We’d Love to Be Stuck on a Desert Island With ‘Wrecked’ Star Ally Maki

Fresh from filming in Puerto Rico for TBS’s new shipwrecked comedy “Wrecked,” Ally Maki is making a name for herself as an Asian actress in white-washed Hollywood.

Ally stars as Jess Kato on the show, and the role was practically written for her. Described by Ally as “fun, wholesome, and sweet,” she’s also dating kind of a douchebag. Haven’t we all. But through this turbulent relationship, she becomes even stronger and ready to come into her own.

“Wrecked” for Ally is more than just a comedy about a stranded strangers on an island. The show was an opportunity for Ally to get outside the box Hollywood has placed her in, and she’s changing things for the better, one role at a time.

What are your must have fashion pieces? Your style is heavily inspired by that beachy/island aesthetic, what are some summer items that complete your summer wardrobe? 

I love jean shorts, they are the best staple. I always wear Levi jean shorts, they’re so comfy, and give off relaxed vibes. Also cheap sunglasses! I’m obsessed with them because I think they say a lot about your personality. Also a baseball hat. I love wearing hats if I don’t feel like putting on a ton of makeup.

Your character also wears super beachy-chic clothing on the show “Wrecked,” do you have some input on your character’s fashion?

We actually did! I’m a lot like my character in so many ways. It was also really awesome to be able to collaborate with our designer. Being able to have that much input on what Jess wears made it feel really comfortable because it made it feel real. Jess’s clothes were like things I would wear in everyday life.

Many people are making the comparison of “Wrecked” to “Lost,” which was such an iconic TV show during it’s run. Are the comparisons accurate? How does the show portray being stranded differently than the drama of “Lost”?

The overall synopsis of the show is drawn from that but I feel like “Wrecked” is definitely its own thing. I honestly feel like it’s not like “Lost” at all. It’s funnier, and has its own basis which is different from “Lost.” More of its own being, its own form of comedy. If you’re a “Lost” fan, and you like “Wrecked’s” similarity to “Lost,” hopefully that will draw you in.

“Gilligan’s Island” was another iconic show centered around being stranded on a deserted island. Is “Wrecked” closer to “Gilligan’s Island” than “Lost” because of the comedy involved

That always people’s first reaction to the show. My mom and dad always say, “Oh! Your show is just like Gilligan’s Island!”, but I hate to admit that I’ve honestly never seen it. Yes, it takes place on a beach, but I don’t believe its like that sort of show.

What is your character Jess like on the show? Is she similar or different to who you are? Were there any moments while filming that you could relate to her?

100%. Jess is that fun, sweet, wholesome character on the show. She’s dating Todd, which is another character on the show, and they have been together for seven years but he is a bit of a douchebag. Their relationship is really tumultuous and dramatic, but I really relate to her for that. I understand that because I’ve had ex-boyfriends that kind of treated me like that. I can relate to her also because she’s just a young girl in her 20’s trying to figure it all out, you know? She wants to be with this man but she also just wants to be herself. The show kind of follows her as she goes through these strong independent moments, and there’s definitely a lot of twists and turns for her. I kind of relate her to like JoJo on the Bachelorette. Chad is definitely like Todd, if you have like ever seen that. 

Lately, it seems that Hollywood has been catching a lot of heat for not being diverse and inclusive of minorities. As an Asian American actress, what is it like to represent this minority? Does that affect how you feel about Hollywood?

I’m so honored to be able to play this role. What originally drew me into this role and the show was that my character had no stereotypes, and that’s really important to me. It’s sad to feel like I’m not represented in Hollywood. We’re such a melting pot now, and I really believe everyone deserves to feel like they are somewhat represented. It’s time we need to stand up and start speaking for ourselves. I grew up in this industry and have been acting since I was 14. I feel like I spent a decade auditioning for the roles of the best friend, or the girl with glasses or the badass girl, and that’s all it was limited to. I felt like I didn’t fit in, and those taken a long journey to get in hopefully we will start recognizing that.

Since there weren’t a lot of Asian American actresses back in the day (and still aren’t), who did you look up to as a child when it came to celebrity role models?

It’s funny because the first job I did was a guess star spot on “That’s So Raven,” and I guess I could say she was a big influence for me growing up in this business. She was this funny girl who was representing more diversity and minorities, so I felt like growing up she was maybe someone I would watch. But beyond that, there really wasn’t anyone else, maybe Margaret Cho? I think it’s really sad when people can only think of Lucy Liu, because I like to do comedy, and I hate that this is so under represented.

If you had to be trapped on an island with three celebrities you have never met, who would they be?

Well, Ben Affleck is my celeb crush so definitely him. Maybe Meghan Trainor? I feel like she would be super fun to hang with, and also Jennifer Lawrence so she can teach me how to be a badass.

What is filming in Puerto Rico like? Were you able to do anything fun while filming or was the trip all work no play?

We filmed on the beach every day and I would look out at the ocean and think, “Ally! This is your office!” We had such a blast, and it worked so well because our cast is so obsessed with each other and while filming we built a family. After filming, we would go to Old San Juan, and go salsa dancing and go to all the old bars. We did end up taking a group trip to go zip-lining in Puerto Rico which I’m so happy we did. The zip-line was the longest one in the world, and there were about 8 individual zip-lines across. We almost had a massive accident because one of our cast members almost knocked herself out coming off the zip-line because she came flying in backwards at 60 miles an hour and hit the back of her head! We had the medics involved, and it was almost a disaster but it turned out to be okay. Also, Puerto Rico is so gorgeous, but I got destroyed by mosquitos. They were attracted to something in my blood, and I would get these huge swelling bumps all up and down my legs. I have about 200 scars on my legs from those, but we had such a blast.

If you have a day off, what does that day look like?

My dog is a huge part of my life, so that day would definitely cuddle time with him. I love going on random adventures, and I’m really into Snapchat. I love snapping random adventures, because if I spend too much time at home, I tend to go insane. I’m more into traveling and seeing the world. I also love fitness classes, like those are my jam. I love pilates, and like kick-boxing to get my aggression out. Beyond that, I’m kind of a homebody. I really love staying home with friends and family and just kicking back watching Netflix.

If you had to compare your character to a character on Gilligan’s Island, which one would it be?  

A lot of people have told me I’m like Mary Ann. I think she could turn into Mary Ann eventually.

Photo: Ryan West 

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