Rachel Griffiths On The Wilds Season 2 And Preferring TV To Film - Exclusive Interview

Australian actress Rachel Griffiths is best known for her roles in "Muriel's Wedding," "The Rookie," and "Six Feet Under," but, fans of Prime Video's hit series "The Wilds" know her as the show's villain Gretchen Klein. Season 1 of the TV drama centered around a group of teenage girls trying to survive on a deserted island after a plane crash. While they think landing on the island was an accident, they're actually subjects of a social experiment being run by Gretchen Klein. Season 2 of "The Wilds" will be available starting May 6, and the story only gets more intense for new and returning characters.

During an exclusive interview with The List, Griffiths discussed her role in the series. Season 2 gave her a chance to dive even deeper into her character's motivations and show all her different sides. Griffiths also shared how she approaches her acting and why she finds being in TV more fulfilling than film.

How Rachel Griffiths dug deeper into her character this season

What would you say is the most interesting thing about your character in "The Wilds" for you?

It's exploring that crazy thing of people who really believe they're doing the right thing. They're driven by this higher purpose that they believe in so passionately that they really find a way to not morally reckon with the collateral that they cause to real people's lives. We see people like that all over the world at the moment, in all positions of power or in the media or people who own the media, different media companies. It's bad; it's trying to reckon with how can you f*** up the world so badly and look in the mirror and think you're doing great.

Do you feel that she changed at all from Season 1 to Season 2?

The gift of the second season is you've established the characters — the writers know the actor that's playing it. They can see how they're going to handle certain situations. They've got a sense of where they can take a character and whether or not the actor can do it. Every second season, it feels like the characters are richer because that is the joy of limited series television, that you can never get in a movie. A movie would've been the first two episodes of "The Wilds," and that's the only Gretchen you would've ever got to see. In these [eight to ten]-episode shows, you can keep putting the character under different pressures, or you put them with different people. That brings out a different side of themselves.

That's why audiences love these shows so much because the writers can really dig down into deep characterization, and it's a joy as an actor to play. It's why I went into television. I was really frustrated with how limited your scale is in most films that you get to do. In television, you get these two-page speeches and a huge variety of opportunities to show different colors. I never limit ... every actor has a box of pencils. Some actors do only have 12, and they may be brilliant playing those 12. I like to think I'm maybe a 48, maybe not 72; Jennifer Lawrence probably has 72. 

I think I've got a good 48, and I never limit them. I never say, "Oh, this job, I'm only using these colors." As soon as the scene has the opportunity to go, "I'm going to use this really nasty yellow." It can seem surprising, but I always turn up with the full range.

"The Wilds" Season 2 premieres on Prime Video on May 6, 2022.