Imagine if you were on a plane headed to an international destination with your long-term boyfriend, hoping he’s finally going to propose after nine years (seven officially), but the plane goes down and you’re trapped on a deserted island with a handful of strangers who survived the crash too.
That’s the life of Jess Kato, a sweet-natured romantic (played by the equally sweet Ally Maki), who just wants her douche of a boyfriend, Todd (Will Greenberg) to commit.
We caught up with Ally Maki to learn more about TBS’ new comedy Wrecked and her character, Jess:
I have to say, I’ve seen the first three or four episodes of Wrecked and I think it’s hilarious.
Yay! That’s awesome!
How would you describe Wrecked in your own words?
Wrecked is a single-camera comedy about a very diverse group of strangers that get stranded on an island who have to learn to create their own new world, which is a world without social media, a world without, you know, their families and their preexisting lives and all the zany comedic things that come with that.
How would you sum up your character, Jess?
Jess, I think, is the sweet-natured hopeless romantic of the crew. She’s in a relationship with Todd and they’ve been together for about 7 years and it’s a very up-and-down, traumatic relationship for her and this is an opportunity for her to figure out who she is as a woman and kind of find herself.
Are there any similarities you found in Jess with yourself personally?
Absolutely! I think a lot of girls will find a lot in common with Jess. You know, we’ve all had that boyfriend that maybe we’ve been with them for too long or they don’t treat us the best or find our identity in him – I definitely drew from ex-boyfriends and the bad relationships I’ve been in to play this role. She’s a firecracker and definitely speaks her mind. She’s a hopeless romantic, which I think I am as well but, yeah, I definitely brought a lot of myself to the role for sure.
Did you find the writers inserted your personality into Jess to help you relate to her so well?
Oh, definitely. The Shipley brothers really – we were all so close, I definitely think they kind of brought a lot of our own personalities to each role, which is awesome because it makes all the more real for us. When I tried out for this role, I think it was something originally something different and when I came on board, they brought a lot of Ally to it and I really appreciated that.
Like I said, I’ve seen the first handful of episodes and it’s safe to say Todd is pretty intense. What was it like playing opposite Will Greenberg’s character?
Oh my goodness. Working with Will Greenberg was the most amazing experience. I don’t know if it had to do with the casting but from day one when we met it was like we had know each other for seven years. We were fighting in a love-hate way like how you mess around with each other. Everyone would always say the chemistry is crazy between you guys. He’s so playful and fun to improv with and what a great partner I could’ve asked for.
What can you tease about the craziness that ensues this season?
I’m not sure what I can tease but I will say this show is about if you had a second chance at life, who would you become and what would you do with that opportunity, whether it’s good or bad I think it varies from each character but I think where it gets interesting because each character has their own path. As far as my character, I think this is her chance to become the strong, independent woman she’s always wanted to be aside from her relationship to Todd because they’ve been together for so long and he’s kind of a douchebag and doesn’t treat her the best. She’s definitely exploring the new side of herself, I will say, on the island.
You filmed the pilot in Puerto Rico, did you film the whole show there?
Yes, we did.
Yeah! I literally almost died from mosquito virus and bites. I got eaten alive by bites.
So it was as though you really were stranded a bit, then?
Oh, yeah, we were literally in the jungle, on the beach and our transportation vehicles were ATVs. It was pretty intense, when you’re dealing with the elements like that. We were dousing ourselves in Deet every morning and trying not to get the Zika virus.
If you were actually stranded on the island, what would you have to have besides the obvious things, like food and water?
An espresso machine! I’m a coffee addict and without caffeine, I think I would crumble and die and choose not to live anymore. Caffeine for sure is needed.
I think a lot of people are probably on that boat with you.
I can barely function in LA without coffee, there’s no way I could survive on an island without it.
If you were trying to convince someone to watch the show, what would you tell them?
I would say, if you like laughing and if you wanted to see a hilarious, zany group of people come together – people who didn’t know each other but have to come together – to create this new world on a deserted island, then definitely tune in. If you like the beach and were a fan of Lost, tune in. Anybody can find something good in this show. It’s really about the characters and second chances.
Is there anything else you’d like to touch on that we didn’t cover?
I’m just so happy with the casting of the show. It’s such a diverse cast and i think it represents where TV is going and it represents how the world is now. We have two Asian women in the show and we have Asif. I love to see the diverse cast and to see where the industry is headed.