(ViacomCBS) – An extraordinarily gifted high school girls soccer team finds themselves stranded deep in the wilderness after a plane crash. Now the group must learn to survive or die in the new SHOWTIME drama series Yellowjackets premiering November 14th. The series chronicles two aspects of the survivors’ lives, the team’s endurance in the wild and how the past haunts them 20 years later.
Among the survivors of the crash lost in the woods during the 1990s is steamy soccer coach Ben Scott played by actor Steven Krueger. Meanwhile, actor Warren Kole’s character marries one of the survivors years later. CBS’s Katie Johnston sat down with actors Krueger and Kole in separate interviews (combined below) to learn more about their roles and unique storylines to watch for.READ MORE: Christina Ricci On SHOWTIME’s ‘Yellowjackets’: ‘I Like The Idea That These Women Aren’t Likable Or Good People’
KJ- The drama series Yellowjackets premieres this November on SHOWTIME. And just to give you a little synopsis, it’s an epic survival series following a widely talented high school girls soccer team after they survive a plane crash. Joining me today to talk more about the series. Actor Steven Krueger, actor Warren Kole. Great to see you.
SK- Absolutely great to see you.
WK- Thanks for having me.
KJ- Tell me just a little bit about the show because it hasn’t premiered yet.
WK- The show starts with the championship high school girls soccer team who deals with a very traumatic event.
SK- Like you said, the show is about a team of high school girls soccer players that crash in the mountains and kind of have to figure out how to survive for quite a long time, actually, about 18 months or so before they’re rescued. The cool part about our show is it spans two different generations.
So we have the timeline in the mid 90s when we actually crash in the mountains and then it flashes forward about 25 years and catches up with the few people that actually survived and were rescued and catches up with them as adults and kind of chronicles all the different things that they’ve been living with, having that as part of their past.
KJ- There’s what happened when the plane crashed in the 90s and then what happens as these girls are trying to get their lives back on track. Tell me a little bit more about your role.
WK- Jeff is a member of the ruling class of their high school. We meet him in the 90s when we revisit him 20 years later, he is married to one of the survivors of this crash and he has found himself neck deep in the ocean of mediocrity and underachievement, he sells furniture. He’s trying to keep his household together and reconnect with his wife, extremely aware of his own limitations.
SK- Yes, Ben Scott, actually, he’s actually 30 years old in the series. He’s the assistant coach of the soccer team. So Ben Scott has a pretty interesting role. There’s a few different dynamics to play. Number one, he’s kind of the only adult that actually survives the plane crash. So he finds himself stuck in the woods with a bunch of teenage girls. And he’s kind of the sole authority figure, the sole grown up in the group.
And then, on top of that, Ben is also kind of seen as the hot teacher at school. So he’s also kind of the subject of some what you might call unrequited crushes, which of course, tends to have an interesting effect when you put people in a situation where they are stranded together in the woods. Then without giving too many spoilers away, Ben also suffers a pretty traumatic injury in the plane crash. So he’s dealing with that as well throughout the entire series. So a lot of different kinds of strings at play, and it develops in a really kind of intricate and interesting way throughout the first season.
KJ- And Warren, you’ve been in a number of films and TV series. Is there anything about the experience filming this show that stands out to you?
WK- What jumped out at me was the quality of the writing from Ashley and Bart. This is a really well-run, well-constructed show, and there’s a reason why so much talent was attracted to this story. It’s because it’s well-drawn characters and really good relationships, not just a situation, but a tale to be told.READ MORE: Ella Purnell On SHOWTIME’s ‘Yellowjackets’: ‘Going To Be Dark, Going To Be Twisted’
KJ- A really unique role for you to fill and I’m sure there’s some really interesting character stories to follow along, as this season is going to progress. Steven, on a personal note, I really want to ask you about your start in your acting career because I think it’s so fascinating.
Many kids grow up and say, ‘hey, when I grow up, I want to be an actor.’ They work and work to pursue that dream. But for you, the opportunity appeared just a little bit in a different way. Tell me about that.
SK- I had no interest in being an actor, even though I loved it. I grew up acting. I acted all through high school, but for whatever reason, it never felt like a viable career path. It always just kind of felt like a hobby when I was a kid. So I went to college, I planned on going to law school. I studied things as boring as political science and history and economics. And then I found myself in Los Angeles right after college for an internship, actually, at a law firm.
I planned on taking a couple of years off before law school. I was already in Los Angeles. I thought two years off, why don’t I fool around with the idea of acting? Because it was so much fun, I loved it so much growing up. And once I kind of realized that it was a career that took a lot of dedication and a lot of time, I had a real heart to heart with myself about okay, you know what? I don’t think law school is actually for me. I don’t actually think I want to be a lawyer. I think I need something a bit more, I don’t know, out there.
So, yeah, I kind of just made the switch much to my family’s chagrin at first after expecting me to go to law school. But, yeah, and so I just kind of jumped right in, and one role led to another. And here we are. And I’m still not a lawyer. So that’s great.
KJ- Well, I can tell you have a headstrong mentality first being interested in going to law school in the first place. That’s an incredible feat, but also moving your way into your acting career. I want to ask you, where do you see this career going for you? Maybe in the next five or ten years.
SK- Yeah, that’s a great question. I think that the landscape of the entertainment industry is shifting so rapidly. We’ve already seen it over the last five or ten years where it’s kind of shifted into this golden age of television that everybody talks about now. So I love the idea of working in both television and film.
I think one of the advantages that we have right now in the industry is that we’ve gotten into this pattern where we kind of condensed television seasons down into anywhere from six or eight episodes to ten or twelve. But except in rare cases, it’s not really the nine or ten months out of the year, 24 episode seasons anymore. So we kind of have that luxury of being able to shoot a TV show like this for six months out of the year for ten episodes and then go and do a play or go and do a film.
KJ- I don’t want you to give away any spoilers because we haven’t seen the show yet. Are there any plot twists or storylines you think will really capture people’s attention?
WK- Yes, the unveiling of the true natures of people, what people are capable of when confronted with jungle law, how they handle the traumas throughout the rest of their lives. It’s fascinating and I think anyone can relate to that.
KJ- And then, finally, is there anything that I haven’t asked you about or poked you about that you’d like to add to this interview?
WK- It was a pleasure working with Melanie and everyone else on this show. I had a lot of fun playing in that sandbox. I’m looking forward to coming back.
SK- I can tell that people think it’s going to be one thing, and I just want to let people know that it’s not at all what they think the show is going to be. It’s incredibly unique, it’s intricate, it’s nuanced and it takes a lot of twists and turns that a lot of people will not see coming, so stay tuned. Don’t forget to tune in, and I think people are going to love it.