The Wilds

Exclusive: Meet the Cast of "The Wilds," the Bingeworthy Show to Watch This Weekend

They discuss their beauty secrets, on-set memories, and more.

A show about a group of young women who get stranded on a deserted island might sound darker than most of the escapist fare we've been gravitating towards these days, but trust useveryone's going to be talking about The Wilds. Amazon's bingeworthy new show follows the diverse group of teenagers on their way to self-help retreat called Dawn of Eve, all being sent there for various reasons (breakups, overexertion...you name it). How they end up stranded on the island and how they eventually escape will keep you glued to your TV screen for most of the weekend, but it's the cast itself that will linger in your mind. Sophia Ali, Sarah Pidgeon, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Reign Edwards, Erana James, Jenna Clause, and Shannon Berry are all relative newcomers on the scene, but we have a feeling they won't be considered to be very soon.

We had a chance to catch up with all eight of the cast members in the show and talk about their desert island beauty picks (of course), plus their favorite on-set memories and how they're taking care of themselves during 2020, when things look very different than they did during filming. Ahead, get to know the cast of "The Wilds" (and your future beauty muses).

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Meet Sophia Ali

What's your desert island beauty product and why?

My desert island beauty product is the mint flavored Balm Dotcom by Glossier. This one is my current favorite because it lasts a long time and you don’t need to keep applying handfuls of it to get a good moisture that’ll last you all day. There’s peppermint in it, so if you need help relaxing, you can dab some on the temples. Plus—on an island where you can’t brush, the peppermint scent will help mask rank breath!

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different?

I wouldn’t say Fatin and I share a lot in common. Our priorities are probably in the exact opposite order. For example, her desert island beauty product would be her entire three tiered makeup storage container, which wouldn’t even have chapstick in it. One thing I can relate to is how she relies on her sense of humor for most situations— even when it might be inappropriate—to mask discomfort.

New skill you picked up after filming The Wilds:

I learned the cello, and even though I haven’t kept it up I did discover a love for playing musical instruments in general. I wouldn’t say prodigy because that goes too far—I’m more of a master. Really, it completely opened a floodgate of untapped musical potential. [LAUGHS.] I’m kidding, this is all a lie. I faked being able to play the cello. I’m nowhere near a master—I’m actually quite terrible. I only said I was good because I’m embarrassed I didn’t actually pick up any new skills.

What was your favorite on-set memory?

John Polson let me shadow him unofficially when he directed the last episode. Which basically means following him around and watching him sometimes from a dark corner like a creepy person. I’ll never forget that experience, and neither will he—but for different reasons probably. Jokes aside, I was lucky to get a brief view of things I don’t typically get exposed to as just an actor, and John was not only willing, but eager to share his years of accumulated knowledge and insight. It was a big honor to be welcomed into that space and it made me feel grand, outside of increasing my understanding of movie-making and how it works consecutively (which might be impossible to completely grasp).

How are you practicing self-care these days? 

Probably anything and everything in my knowledge that falls under the category of “self-care”: face/hair/hand masks (don’t have a favorite, I just pick the package that looks nice). I’ve also been taking baths, sometimes with a glass of wine at the end of the day. Recently I’ve been diving into new creative outlets like painting and drawing and foraging through my kitchen to make meals by combining a variety of foods that don’t usually go together. However, the most relaxing and easiest way to spend my day is just hanging with my dog Jack outside. Appreciating nature has helped me appreciate solitude.

Sarah the wilds

Meet Sarah Pidgeon

What's your desert island beauty product and why?

Sunscreen! I've gotten some bad sunburns over the years and whenever I do, it's all I can think or talk about. If I'm trying to survive on an island, the last thing I want to be concerned about is sun poisoning or where I can find the nearest bottle of aloe vera. I love Naturopathica's SPF and Dr. Jart's Cicapair Cream is straight MAGIC. It works as a sunscreen and tones down all my redness, but If I'm just going on a run or leaving the house without makeup, my go-to is CeraVe's Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30.

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different?

I'd like to think I'm less self destructive than Leah. She's a deeply intelligent person and follows her thoughts and intuition, sometimes to a fault, but that's also how she manages to survive. I'm not very confrontational or suspicious. I hate an argument. Like Leah, I love to read and journal. Lately, I've been on an Ottessa Moshfegh bender.

The new skill you picked up after filming The Wilds:

Reign, Helena, and I worked with a free diver to prep us for the scenes where we dive to explore the plane's wreckage. We spent three days practicing mindfulness and meditation, increasing our lung capacity, and getting comfortable with feeling like we were running out of air. When you hold your breath and your brain starts telling you to breathe, it's actually the buildup of CO2, and you have something like 80% of your oxygen left when those signals start to sound. After a few days of coaching I was able to hold my breath for 3 minutes and 30 seconds! I felt like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

What was your favorite on-set memory?

It's hard to pick one favorite memory on set. We had long days on the beach without cell reception so the whole thing was like one big island vacation. We'd explore the caves off shore, swim in the ocean after wrap—it was hard not to enjoy being there.

How are you practicing self-care these days?

My quarantine self-care like most, has included a lot of bread-making and Yoga with Adriene. I love structure in my days and filming really helped with that—having a list of where I had to go and when I had to be there. But time is so open now. I've been trying to get away from this idea of doing things because I think I should be doing them—that somehow they’ll make me into this better, fuller person. At the beginning of lockdown I set all these rules and schedules for myself—working out, learning another instrument, downloading Duolingo. But it would just lead to these unattainable goals and when I'd miss a day I would feel like I failed at something. I let myself start being okay with doing nothing. There shouldn't be any pressure in coming out of this time with something to show for it.

I've been doing small things like holding myself accountable to making my bed, going on a walk, knowing when I need to catch up with a friend or when I need to tell them I'll call them back even when I'm not busy. Self-care in quarantine has been to relieve myself of the pressure of coming out of this pandemic as someone different, or my "best self." Instead it's been learning to be more comfortable with this alone time--being happy with my own company.

Self-care in quarantine has been to relieve myself of the pressure of coming out of this pandemic as someone different, or my 'best self.'

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Meet Mia Healey

What is your must-have desert island beauty product and why? 

Lucas Paw Paw ointment! An iconic Aussie staple. It’s a lip balm that you can use for almost everything! Back in high school, it really felt like part of the uniform. I still take it with me everywhere. 

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different? 

Shelby and I are different in a lot of ways. I live a life with a lot more freedom than she does, and I don’t put the same pressure on myself to be so perfect; our family dynamics could not be more opposite. However, there are parts of her backstory that I resonate with. I understand what it feels like to be figuring out what you want with the fear of losing a part of your life, and I’ve lived with that feeling of pressure from people around you telling you how to behave. 

What is a new skill you picked up after filming The Wilds?

My ability to find comfort in uncomfortable situations…especially when it comes to being freezing cold or incredibly tired!

What is your favorite memory from set? 

For some reason when I ask myself that question, all of the table reads we did come to mind. There was something about all of these talented, creative people who became my best friends sitting around each other and working through a script that made me so happy.

How are you practicing self-care these days?

Self-care became really important during quarantine. I definitely felt a lot of anxiety at times. Learning to be kind to myself and find peace in moments of unrest became necessary, but it wasn’t easy. It’s important to treat yourself well and it felt hard to do that when I wasn’t exactly achieving very much while being locked inside my home. But I've learned to enjoy my own company, which is pretty special. 

Helena Howard

Meet Helena Howard

What's your desert island beauty product and why?

My desert island beauty product would have to be Biossance’s Vegan Rose Lip Balm—simply because even without being on a deserted island, our lips,(which are also part of our skin!) get cracked, dried, and weathered. So, imagine what it would be like being completely stranded on an island with extreme changes in temperature, no protection/shelter, and no idea how to keep yourself sustained or even hydrated.

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different?

I would say that Nora and I have many similarities. However, the one I’ve decided to highlight is our diverse sense of style. Nora and I are most at odds when it comes to how we “came up” in this world. Nora comes from a life of “old-money.” I do not, and have had to work very hard for what I have—and am still working hard.

New skill you picked up after filming The Wilds:

Deep breathing. In order to do certain scenes in the water, Reign, Sarah and I had to complete a series of water training courses, in which we learned how to go long periods in the water with our breaths held, and without oxygen.

What was your favorite on-set memory?

There were so many memories created during the making of this show...too many for me to choose a favorite!

How are you practicing self-care these days?

During this long and drawn-out time of isolation and distancing oneself from others, I've been taking care of myself in various ways. One of those ways is through the creation of art. It can be very grounding in times that feel unstable.

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Meet Reign Edwards

What is your must-have desert island beauty product?

Lip balm!

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different? 

I’m similar to my character in the sense that we are both are very determined people. I’d say we’re different in the way we go about our determination. Rachel tends to be more aggressive towards other people in the midst of her determination. I’m not as aggressive towards others with mine [LAUGHS].

What is a new skill you picked up after filming The Wilds?

The ability to sleep on a big rock in-between takes. We rode in Jeeps to and from basecamp a lot of the time while we were working on the beach, and on our last day filming at one of the beaches we (safely) had a little race to see who could get to the basecamp entrance first. That was pretty fun.

How are you practicing self-care these days?

Making it a priority to give time to things that make my spirit happy. Even if it’s for five minutes.

Erana The Wilds

Meet Erana James

What's your desert island beauty product and why?

I would say sunscreen definitely. Anything else would be pretty redundant when you are trying to keep alive, but if I can avoid nasty peeling skin, then that is a bonus. I use the Aēsop facial sunscreen mixed in with my daily moisturizer every morning.

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different?

Toni and I are similar in our strong willed nature. I know my mum probably would have described me as quite a feisty teenager, so I think Toni and I definitely have that in common. We share a strong sense of what is right and wrong, although Toni probably voices her opinions are little more aggressively!

New skill you picked up after filming The Wilds:

Deep breathing. In order to do certain scenes in the water, myself, Reign, and Sarah had to complete a series of water training courses in which we learned how to go long periods in the water with our breaths held, and without oxygen. 

What was your favorite on-set memory?

There were so many memories created during the making of this show. Too many for me to choose a “favorite.”

How are you practicing self-care these days?

Self-care can be practiced in many ways, as long as the person practicing it is receiving some form of care. With that being said, during this long and drawn-out time of isolation and distancing one’s self from all the others, I have been taking care of myself in various ways—one of those ways is through the creation of art. It can be very grounding in times that feel unstable.

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Meet Jenna Clause

What's your desert island beauty product?

My desert island beauty product would have to be sunscreen! I truly believe sun protection and days off from makeup are essential to preserve youthfulness and ensure healthy skin. It would also be essential if I had to bring a beauty product with me to a deserted island because the spray-on sunscreen that I use is flammable. With sun protection and a useful tool to start fires in the wilderness, I would say I wouldn’t pick any other beauty product to help me survive!

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different? 

Martha and I are both introverted, and a definite fierce and compassionate lover to our friends and loved ones. We are both animal lovers and definitely ones to seem in our own world at times. I would also say that Martha and I both aren’t afraid to be ourselves in front of others, and that includes our personality, fashion sense, and vibrant positivity.

Although we may seem similar on the outside, I would say our biggest difference is how we deal with things on the inside. Because she is a compassionate and empathetic person, that also comes with her curse of tolerating too much from the people around her. Whereas I would like to say I am not afraid to face things for myself as an adult.

A new skill you picked up after filming The Wilds:

A new skill I picked up after filming The Wilds was learning better self-care. I definitely learned how to keep my mind sharp by reading more, educating myself more on different subjects, and learning new ways to keep my body and my mind healthy.

What was your favorite on-set memory?

My favorite on set memory was the last day of filming episode nine, which was my episode! After we wrapped my episode, the crew cleared the gym floor and opened the bleachers on our set for a special presentation for everyone there that day. Several of the women and I talked about the meaning behind the Jingle Dress Dance and its significant importance to our people. The dancers and I danced in full regalia to a pow wow song while everyone watched in amazement. After we danced, we also did what is called a Round Dance, where we invited everyone on-set to join in and do this dance as well. The energy was vibrant and it's hard to explain the joy everyone experienced. To this day will remain to be my favorite memories!

How are you practicing self-care these days? 

I am practicing self-care in the form of the bettering my mental health. This pandemic has definitely taken a toll on everyone and it can be hard to remain positive and hopeful at times! So, I thought I would use all of the downtime to my advantage. I have been reading more fiction and non-fiction novels, educating myself on topics like animals, the mechanics of a car, histories of famous musicians and bands, and even brushed off my old law textbook from high school to refresh my memory! To me, learning new things and keeping my mind sharp has been a source of comfort, and I would definitely say it’s a form of self-care during quarantine.

The Wilds Shannon

Meet Shannon Berry

What’s your desert island beauty product?

Absolutely my Hourglass brow gel and pencil; I want my eyebrows to be seen from space. I’m also loving my freckles right now, so I just use my Nars concealer to cover up my occasional spots and I then dust over it with my Fluff bronzer. I feel like I haven’t got anything on!

How are you similar to your character on The Wilds? How are you different? 

I feel like we are similar in the way that we are both fixers. In my own life, if someone is in trouble I will jump very quickly to try and fix what’s wrong, or to keep peace. We are different in the way that Dot is entirely more carefree than I am, which is a quality I really admire about her and was so much fun to experience. 

A new skill you picked up after filming The Wilds:

I picked up a Texan accent! Now I annoy my friends back in Australia with it; I can do a terrible Matthew McConaughey impression.

What was your favorite on-set memory?

It didn't happen on-set, but Sarah and I had hotel rooms right next door to each other, so when we would get spray tans on the weekends we would pop round to each others rooms and hang out for the next four hours until we could wash it off. We would bake, make up ridiculous dances to songs, or eat fairy bread together. I miss her a lot! 

How are you practicing self-care these days? 

I found my love for reading again and completely tore through books. One of them was ‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara, which I highly recommend as it’s one of my favorites. It will break your heart in two.

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