The new Marvel animated TV series 'Hit-Monkey' stars George Takei, Olivia Munn, Ally Maki, and Nobi Nakanishi. It also features the voice of 'Ted Lasso' star Jason Sudeikis, and Fred Tatasciore in the title role.
Maki plays Haruka, an honest cop from a Japanese small town who moved to the big city. She says the project, for her, was "a whole new thing."
"It was so exciting to be able to really go there. I had scenes where I was tearing up or other scenes where we just had so much fun and we could really take it to those gritty places, so I had such a blast," Maki shares.
When she was a young girl, Maki did voiceovers for video games and at 14, moved to Los Angeles to join an all-girl band. She recalls going to auditions at the time when casting directors and filmmakers did not consider Asian talents for major roles.
"I don't think I realized how much it took a toll on me until I was an adult. And then looking back, I just felt really sad for my 14-year-old self who did go through all of this, who tried to fit into all of these little tiny boxes that I felt like society wanted me to be," Maki admits.
"It was very freeing as an adult to be able to say, 'No, I'm undefinable. I don't need to fit into any boxes.' But it was certainly a struggle. I took a lot from auditions into my own personal life, which I think was hard, of feeling like, 'Oh, well, I don't matter. You know, my story doesn't matter.' And that's what's sad about [the lack of] representation is when you're not the central figure of any story, you start to feel like your own personal life doesn't matter. So that's why I'm so excited about Asian American people, especially women, playing leads because then it basically shows young girls that you are the hero of your story. You do matter."
The first season of Hit-Monkey is now streaming on Hulu.