking or talking about it, because I want women to be able to watch it and be like, 'Wow, she looks like me and nobody's saying she's the fat one.' That representation is important."

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Pop Quiz with the Cast of Yellowjackets

It also had added significance for Lynskey, who has talked about her struggles with disordered eating and low self-esteem during her career. She told PEOPLE in 2016 that there were years where she "was losing my mind trying to conform to something that was not physically possible for me."

"I was very unwell for a long time. I had eating issues and at a certain point I was like, 'I'm not going to survive' — not like I was on death's door or anything, but I was so unhappy and my hair was falling out."

Melanie Lynskey
Melanie Lynskey. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Lynskey, who has a 3-year-old daughter with husband Jason Ritter, said that she had to do internal work to find her confidence.

"I was like, 'I just need to look the way I'm supposed to look' and have faith that people are going to want to put someone in a film or on a show who looks like this," she said. "I did have to truly become comfortable with myself, because you can't fake it."

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