Since it premiered last month, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger has brought the story of Tandy Bowen (played by Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (played by Aubrey Joseph) to life — two teenagers who find themselves with super powers after the Roxxon Gulf Platform exploded. Then, enter Mina Hess, played by Ally Maki: an environmental engineer at Roxxon who wants to save the world using her science skills.
When Ally talked to the team about the show recently, she opened up about what it was like to audition to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the greatest thing the show has in common with other Marvel projects like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and how she’s getting along with her Cloak & Dagger castmates so far. Just in case you were wondering, Marvel did make the audition process as leak-proof as possible.
“When I auditioned, I actually didn’t know what it was at all,” she said. “Marvel is so incredibly secretive, and I just really resonated with the scenes they gave me. My audition scene was actually the swamp scene, so all I kind of knew was basic things about this girl — her belief system, a little bit of the storyline, but nothing to the extent of what it ended up becoming.”
And even though joining the MCU would be intimidating for anyone — comic book fans aren’t messing around when it comes to their movie and TV adaptations — Ally said she’s actually had a really pleasant experience so far.
“The Marvel fans have been so wonderful,” she told us. “They immediately made me feel so welcome. First of all, they’re so well informed, they know everything about all the comments, and they’re really, really welcoming. They’re super friendly. I’ve been chatting with them on Twitter, and they’re so supportive. It’s been great so far.”
And one of the things that made the experience so great for Ally? The fact that she instantly hit it off with the rest of the cast, especially Olivia.
“We were filming in New Orleans, they’d done four or five episodes previously and I was a little nervous; I was like the new girl in school,” Ally said of her first day on set. “But immediately, they just completely welcomed me with open arms. With Olivia, I felt like we had that kindred soul sister connection and the things we were talking about were so deep. And Aubrey Joseph is just an incredible young talent. Everyone was so warm and so welcoming.”
Speaking of the cast of Cloak & Dagger, one of the most awesome things about Marvel (besides the fans) is the fact that they’re committed to representation — diversity and strong female characters have never been as prevalent as they are in the studio’s most recent releases. Ally also said that’s one of the things she loves most about the MCU, too.
“Diversity and representation is so incredibly important to me and I really applaud Marvel — they’re really going for it in terms of creating strong female characters, as you can see in all of their movies right now,” she said. “After I watched Black Panther, I was out of breath because I couldn’t handle how incredible the characters were in that, and I’m so excited for Captain Marvel coming up. It’s incredibly inspiring and also really emotional when you see women being so badass on screen. I don’t think we see it enough. And then to see an Asian American female on top of that, it’s beyond my wildest dreams. It’s totally unimaginable.”
Representation is incredibly important, because honestly, don’t we all deserve to see ourselves on screen? And now that Marvel is giving women and people of color the heroes they deserve on screen, it’s obvious that Ally’s totally right: it can be a super emotional experience.
Cloak & Dagger airs on Thursdays at 8 PM ET on Freeform.