The Wilds’ Erana James And Mia Healey React To Fans Getting Behind Toni And Shelby’s Romance, Tease ‘Joy’ In Season Two

When the first season of The Wilds dropped on Amazon Prime in late 2020, fans quickly gravitated toward a sweet romance plotline amidst the island drama. Erana James’ spitfire Toni and Mia Healey’s straight-laced Shelby found love in a hopeless place and the LGBTQ+ community rallied right behind their relationship, making for one of the most talked-about elements of Season 1. As a new season arrives, the actresses behind Shoni are sharing their reaction to the fandom. 

CinemaBlend spoke to Mia Healey and Erana James about The Wilds ahead of Season 2 becoming bingeable with an Amazon Prime subscription. In Healey’s words: 

I don't think either of us were expecting it to go that way. So honored. We're really, really honored and grateful. This is a community that means a lot to me and that I really respect and admire. So having people from that community show support for the show and really gravitate towards these characters just made me feel like 'Yes!' Happy, happy.

When I previously spoke to the stars nearly a year and a half ago, Healey spoke about Shelby’s particularly rough journey and all the “pressure” she places on herself. The actress shared her hopes for The Wilds Season 2, saying that she was rooting for her character to make decisions that not only “help her,” but make her “feel good,” and thankfully the new season will continue to grow Shoni’s blossoming romance. Erana James shared her take on returning to Toni in love for the upcoming season: 

Watching these characters be so joyful. You know, they've had a hard run of it and so getting to watch them lean into each other so much is so fun for me. I love watching it and it makes me smile.

When the actors stepped on the set of the series, they had no idea they would be part of a beloved LGBTQ+ romance. James cited that she and Healey became “very good friends” off camera and found a “natural chemistry” with one another. The pair even had an “inkling” that Shelby and Toni might fall for each other before receiving the scripts for episode 6 of The Wilds Season 1. 

Toni and Shelby have a bit of an enemies to lovers relationship, with Shelby annoying Toni for her deeply Christian upbringing and Shelby feeling uncomfortable about how out, proud, and sexual Toni is. After sharing a passionate, but argumentative dynamic on the island, they begin to open up to each other and in one particular high of the season, Shelby kisses Toni and their relationship is born. When teasing Season 2, Healey continued with these words: 

Those moments of joy are just unmatched. They're just so pure and beautiful and wonderful to film and wonderful to see and it's just, they deserve it, you know? These girls deserve that.

Sounds like the honeymoon phase will be in full effect with these two. On Instagram Live, the pair have been asked if they are dating in real life. Healey once answered “maybe a little bit,” but it looks like they are truly just great friends and an iconic duo in real life. Check them out: 

We’re certainly intrigued about how Shoni will develop in Season 2 and beyond, as the girls continue to try and survive on the Lost-inspired mysterious island, revealed to be a social experiment at the end of Season 1. The Wilds Season 2 will be available to binge on Amazon Prime this Friday, May 6. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.