The Wilds Season 1 ended on a massive cliffhanger, revealing that the eight teenage girl castaways in the “Dawn of Eve” experiment weren’t alone. There was also a set of eight teen guys, their “Twilight of Adam” counterparts. Among the cast of Season 2’s mostly fresh-faced newcomers is Aidan Laprete, who already has an established music career, releasing singles and touring since 2014. (He’s opened for heavyweights like Michael Bolton and Jack Johnson.) However, playing Henry on The Wilds is Laprete’s first big acting gig, and he has quite a few thoughts about the series, including what might come in Season 3.
Warning: Spoilers for The Wilds Season 2 follow. Laprete’s character Henry is the introverted goth kid of the group, prone to quoting My Chemical Romance and retreating into his headphones with brooding silence. His stepbrother and fellow castaway, Seth (Alex Fitzalan), is his polar opposite. Like Reign Edwards’ Rachel and Helena Howard’s Nora, introduced in Season 1, Henry and Seth are the only sibling pair among the castaways on their island. And that’s not the only thing the two duos have in common.
Rachel and Henry are each unaware their siblings, Nora and Seth, know the truth behind their respective plane crashes. The two groups aren’t castaways at all; they’re part of a giant experiment run by scientist Gretchen Klein, who is trying to prove that girls (the Dawn of Eve group) are better at creating a society and working together than the guys (the Twilight of Adam set).
But there’s one big difference between Nora and Seth. Nora is kind, a team player, and selfless. Seth is narcissistic and violent, which fans discovered early on when he attacked Henry and nearly drowned him. Henry’s long-held bad vibes about his step-sibling turned out to be even more correct than he realized when the rest of the group pieced together the monstrous and abusive behavior Seth’s been trying to hide. By the end of Season 2, Henry discovered he has a reason to live — to tell the world what a horror Seth really is.
Below, Laprete gives Elite Daily more details about Henry and Seth’s relationship, what it was like joining the hit show for its sophomore season, and what he hopes for a potential Season 3.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
ED: Tell me about your audition process for Season 2.
Aidan LaPrete: A friend of mine was in the first season, Toni’s ex-girlfriend (Bella Shepard). I checked out her episode, and I was like, “Wow, this is a really good show.” I auditioned in January; I found out that I had the part in February. A couple of weeks after that, we got on a plane to Australia.
ED: What was it like joining the show as a newcomer in Season 2?
AL: There was a feeling of nervousness and pressure to follow up the amazing work the girls did in Season 1. But it was a whole new cast, and we didn’t interact with the girls [during most of] shooting. We had our own bonding moments when we all got to set for the first day; we were able to click on our own. We all got along really quickly. It was just an amazing time.
ED: There are some very heavy, emotional scenes this season. How did you and your co-stars handle them as a group?
AL: As the stepbrother of Seth, Henry goes through a lot of emotions and loses himself while on the island. I was happy to dive into that; I’ve never been able to do that as an actor before. This is my first time developing a character and getting to go through a bunch of emotions and have an arc. It was a challenge, but we were all there pushing each other. It was nice to have these seven other boys who were there, supporting each other, as well as the girls, even though they weren’t on set. We went to them a lot for insight and advice. They had a lot of tough scenes in the first and second seasons.
ED: Is there any specific piece of advice the girls offered?
AL: Overall, they talked to us about how to deal with tough scenes and difficult dialogue. Seeing how they portrayed that so raw and accurately in the first season inspired us to do the same. Also, they would tell us how to keep warm because we were shooting on a beach, and it was like four in the morning, six in the morning, and it would be really cold. They were the first to tell us about these things called hot packs and space blankets, which they wrap you in when you’re really cold.
ED: Henry is so cynical and he has such a dark sense of humor. How did you get into that character to bring him to life?
AL: I listened to a lot of My Chemical Romance and All-American Rejects. He’s a very reclusive, introverted kid who keeps to himself and does his own thing. We were fortunate enough to have meetings with [writer] Sarah Streicher and [showrunner] Amy Harris before we started shooting, who gave us the real behind-the-scenes of these characters. I watched a lot of movies about emo kids, like Jennifer's Body and Suicide Room. But Henry has this other side of him where he was a Boy Scout in his past life; that was really interesting to portray having this emo side, but having this knowledge that becomes helpful while on the island, even if Henry does come off as a know-it-all and often says things at the wrong time.
ED: Do you think Henry suspected his stepbrother Seth had such darkness to him? Or was it something he only realized once everything unfolded on the island?
AL: Henry suspects something about Seth before they go to the island; he knows something is off. Someone who is like that, very personable and well-liked and needs to be liked, there’s something that’s kind of off. Going into the retreat, Henry has a jealous mentality toward Seth and doesn’t fully trust him.
ED: Season 2 leaves so much unanswered that fans hope will be explored in potential future seasons, such as how, exactly, Henry and Seth ended up getting sent on the retreat in the first place. What can you share about that?
AL: At the end of the show, you get an idea it was because of Seth. In the beginning, it was about Henry getting a grip on reality. The island was good for Henry; he learned about communication and teamwork. He’s forced to get out of his bubble, this mindset of darkness and keeping to himself and blocking everybody else out. He’s forced to talk to others and interact to survive. But when we find out what Seth is capable of, and he does this terrible thing, I would say that was more of a reason why we were sent to the island.
ED: If Season 3 does happen, what do you hope to see for Henry?
AL: I hope he comes out of his bubble a little more. By the end of Season 2, he’s found this new confidence, learned to trust his instincts, and be more caring. He’s a very caring person; he just has this emo personality where he feels he needs to block others off. I hope he finds a way to use his knowledge in a more appropriate matter than just yelling things out, which ends up causing more destruction, conflicts, and more nervousness in this already anxiety-driven environment.
ED: By the end of the season, the group size is doubled with the guys and girls together. Do you think any new romances will spark? And if so, do you think that could happen for Henry?
AL: There are many different theories as to what could happen. We're all on a group chat talking about what could happen. I think Henry having a significant other would be good for him and could keep him grounded. [Will he have a relationship with] one of the girls? I don’t know, I don’t think so. But maybe, who knows? We’ll see in the next season, if there’s another season.
The Wilds Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Prime Video.
Reporting by Lexi Williams.