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Reign Edwards, star of 'The Wilds' Season 2

Reign Edwards Teases Rachel's "More Vulnerable" Story In The Wilds Season 2

Season 1's cliffhanger is going to have a massive impact on her character.

Bret Lemke

At first glance, The Wilds looks like a cross between a high school drama and Lost: Eight teenage girls survive a plane crash on a deserted island and have to become a society to remain alive in the wilderness. But by the end of Season 1, which came out on Prime Video in December 2020, viewers discovered the plot was an elaborate ruse, an experiment meant to test the girls with dangerous (and potentially fatal) stakes. And now, with The Wilds Season 2 coming May 6, actor Reign Edwards shares intel about how the new episodes may shape up.

Edwards’ character Rachel had a rough go of it in Season 1, but at least she had company in her fraternal twin sister, Nora (Helena Howard). In the season’s early episodes, the sisters formed a central pair around which the others orbited. The two couldn’t be more different; Rachel is a competitive diver while Nora is a quiet scholar. Flashbacks to their pre-crash life hinted at some rivalry between them, but more than anything, they showed how deeply they cared for each other: Nora became protective over Rachel as she experienced an eating disorder, and Nora dumped her college boyfriend, Quinn, because Rachel disapproved of him.

“I think there’s such a powerful love story in siblinghood,” Edwards tells Elite Daily. “That was something that drew me to [Rachel’s] overall story.”

But when the show revealed the group was unwittingly part of a social experiment, it also divulged that Nora was keeping a profound secret from Rachel — she knew the truth about their situation. As viewers eventually learned, the whole island experience was orchestrated by a woman named Gretchen Klein, who dubbed the experiment “The Dawn of Eve.” Gretchen and Nora met after Quinn passed away due to a frat hazing situation gone horribly wrong. (Gretchen’s son was held responsible for Quinn’s passing, and this presumably sparked her interest in seeing whether girls can handle life-or-death situations better than guys.) It was revealed that throughout Season 1, Nora was spying and reporting on the girls’ activities to Gretchen.

One of the other castaways, Leah (Sarah Pidgeon), began to put the pieces together, but before she could tell anyone what she’d learned, Rachel was attacked by a shark. Nora, frantic to save her sister, threw herself into the ocean and then disappeared. Based on flash-forwards throughout Season 1, audiences know Rachel survived the attack. But there were no signs Nora made it out alive, and according to Edwards, what happened to Nora “will be a mystery throughout” Season 2.

Meanwhile, the new twist for Season 2 is that the girls aren’t alone. Somewhere, on another island, there are eight boys, the other half of the experiment called “The Twilight of Adam.” Though fans don’t know much about this second group, the “Dawn/Twilight” titles suggest the boys aren’t going to have an easy time on their island.

Below, Edwards gives Elite Daily more details about Season 2 and shares insight into Rachel’s mindset.

Amazon Studios

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Elite Daily: What first drew you to the character of Rachel?

Reign Edwards: For me, it was about the fact that Rachel was a love story, but it wasn’t necessarily a romantic love story; it’s a sister love story. And then, on top of that, just the grit that Rachel has. She was a challenge of a character that I wanted to take on, so I was excited to be able to play her.

ED: What aspects of The Wilds Season 2 are you looking forward to fans seeing the most?

RE: I'm looking forward to them seeing a different side of Rachel. They’ve seen this hard, gritty side of her. In Season 2, you’ll get to see her more vulnerable side.

ED: Do you know the show’s twists from the start of filming, or do you have to figure things out as they unfold, just like your character?

RE: We have to figure it out as they unfold. We don’t know a lot before we start; we’ll get bits and pieces for our personal storyline, but we won’t know the whole trajectory. It’s a puzzle, but the showrunners will give us pieces, just in case it helps our performance.

ED: Fans know Rachel ends up losing a hand, presumably in the shark attack. Knowing she’s struggled with perfectionism and body image in the past, how can fans expect your character to cope with this trauma?

RE: She really leans on the other girls this season, which is something you didn’t see her do last season. She forms a bond with all the girls on the island.

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ED: Nora gave up her first love for Rachel. If Rachel was in love with somebody, would she have given them up if Nora disapproved?

RE: Probably not. Rachel has a lot to work on; she had become this machine of a person because of her sport. I don’t think the version of Rachel we met in Season 1 [would have been able to do that].

ED: Do you think that’s why Nora was OK with keeping the truth of her involvement in The Dawn of Eve a secret?

RE: No, I don’t think Nora does it maliciously. I think Nora didn’t know it would get as crazy as it did. In Rachel’s Season 1 flashback, when she found diving, the thing that could give her parents this beautiful lens to look at her through, she kind of lost herself. There’s a part of Rachel only Nora knows that she’s fighting to get back. I think that that’s what drives Nora for what she does, not necessarily anything ill-willed.

ED: Season 2 brings in a whole new group of characters. In your opinion, how does the addition of the boys to the cast change the show's dynamic?

RE: I think that the boys coming in is important. I think it helps to highlight what the female experience is by understanding what the male experience is. But I think it’s important to see what happens to young men to understand how they become pieces of the patriarchy. That isn’t necessarily the greatest, but it also speaks of all the things that young men go through that aren’t good either. Before anybody becomes a monster, they were once a kid too, with hopes and dreams. So I think it's important.

ED: Do you think The Wilds will be renewed for Season 3? If so, where do you see it going?

RE: I would love for there to be a Season 3. I think that’s in the hands of the fans, but it would be amazing if we got Season 3. I am interested to see how Rachel handles things with the boys, considering what her past has been like and what she’s overcome. There’s a trajectory I would love to see her continue, evolve, and become the leader she always wanted to be, even when she was going about it the wrong way.

The Wilds Season 2 arrives on Prime Video with all episodes on May 6, 2022.