Ally Maki Wrecked Interview
In 'Wrecked," Ally's character Jess is the fun, feisty, and hopeless romantic of the ensemble cast. The comedy centers around a group of plane crash survivors adapting to life on a remote island, and adjusting to a new world without their usual comforts of social media, WiFi, indoor plumbing, and Chipotle. The sophomore series can be best described as Lost meets "Gilligan's Island."
Her previous television credits include recurring role on popular series such as 'New Girl," '2 Broke Girls," 'NCIS," 'The Big Bang Theory," and '10 Things I Hate About You," as well as the role of -Min' in the 2013 film, 'Geography Club." In addition to acting, Ally was approached by Columbia Records upon arriving in Los Angeles to ultimately join the all-girl band 'The Valli Girls."
With the hilarious concept behind "Wrecked" and recognition they received for its first season, we are confident the show will continue to attract a wide audience of viewers tuning in each week. Looking forward to your thoughts!
Interview with Ally Maki
Question: What inspired your passion for acting?
Ally Maki: I have loved performing for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I would put on all kinds of silly shows for my mom in our living room where I would dance, sing and come up with all sorts of wacky characters. I knew the entire Disney catalogue from front to back! Since I was a relatively shy kid in social situations, performing and being on stage was the one place where I felt like I could 100% be myself without any judgment. It was such an outlet.
Question: How would you describe Wrecked?
Ally Maki: Wrecked is an ensemble comedy from the fresh, modern voices of The Shipley Brothers. It follows a group of diverse strangers that crash land on a deserted island and must learn to survive together without all the creature comforts from back home. It's an awesome blend of action, adventure, comedy and a little bit of horror. It definitely has something for everyone.
Question: What originally inspired you to audition for Wrecked?
Ally Maki: When I first got the script, I was instantly hooked from the first page. The Shipleys had created this fantastic and hilarious world from the underdog's perspective. Their vision was to tell the least qualified people's stories and that was fascinating to me. Beyond that, I loved that each character broke down any type of stereotype. This show really represents the diverse society that we live in and I'm so proud of that.
Question: Can you tell us about your character, Jess?
Ally Maki: Jess is the fun, feisty firecracker, and hopeless romantic of the group. While last season was really her journey in finding her inner strength, this year we got to delve in what she does now with that newly found confidence. It's so fun to play and finally see her take the reigns in her relationship with Todd. While not always perfect, Jess is constantly learning about herself, her sexuality and what it takes to be an independent woman.
Question: How are you similar to your character of Jess?
Ally Maki: I find so much of myself in Jess. She is going through the things every woman faces. Dating, finding her voice and her sexual identity. I really connect with all of that. Flashbacks of all my horrible first dates and relationships with guys that lasted too long all popped up during filming. The scene in the pilot where Todd and Jess are arguing about when to move in together is a conversation that I have had almost word for word with an ex. She is a total mess, but she is constantly evolving and learning from her mistakes. I love that every time she falls, she instantly picks herself up again and gets back into the trenches.
Question: What have you learnt about yourself whilst on the set for Wrecked?
Ally Maki: I learn something new about myself every day. It never stops. That is what I love most about this business is that you are constantly being put into new situations with people from all over the world. It really challenges me. There is something about living on your own in a new location, getting completely immersed in the culture that really changes a person. Fiji was totally representative of that. I remember coming back to LA after three months there and feeling overwhelmed by it all. The traffic, social media overload, the hustle. I had gotten used to the simple way of life there and the beauty of the Fijian people. It really reprioritizes what is most important in life.
Question: What's it like playing the role of Ikumi in Dear White People?
Ally Maki: I am so honored to be part of such a fantastic and groundbreaking show. These are the types of stories that really get me going and are vital to tell. Justin Simien has created this world really dissecting these micro aggressions that actually occur on college campuses. I think it's truly brilliant, hilarious and heartbreaking. Bringing the perspective of an Asian American woman into it is so meaningful for me. I have gotten so many messages from the community sharing their stories and their appreciation for Ikumi's mere existence in the crew. She is really trying to find her identity and where she fits in. I think the struggle of being Asian American is finding our voice and the strength to speak out. It's also not understanding what defines us culturally and brings us together. Ikumi is dealing with all of that. Hopefully they delve more into it next season.
Question: What do you enjoy most about filming Dear White People?
Ally Maki: Definitely bonding with the cast. That ensemble is some of the most talented and supportive group of creatives I have come along.
Question: How do you feel, when you watch yourself on the screen?
Ally Maki: I still get so nervous every time I watch myself! It is hard not to pick yourself apart over every single detail, especially when you know your mom and dad are watching. I don't think that feeling will ever go away.
Question: How can we follow your adventures, online?
Ally Maki: Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @allymaki!
Question: What's next, for you?
Ally Maki: I am actually delving into the world of writing which is so exciting for me. I am developing a project based on my family's history. It is such a passion project. I also just signed onto an awesome new project that hopefully I will be able to share with everyone soon.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Photo credits: Brett Erickson, Ryan West and Bobby Quillard.