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Sophia Ali & Helena Howard Reveal What It Takes to Film The Wilds

During an exclusive chat with E! News, Sophia Ali and Helena Howard opened up about what it was like to film Prime Video's survivalist drama, The Wilds.

By Alyssa Ray Jan 23, 2021 8:00 PMTags
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The Wilds may be a TV show but it's still pretty intense to make.

For an exclusive chat with E! News, co-stars Helena Howard and Sophia Ali opened up about what it took to film the Prime Video survivalist drama. The Wilds follows a group of teenage girls as they try to survive on a deserted island after their plane crashed while heading to an empowerment retreat.

What the girls don't realize? They're actually a part of a social experiment, the Dawn of Eve. Still, the characters are put through the ringer as they fight off starvation, dehydration and mental health struggles.

Thus, it wasn't surprising when Helena and Sophia revealed that it took quite a bit to transform them into the Unsinkable Eight.

"I had like a hairpiece and I was always in not very much clothes and I have tattoos, so they had to cover it up," Sophia detailed to E! News. "So, it would take about an hour for my whole process."

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As she continued, Sophia recalled how the makeup team would place on fake sunburns and utilize a glue-like serum to "dry out" their lips.

"It was so nasty tasting too," Sophia shared. "In the beginning, it kind of made us closer because it was something we were all dealing with."

Over time, Sophia and her co-stars "didn't really actually mind it." Per the former Grey's Anatomy actress, she loved the "nitty-gritty" aspect of the show.

Apparently, as filming went on, the cast needed "less and less" makeup "because the beach did actually have an effect on [them]."

Not to mention, the physicality required for filming this show was an eye-opening experience. 

Prime Video

"It definitely wasn't what I thought it would be," Helena noted on filming season one. "It was a lot of sand in the eyes—big chunks of sand. The weather conditions, you know, you just go with it. So, if it's cold, it's cold. If it's really hot, it's really hot. It doesn't matter if you're on your period or if you have diarrhea, you get through it and you go."

One stunt that stood out to Helena? The ocean scene where Nora, Rachel (Reign Edwards) and Leah (Sarah Pidgeon) swam out to the wreckage. For safety reasons, they filmed this scene in a wave pool.

Yet, according to Helena, it was still "really intense."

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"It's strenuous on your body, you know, 'cause you first have to build up even being able to be out in the water," she recalled. "So, we did a lot of training in the swimming pools out in New Zealand."

As Helena shared with us, the three actresses "had to be certified to even be able to be out there." We love when safety is a priority!

Sophia expressed a similar sentiment as she recalled certain scenes needing "more athleticism."

"And, in a lot of ways, I pushed myself further than I thought I could go," she reflected. "I realized a lot…I didn't even really know how far I could go."

On going to and from the ocean, Sophia said it was like running the length of a football field.

Sophia highlighted, "I think the elements of it added this level of excitement to what we were doing."

We'll be watching The Wilds through a whole new lens now.

Prime Video

The Wilds is streaming now on Prime Video.

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