Editor's note: This interview contains mild plot spoilers about The Wilds season 2 and its ending.
The Wilds is back for season 2 and viewers aren't following just the group of girls...but there's a group of boys stranded on an island as well.
The show continues to move between two timelines, one while the groups are stranded and another while they are in the facility. However, as we know, the experiment hasn't ended now that they are in the facility. And as the season goes on, it seems like this may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Shadow and Act spoke to series stars Sarah Pidgeon, Reign Edwards, Jenna Clause, Sophia Ali, Shannon Berry, Erana James, Mia Healey, Charles Alexander, Alex Fitzalan, Reed Shannon, Tanner Ray Rook, Aidan Laprete, Zack Calderon, Nicholas Coombe and Miles Gutierrez-Riley about the new season, the new characters, how the season 1 characters have evolved, the stakes of it all and much more.
The two de facto leads of each group -- Leah (Pidgeon) and Rafael (Calderon) are the only two from the groups to come in contact with each other for the majority of the season. Leah literally pops up on Raf and there is an uneasiness as they try to exchange information but don't entirely know what to do with each other. While Leah has been knowing what's been going on for some time (that they are in an elaborate social experiment), Raf is behind a bit.
"I think when she first meets Raf, I don't think knows if she can totally trust him," Pidgeon explained to us. "She's not really coming out with any major confessions except 'I'm you, we've been through the same nightmare.' I think it's not so much self-preservation, but it's group preservation for the girls. I think she wants to get these girls and herself out of there and to punish Gretchen (Rachel Griffiths) essentially. And I think it takes a little while as she's conversing with Faber (David Sullivan) to realize that they [the authority figures] are actually the bad guys and that these boys have been subjected to the same hell that she's been through. [Through] the experiences that she's gone through on the island, she learns that there are just because you're on the island doesn't mean that she can necessarily trust you. But she grows to gain his trust and he gains her's. it's really about sticking it to the man at the end of the day at the end of the season."
Many characters go through major changes this season. Whether literal changes, personality changes or physical changes, both the girls from season 1 to now and the boys through the course of the season may end up in different places than they were initially.
Once is Reign Edwards' Rachel, the cold swimmer from season 1 who has actually become warmer and freer in the light of the supposed death of her sister. (Spoiler alert: She pops up alive and well with Gretchen near the end of season 2).
"I think that she evolves into being free...to really become this evolved version of herself," she explained. "Whereas in season 1, she was very much so this machine...because that's what she had to be for the sport that she wanted to succeed in. And now, with everything that happened at the end of season one and where we start off in season 2, she really has to learn to deal with being human and the emotions that come with that. You experience heavy emotions when you go through trauma and find the journey to becoming free and finding peace. And it's not always easy, but allowing life to flow."
Reed Shannon, plays Scotty who is one part of a clearly established duo for the boys' group. Scotty arrives on the island with his best friend Bo, and it comes with some ethical dilemmas as they think about how far they will protect each other.
"I honestly I feel like Scotty is like an overhyped version of me," Shannon said. "I realized after filming-- I can be pretty loud and pretty like all over the place with things that I'm saying and pretty sharp. But after doing Scotty, I was like, 'Alright, I need to tone it down a little bit.' This is a lot [laughs]. But definitely like that go-getter attitude. [Also] I wasn't into money as much as I am now. After dealing with Scotty, who's like always trying to get the bag, [there were] definitely some cool trade-offs."
And for the favorite The Wilds couple, Toni (James) and Shelby (Healey)? The season ends with them splitting up...but will they get back together if the show lands a third season?
"I think Shelby will always want to be with Toni," said Healey. "I don't see Shelby genuinely, wholeheartedly wanting that relationship to end ever. I think going to be difficult. It's a hard thing to come back, but we want to see them reunited, I would love to see them reunited. But there's a lot going on beneath the surface. And there's a lot going on with Shelby that I think she needs to figure out. I think she needs to get some higher self-esteem and become comfortable with who she is before maybe getting back into a relationship with Toni...because that's a lot of pressure, I'm sure."
Check out the full interviews below and The Wilds season 2 is currently streaming on Amazon's Prime Video.