In Wilderness, Liv and Will, played by Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, are a seemingly perfect British couple living a happy life in New York City.
Will’s charming personality and well-to-do background lead to his recruitment as head of events at a luxury Manhattan hotel, while Liv sacrifices her own journalistic ambitions to become the ideal wife.
Then, when Liv discovers Will’s infidelity, she takes advantage of their honeymoon road trip across the American West to plot her deadly revenge—juxtaposed with wildly beautiful landscapes of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.
The series is based on a book written by B.E. Jones, which sold out on Amazon.com almost instantly after the teaser trailer’s release on August 23. It features an updated Taylor’s Version of “Look What You Made Me Do” from her Reputation album.
So Yong Kim, known for directing independent films like Treeless Mountain and Lovesong, talks with Amazon about the new series that’s making a lot buzz.
See below for our extended Q&A session with So Yong Kim:
What is this series about?
It’s about Liv and the relationship with her husband, Will. She found out that he’s been cheating on her. Initially, she kicks him out, but then he comes back and wants to go on this road trip that was initially supposed to be their honeymoon. She agrees, and they go to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. She then imagines taking revenge on her husband. But I believe the story is about women—Liv, in this case–who is coming into terms with her own sense of identity and discovering who she is.
How did you become involved in this project?
My agent sent me the scripts for the first and second episodes, and I loved it. I met Marnie Dickens and Liz Kilgarriff [executive producers], and I thought it would be a fantastic collaboration with them.
You shot this series in a lot of beautiful locations. Do you have a favorite?
The Grand Canyon. It’s so vast and the part we got access in the southwestern section of the canyon that is untouched because it’s part of the First Nations [Native American] land and it was special for me to shoot there.
Do you have a signature as a director that you bring to every project you work on?
I like to focus on the point of view so that the audience connects to the characters. That’s my special interest because no matter if the character is “good” or “bad,” you can bring a certain amount of empathy, and that’s really important to me.
What was it like working with this group of actors?
It’s amazing. I mean, Jenna and Oliver are fantastic to work with. I feel like I’ve been quite spoiled because they are so dedicated and meticulous and talented on many different levels. I just now expect that from everybody going forward. It was a great privilege for me.
Is there a certain scene in the series that you’re proud of?
The Christmas Eve scene between Liv and Will when she discovers that he’s been cheating on her, we shoot that argument from the bathroom into the living room and then to the kitchen as one take. That really showed, to me, how invested in the characters and how they embody them. That was a spectacular scene to work with them on.
What was your reaction when you heard the book the series is based on had sold out on Amazon.com after the teaser dropped?
Really? Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! I love that. I didn’t know that the book had sold out so that’s great news.
Why should Prime Video subscribers watch ‘Wilderness’?
It’s a fantastic, thrilling, and emotional journey so it will hopefully knock their socks off!
Check out Season One of Wilderness, now available on Prime Video.
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