Ally Maki Interview: Cloak & Dagger

Jess from Wrecked is now on Marvel television. American actor Ally Maki has guest starred on shows like 2 Broke GirlsNew Girl, and Dear White People. Now Ally is playing Mina Hess on Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger television show.

About Cloak and Dagger

Marvel's Cloak and Dagger Freeform Logo

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger is a cable television series created for the Freeform network.  It is about two teenagers, Tandy and Tyrone, who gain superpowers and must learn to rely on each other.  The series takes place in New Orleans and Ally’s character, Mina Hess, is an environmental engineer who befriends Tandy.

Ally Maki is Mina Hess

Mina’s employer is Roxxon Gulf, a shadowy corporation who seems to be up to no good.  Ally talked about her character saying:

“Mina Hess is a brilliant environmental engineer who we find out is working at Roxxon. And what find out at the end of episode [five] is that Mina's father and Tandy’s father has some sort of secret past together. So, that journey leads Tandy to me. And beyond that, Mina is a brilliant old soul. You find out she loves old music, she loves to bake, she has all these different facets and sides for herself. But there was a kind of sadness to her because of some deep dark secrets with involving her father and Roxxon. Which we'll come to unveil itself over the season.”

Characters who work for Roxxon can be morally dubious.  When asked about that, Ally said, “I think Mina is doing her best to work within Roxxon to truly save the world. She believes in saving the environment and she's a huge advocate. She's a brilliant environmental engineer. So, she's definitely doing what she can within the ranks of Roxxon to do good for the world and for the planet.”

Working with Olivia Holt

Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen in Cloak and Dagger

One of the series lead characters is Tandy Bowen, played by Olivia Holt.  Tandy is trying to take down Roxxon and joins the company as an intern.  Inside the corporation she meets Mina.  Ally described the relationship between the two characters:

“When we first meet, you can see that Tandy, I mean [Mina] becomes sort of like a mark in a sense. That's initially how it starts out. But throughout the season, you're going to be able to get to see them develop into this beautiful and wonderful female friendship. One with a mutual respect and a love for science and a love for the planet and the environment. You'll get to see these two really brilliant women team up to take matters into their own hands. And uncover some secrets about their fathers and the past and Roxxon. It's truly a beautiful friendship. And one that I think needs to be represented more on screen of female relationship. A true female friendship, which is beautiful to watch.”

Talking about working with Oliva, Ally said:

“The moment you get to see this beautiful friendship developed between Tandy and Mina. But the moment I met Olivia who plays Tandy, the awesome Olivia Holt. It was like an instant… I felt like she was my soul sister. We just had kind of this instant chemistry and respect for each other. Working with her was beyond incredible. She's a true professional and a wonderful human being. We had an incredible time. Sometimes I just look into her eyes and we'd start tearing up. Because the things that we were talking about, women in science, women on screen, it's a beautiful thing and it was incredibly emotional.”

Cloak and Dagger on Today’s Issues

While Cloak and Dagger is a Marvel superhero show, it deals with many relevant issues like diversity.  Speaking on that Ally said:

“Joe Pokaski [the series creator], he is such an ally for everyone. He is a true wonderful human being. He is telling the underrepresented stories, he is humanizing them in a way that I don't think it's been done before, especially on Freeform. Which is incredibly exciting to have Marvel and Freeform tackle these issues that aren't talked about that much, is so exciting. It's very incredibly groundbreaking and things that we need to be talking about right now. And the show does it in such a subtle way through the art of characters. You've been in to see inside the minds of these kids. What it's like to be a black kid right now, what it's like to be a woman in society, what it's like to be a woman of color who is brilliant and trying to fight her way against, the men in Roxxon company and what’s that’s like.”

Ally added:

“Things [that are] really are important right now. And to be a woman in-- an Asian American female in the Marvel Universe, in itself that it's sending such a wonderful message to little Asian American girls everywhere. That you can be a scientist and science is cool. You can be an environmental engineer, and you can really do anything and that it's cool and making it cool.”

Women in Television

Bringing up the next episode, Ally said:

“I am just so excited for the next episode, for episode [six]. Not only was it directed by an Asian American female, Jennifer Phang, and then written by Jenny Klein and then you have this adventure that Olivia and I, I mean, that [Tandy] and Mina go on. After we filmed that episode, after one of the first cakes, they came out from behind video village and the four of us were just, there were tears in our eyes.

“Because we were like, this is the first one, the first time, but we don't see, you know, two women onscreen talking about science, in a swamp, taking that into their own hands. Just two brilliant women. And it was, it's a beautiful thing to see. I don't know, it's just, it's emotional. And something that I don't think is shown enough on TV and I think it's going to impact a lot of people on a very deep level.”

Joining in the Marvel Universe

Marvel movies and television shows a diverse range of characters.  Talking about Marvel’s large overarching universe, Ally said:

“I think it's a lot of people's dreams. And for me, a hundred percent it was something that is beyond my wildest dreams. I still pinch myself when I can't even believe it. But to join the Marvel universe and, then on top of that, be on such a complex, grounded, groundbreaking show. That deals with real issues that I care about and that affects my life.

“I'm a fourth generation Japanese American, so my family was in the internment camps. So, when I think about issues like this, and the resiliency of people, and coming back from discrimination, and all that stuff, it's incredibly close to my heart. And everything that I care about, and want to speak about, and things that I want to impact the next generation. So, to be able to play Mina Hess within the Marvel Universe, an original character, is something that is highly emotional for me and incredibly life changing. So, I'm stoked.It’s a dream.”

MORE: Cloak & Dagger Connects To Luke Cage With Easter Egg

Cloak & Dagger is now airing on Freeform.

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