Who is Liv Hewson from 'Yellowjackets'? Get to know the rising star

They play half of one of our favorite TV couples—meet Liv Hewson, 'Yellowjackets' scene-stealing star

Liv Hewson arrives at the World Premiere Of Season Two Of Showtime's "Yellowjackets" at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 22, 2023 in Hollywood, California
(Image credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty)

They portray one of our favorite Yellowjackets characters, but who is Liv Hewson?

Hewson's character has faced plane crashes, hungry wolves, teen romances and cult rituals—and all of that happened before Yellowjackets season 2 even premiered on Showtime on Friday, March 24. The series follows a high school girls' soccer team that gets stranded in the Canadian wilderness after surviving a terrifying plane crash, and things get creepy fast. (Here's all of your "where to watch Yellowjackets" info, in case you still need to catch up on the Showtime hit.)

Hewson is one of the breakout stars of the series, so let's get to know them before they become a household name.

Who is Liv Hewson from 'Yellowjackets'?

Australian actor and playwright Liv Hewson portrays Vanessa "Van" Palmer as a teenager on Yellowjackets. (Six Feet Under alum Lauren Ambrose joined the Yellowjackets cast in season two to play Van as an adult.) 

The role of Van, the goalie of the Yellowjackets team, greatly expanded since the show's first season, bolstered by the character's fan-favorite romance with fellow teammate Taissa Turner (Jasmin Savoy Brown). 

But, funnily enough, Hewson almost didn't play the role. Per our sister site Marie Claire, the actor originally auditioned for teen Shauna, a part that ultimately went to Sophie Nélisse. Instead, producers told Hewson they wanted them for Van.“I was like, ‘Great, who’s that?’” But after reading the script, the performer felt a connection to the goalie. "I had such a strong sense of who she was. I thought, 'I’m going to take very good care of her.'"

Van's sexuality was not yet explored in those initial scripts but Hewson told the outlet: “I remember reading it and going, ‘That character is a lesbian'...I don’t know if the show will ever talk about this, but I’ll know.”

The show did end up talking about it, and the #Vaissa ship was born. “From the minute Jasmin and I found out Van and Taissa were going to be together, we were like, ‘We are doing this for gay people,’” Hewson told the publication. “The two of us are really in charge of it and that’s a very special feeling. It’s quite cathartic to work on the kind of gay relationship that I really would have wanted to see as an audience member when I was younger.”

Liv Hewson movies and TV shows

Along with playing Van on Yellowjackets, Liv Hewson has had series-regular roles in the Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet, in which they starred as Abby Hammond opposite Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant from 2017 to 2019, and the Viki comedy-drama series Dramaworld, in which they played the lead role of Claire Duncan. Fellow TV credits include Top of the Lake, Marvel's Inhumans and the newest season of Party Down. 

Film-wise, audiences have seen Hewson on the big screen in Bombshell, Before I Fall, Under My Skin, Puzzle, Let It Snow and more. 

Was Liv Hewson in 'Stranger Things'?

No, Liv Hewson was not in the Stranger Things cast. You're probably confusing them with fellow talented redhead Shannon Purser, who famously played Barbara "Barb" Holland in the series. 

Liv Hewson age: how old are they?

Born in Canberra, Australia, on November 29, 1995, Hewson is currently 27 years old (and a Sagittarius!).

Liv Hewson sexuality and gender

Liv Hewson came out as non-binary at 16 years old. They identify as gay and use they/them pronouns. Hewson was honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award in 2020 for their LGBTQ+ advocacy. 

"I know for a fact that there have always been people like me," the honoree said in their acceptance speech. "Even if they were invisible, leaving traces of themselves for me to find in books I snuck home from the library at 16 when I was desperately searching for words to describe my experience. And after so many years of doubt, of preemptive self-silencing, of making myself invisible, it is of paramount importance to me not only to live my life openly for the sake of my own well-being but to do so in a way that reaches people like me who might be grappling with the same thing.

Of the robust queer following for Yellowjackets, Hewson playfully told The Guardian: Being adored by gay people on Twitter is all I’ve ever wanted in my life. So I’ve been enjoying myself.” 

Despite the fact that they have the same surname, Liv Hewson is not related to Eve Hewson, an Irish actress (Bad Sisters, The Knick) and the daughter of U2 frontman Bono. 

Catch Liv Hewson in Yellowjackets, airing on Showtime at 9pm on Sundays and streaming on Paramount Plus. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.