From the start, the two stars of Netflix’s #1 film The School For Good and Evil walked onto the set of their film with one thing in common: the same first name, albeit spelled differently. Sofia Wylie and Sophia Anne Caruso revealed to POPSUGAR that the cast and crew kept them direct throughout filming by using their last names. “We went by last name,” says Caruso, laughing.
“I think with inner trust comes a lot more strength, and you realize that while you may be different from the people around you, you still belong.”
Wylie and Caruso have something else in common: their connection to one of their School For Good and Evil characters’ greatest plights. In the film, Wylie and Caruso play Agatha and Sophie, childhood best friends who uncover the secret, fantastic school of good and evil. When fairytale-obsessed Sophie plans to enroll in the School for Good and escape her miserable small town of Gavaldon, Agatha (who the townspeople mistake for a witch) becomes enmeshed in her plan. But the girls accidentally end up in the “wrong” schools, with Sophie going to the bad school and Agatha going to the good school.
The two promising aspiring actresses found themselves alongside the likes of Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh and Laurence Fishburne on the set of the film, so they know a thing or two about being a fish in the water, just like their characters. “[I’ve always felt] a semblance of imposter syndrome,” Wylie explains moments when she feels like she doesn’t belong and is excited to be there. But I also ask myself: ‘How did I get here?’ I don’t feel like I belong because all these people are so talented, or they’re so beautiful, or they’re so incredible, or so accomplished.” It was a way for Wylie to relate to her character. She explains, “She really, really doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere, whether it’s in Gavaldon or the School for Good.”
“I think a lot of us often feel like we’ve been dealt a crappy hand,” adds Caruso. “I think that’s what Sophie thinks. She thinks she was just dealt the wrong cards… we all kind of know that.” But much like Agatha and Sophie realize that they don’t let their circumstances or how people perceive them define them, Wylie and Caruso have found ways that to overcome intrusive feelings of inadequacy and anxiety that we all experience. “I think there’s a lot more strength that comes from inner trust, and you realize that even though you’re different from the people around you, you still belong,” says Wylie.
That mindset also helped the pair keep their cool while appearing alongside Washington (Professor Dovey) and Theron (Lady Lesso). “I just had to put it behind me,” Caruso says of the nervousness she felt working with her accomplished castmates. “They didn’t make it that difficult – especially Laurence [who plays the School Master] . . . We’re both New Yorkers. . . So [he] and I was pretty cool together straight away.” Caruso had to dig deep and embrace the idea that she belonged, especially in scenes where her character has power over Theron’s Lady Lasso. “I had to quickly get over how powerless I felt over Charlize and put it behind me and just be with her in the moment.”
In the end, the girls were able to “be in the moment” enough to shoot the film together, like the moments they’d wolfed down so many candy bars they could hardly bear to wear their constricting costumes . “We just laughed our heads off because we were so uncomfortable,” says Wylie. No wonder they’re both dying for a sequel to School For Good and Evil.
You can experience Wylie and Caruso’s camaraderie on screen in unexpected ways in The School For Good and Evil, now streaming on Netflix.