The Wilds, Amazon’s latest thriller-mystery series is the latest show in the canon of survival series such as Lost and Netflix’s recent The Society. It contains an expansive ensemble cast, including Sophia Ali, Sarah Pidgeon, Jenna Clause, Erana James, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Reign Edwards, Shannon Berry, Rachel Griffiths, David Sullivan and Troy Winbush.
The official description: Part survival drama, part dystopic slumber party, THE WILDS follows a group of teen girls from different backgrounds who must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they’ve all endured. There’s just one twist to this thrilling drama… these girls did not end up on this island by accident.
Shadow and Act recently spoke with Edwards (Snowfall and The Bold and the Beautiful) and Howard (Madeline’s Madeline) who talked about their roles and the importance of representation in the series.
“What really caught my attention about this project was the story of sisterhood,” explained Edwards. “And the dynamic that you don’t really see often as like fraternal twins period, but also just twins, not getting along. It’s usually like, ‘Oh, we’re always in sync.’ And I love that story. You see this journey of individuality. And they’re trying to find that even though they are in sync, [but this] actually causes them to butt heads at times. So I think that it’s great. And then also, I was just really excited to see these two Black girls and that are twins…but they’re so different. And I think between me and Helena, we show like a whole spectrum of Black women and we don’t all look one way [and] we don’t all act one way. I think it’s really, really beautiful to see these two twins who are literally from the same household that are completely different and who they are as a person.”
On other projects that have been in a similar vein, Howard said, “I heard about the Netflix show that ended up being The Society. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is kind of like our show, but it’s not. There wasn’t anything that was like this that I had heard of or seen or was approached for anything like that. This was definitely very original, very fresh, very new and stood out for a plethora of reasons. One main reason being the diversity and the stories that all of these people have, you know. And it doesn’t matter that they’re female, because they could be men and they could have the same exact stories, but the fact that they are female changes the dynamics and you’ll see that in the show.”
She continued, “We’ll see what happens when females from all different walks of life come together and are put in different situations. What are their strengths? What do they learn about themselves in these situations? What do they learn about the other person? How can they contribute to the group dynamic to the community?”
On the aspect of diversity, Edwards had a personal anecdote for being able to portray a Black character on a series like this. “This is my first project where I’ve worn my natural hair out for it [and] I’m excited to do that. I’m excited to start the conversation of how our industry needs to do better about knowing how to do textured hair on set. I was really happy that this show was like, ‘Yeah, let’s wear your natural hair and let’s do it and let’s commit to it.’ And it’s just as important.”
You can watch the full interview below, via Shadow and Act Live, at the 11:06 mark:
The Wilds premieres Dec. 11 on Amazon Prime Video.