Mia Healey on the Hit Amazon Series and Erana James

I’m especially excited about this new edition of Collider Ladies Night for a number of reasons. First off, I’m obsessed with the new Amazon series The Wilds. It debuted on Prime Video in early December and follows a group of young woman stranded on a deserted island. Not only is there a fascinating mystery at play, but the show also features a downright stellar ensemble including our Ladies Night guest, Mia Healey.

So yes, I was beyond thrilled to talk about a show I fell so hard for with Healey, but the other exciting thing about this conversation is that it marks the very first episode of Collider Ladies Night that puts the spotlight on someone getting their first screen credit. If you’ve seen all of The Wilds this probably won’t come as much of a surprise given the raw talent on display as Healey navigates Shelby’s arc, but she was lucky enough to book the show soon after drama school. Here’s how she put it:

“It was early on, and I’m so grateful for that. It was very surprising, just fresh out the gate. I think I just came out of drama school, all guns blazing, just so eager and excited. And thankfully this job, which has just been the best job, landed. The timeline was probably around a few months of auditioning and working as a receptionist. That I really loved. But then after the pilot, before Season 1, that’s when I was doing all of the auditioning that every actor experiences”

Mia Healey in The Wilds
Image via Amazon Studios

So yes, ultimately The Wilds did get a full season order from Amazon, but there was a fairly sizable gap between filming the pilot episode and then jumping into Season 1 proper. Healey explained, “We filmed the pilot in September of 2018. So we flew in in August 2018, and then we filmed Season 1 in September 2019.” Going into the pilot episode, Healey admitted she didn’t know much about what was really going on with Shelby. “There was something about her, because she was so different to me, and she becomes a lot more like me throughout the series which is kind of funny.” It wasn’t until they got the full season go-ahead that she got a clear picture of the challenges that Shelby faces, and when it came time to film those key beats for the character, boy did Healey seize that opportunity.

From the viewer perspective, it appears as though Healey tackled the role with the utmost confidence and understanding of her craft through and through, but she did note that the experience came with a learning curve. So going forward, what new tool in her acting toolkit, so to speak, can Healey credit to playing Shelby Goodkind?

“One thing that Shelby taught me as an actor is playing the truth in scenes that [is] unspoken, because for so much of the series, there were things going on in her life and in her head that were not expressed in the script because she was hiding a lot of secrets. So what I learned from playing her is being able to play those nuances and those demons that she’s got in the back of her mind, but she won’t let show. And I think it’s very easy when auditioning to be like, ‘I know that she’s got a secret and I’m gonna try and play that so that the casting directors can see that,’ or whatever it is. But it was a really good learning lesson to be able to play a character who’s hiding so much, but still going through so much the entire time. Once we had gone to Season 1, I knew the general arc of her story and what she’d gone through and been going through on the island. So being able to internalize that and not play it is something that I’ll take into all my jobs from now on.”

Erana James and Mia Healey in The Wilds
Image via Amazon

Given how well that already comes through in Healey’s work in Season 1 one of The Wilds, the thought of Healey honing that skill further is bound to make her even more of a powerhouse in Season 2. It’s really something else to see someone burst onto the scene with such stellar work right out the gate. Not only does it bode well for the quality of The Wilds going forward, but it’s also a sure sign that Healey’s name is going to be one well worth knowing well beyond it.

If you’d like to hear more about Healey’s journey to The Wilds, what it was like working on her first big set, some Season 2 teases and more, you can catch our full conversation in the video at the top of this article!

And if you’ve yet to catch her work in The Wilds, what are you waiting for? Season 1 of the show is streaming on Amazon right now. And be warned, you’ll probably need to carve out a good chunk of time to watch it because once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

The Cast of The Wilds
Image via Amazon

Mia Healey:

  • 00:45 – When Healey first realized that she had to be an actor.
  • 02:17 – Why Healey was busy rewatching old favorites in 2020; the new 2020 Hulu series that she loved.
  • 03:17 – When Healey pictured herself “making it,” what exactly did she picture? Was it becoming a big movie star or flourishing in a specific genre?
  • 04:36 – What is it that draws Healey to dramas above all else?
  • 05:57 – Does Healey prefer to be able to relate to her characters?
  • 07:07 – The invaluable support Healey received from her parents while pursuing her dream.
  • 08:43 – Booking The Wilds right after drama school; how much time was there between filming the pilot and filming Season 1 officially?
  • 09:52 – How much did Healey know about Shelby when filming the pilot episode?
  • 10:44 – What happened after they filmed the pilot; why that period of time taught her patience.
  • 11:56 – What it was like auditioning in LA for three months after filming The Wilds pilot; her biggest takeaway from experiencing the audition grind.
  • 14:20 – The Wilds is Healey first screen credit; what surprised her most about the production process?
  • 15:43 – Healey on being drawn to the writing process.
  • 16:40 – What it was like deciphering a call sheet for the very first time.
  • 17:35 – The value of being part of an experienced ensemble while getting her first screen credit.
  • 18:38 – Of everyone in The Wilds ensemble, whose process is most similar to Healey’s?
  • 19:43 – What Healey learned about her craft by playing Shelby.
  • 21:20 – What’s the biggest difference between the Shelby Healey brought to her audition and the Shelby we see in the show?
  • 22:39 – What aspects of Shelby were easiest for Healey to connect with and what qualities required more thought and exploration?
  • 24:11 – The value of having an open dialogue with the writers while developing Shelby’s arc; did that kind of collaborative experience give Healey the itch to write herself?
  • 26:15 – How many times has Healey been asked if she can survive on a deserted island; what’s a seemingly little thing that would do Healey in in that kind of situation?
  • 28:04 – Healey talks about going bungee jumping with Erana James.
  • 29:47 – Spoiler Warning for The Wilds: Healey discusses what it was like going through the bald cap process and the behind-the-scenes requirements for Shelby’s teeth.
  • 32:50 – Healey on what it was like for her and James when they first found out about Shelby and Toni’s relationship.
  • 33:53 – Of everything Shelby goes through, what was the most challenging for Healey to film?
  • 35:20 – How Healey recovers from doing tougher scenes when she leaves set.
  • 36:40 – Healey discusses The Wilds Season 2 – when did she first find out about the renewal, does she know when filming begins and what does she know about Shelby’s arc going forward?
  • 39:03 – Was Healey thrilled that she didn’t have to fake vomit in Episode 6?
  • 40:34 – What Healey is most eager to explore more in Season 2.
  • 41:25 – Random questions begin! Find out what meal Healey would want to eat over and over, if she collects anything, if she has any tattoos, and her biggest fear overcome.

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