The two stars of Netflix’s latest No. 1 movie, “The School For Good and Evil,” walked onto the set of their film with something in common from the very start: the same first name, albeit spelled differently. Sofia Wylie and Sophia Anne Caruso revealed to POPSUGAR that the cast and crew kept them straight throughout filming by using their last names. “We went by last names,” Caruso says, laughing.
“I think with inner confidence comes much more strength, and you realize that, even though you might be different than the people you’re around, you still do belong.”
Wylie and Caruso have something else in common: their connection with one of the most integral plights of their “School For Good and Evil” characters. In the movie, Wylie and Caruso play Agatha and Sophie, childhood best friends who uncover the secret, fantastical School For Good and Evil. When fairytale-obsessed Sophie plots to enroll in the School for Good and escape their miserable small town of Gavaldon, Agatha (believed to be a witch by the townsfolk) gets roped into her scheme. But the girls inadvertently end up in the “wrong” schools with Sophie attending the school for Evil and Agatha in the School for Good.
The two promising up-and-coming actresses found themselves brushing shoulders with 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 feeling like a fish out of water, just like their characters. “[I’ve always felt] a semblance of imposter syndrome,” Wylie explains of moments when she feels like she doesn’t fit in. “For a lot of my life, and with different projects I do, I’ll always go into it, and I’m so excited to be there. But I’m also like, ‘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.” In that way, Wylie could relate to her character. She explains, “She really, really does not feel like she belongs anywhere, whether that was in Gavaldon or the School for Good.”
“I think a lot of us often feel like we’ve been dealt a crappy hand,” Caruso adds. “I think that’s what Sophie thinks. She thinks she’s just been dealt the wrong cards . . . we all kind of relate to that.” But much like Agatha and Sophie realize they can’t be defined by their circumstances or how people perceive them, Wylie and Caruso have found ways to overcome the intrusive feelings of inadequacy and fear we all experience. “I think with inner confidence comes much more strength, and you realize that, even though you might be different than the people you’re around, you still do belong,” Wylie says.
That mindset also helped the pair keep their cool while acting alongside Washington (Professor Dovey) and Theron (Lady Lesso). “I kind of just had to put it behind me,” Caruso says of any nerves 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 were immediately pretty chill together.” Caruso had to dig deep and embrace the idea that she belonged, especially in scenes where her character holds power over Theron’s Lady Lasso. “I had to quickly get over how powerless I felt with Charlize and put it behind me and just be in the moment with her.”
In the end, the girls were able to “be in the moment” enough to have a blast filming the movie together, like in the moments when they’d scarfed down so many chocolate bars, they could barely tolerate wearing their constrictive costumes. “We were just laughing our butts off because we were so uncomfortable,” Wylie says. It’s no wonder they’re both eager for a “School For Good and Evil” sequel.
You can watch Wylie and Caruso’s camaraderie play out on screen in unexpected ways in “The School For Good and Evil,” streaming now on Netflix.