Written By Jill sheets
Ally Maki is not only a talented actress, but she is also a talented singer. She plays Jess on CBS’s show Wrecked. One of her first jobs she ever had was on the Disney TV show That’s So Raven. Read on and learn more about this amazing actress, five things people may not know about her, and where you can find her on social media.
R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start acting.
A: I grew up in a small town near Seattle, Washington called Kirkland. I have always been in love with performing ever since I was young. I was kind of a shy girl, so performing was an outlet for me. I started out kind of doing a lot of musical theater, voiceovers, and tech work in my hometown. When I was 14, I ended up being scouted by a manger and I was supposed to go out to Los Angeles for a summer and try it out (auditioning and that kind of stuff). I ended up staying in LA and I have been out here ever since.
R: Tell us about Wrecked and your character Jess.
A: Wrecked is an awesome ensemble comedy on CBS every Tuesday night at 10:30. It is an amazing mix of horror, comedy, action, adventure…well, everything! I feel like it’s unlike anything people have seen. It really has something for everyone. My character Jess is fun, feisty, and a wear-her-head-on-her-shoulders kind of girl, but a little of a hopeless romantic and sometimes a big hot mess. She has been a relationship with Todd, played by Will Greenberg, for seven years. The first season was sort of her diving in and figuring out her relationship and what she wanted; now she is in this high-stake situation of being stranded on the island. The second season is really fun because now Jess and Todd have figured their groove out and so they are working more as a team this year. It has been really fun to play with that and there was a big wedding last week. That was really cool.
R: What was the audition process for the show?
A: The audition process was really easy in a sense, which is not normal at all. At the time I was attached to another show for a year and a half, but devastatingly it did not get picked up at the last minute. I read the script and was instantly hooked from the first page. The Shipley brothers have this amazingly fresh, modern take and this specific new sense of humor and I really wanted to be part of this project. I did not think they would go in an Asian-American direction because of where we were at in the industry. The casting director, Julie Aston (who I worked with before) asked me to come in because TBS and the producers wanted to be more diverse and were looking at anybody and everybody. They wanted people who are these roles and I was like “whatever,” so I went in and did my thing. A month later my agent called at about 10pm and said “You have to go to Puerto Rico tomorrow, you’ve booked Wreck.” It was a life changing moment for me.
R: What has been your favorite episode so far?
A: Oh my gosh, there are so many. I think there was an episode last week, ‘The Cleans versus The Dirties’, it was just so weird and wacky, with that out-of-the-box Wrecked kind of humor. We had so much fun filming–kind of a nightmare, but in the best way. We were on a boat, there was a food fight…it was to see the dichotomy of the cleans versus dirties and what you do when you could take a shower for the first time in months. It was really fun.
A: I do! There is an amazingly huge one that I cannot share yet and I cannot wait until I can. I am next delving into the world of writing and a developing project based on my family history–a passion project for me. It is all brand new and I am excited about it.
R: What are five things people may not know about you?
A: Five things! Number one, I am a total homebody. All my friends know that they can probably just find me on my couch, snacking and watching TV. Number two, I was in a really embarrassing all-girl band when I was 14 years old called the Valli Girls. Number three, the first job I ever did in L.A. was That’s So Raven. Number four, I am a little too obsessed with Snapchat filters. Number five, if I wasn’t an actress, I always dreamed of being a journalist. When I was younger, I was a writing intern for US Weekly for a bit.
R: Can people hear the music from the all-girl band?
A: HA! I am not going to tell you how but if you dig (I always tell people to please not Google it) it is out there. One of the most embarrassing days of my life was when they had curled my hair for a photo shoot and I looked like a poodle. I still will never live that day down, I went into the bathroom and cried because I thought I looked like a poodle and still have a fear of looking like one today.
R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?
A: Most definitely my mom and my grandmother, because they basically raised me. I am so lucky to be raised by amazingly strong women who supported me along my journey. Especially my grandmother, who was in a Japanese-American interment camp when she was sixteen years old, so her teen years were basically spent incarcerated in this camp. She has this strength unlike any woman I have ever met. She never let that define her in a sense. She was my number one advocate besides my mother, always encouraging me to chase my dreams.
R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?
A: Oh, gosh! The greatest thing I learned and would want to tell my fourteen year old self is to embrace the things that you think are weird about yourself. When you get older, those are going to be the most interesting and fantastic things. When I was younger, I just couldn’t understand why I looked different and couldn’t embrace the fact that I was Asian-American. Now I think it is so cool to be a little different and unique. I grew up with all big brothers and was the one girl without a sister. I felt so insecure about it. But now I love that I have brothers because I have that feisty, take charge of your own life kind of spirit that I learned from them.
R: Other that this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?
A: You are really stumping me here. I might have to say this question only because I never been stumped so hard where I can’t come up with an answer. So you may have set a new record.
A: Yes. I am on twitter @allymaki, instagram @allymaki and youtube.com/xoallymaki. I have not posted on YouTube in a while, but I do have some fun stuff up there.
R: It there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
A: I would say especially to the girls out there to keep pursuing those big dreams and live large. And also a big thank you to Relate Magazine!
R: Thank you so much. It was a honor and you have a great rest of the day.
A: Thank you and you too.