Proposal shock: ‘I almost dropped dead’
Stepping out onto the Toy Story 4 red carpet at the LA premiere earlier this month, American actor Ally Maki stood out in a bright yellow Dior suit. On her arm was her mum.
"My whole family was there, which was so wonderful because there are not that many moments in life in which you get to share this kind of experience with everyone you love," Maki told news.com.au.
"And my mum has been the truest supporter from day one, so to have her there was amazing. And she owned it. She was on the carpet, posing and talking to Keanu Reeves, which was crazy. She got to talk to him more than I did. She made it happen, which was awesome. And Keanu is so nice, what a cool guy."
But if Maki thought the premiere red carpet was going to be the highlight of her day, she had a shock coming.
Returning to the hotel room following the after-party, her now-fiance popped the question.
"I almost dropped dead, it was so shocking. We had just finished the after-party and we were going back to change my shoes. I walk in and there were rose petals on the floor and I was very confused as to what was happening, and it just happened from there. It was so beautiful, exactly perfect.
"I'm still processing everything. You know, when you have the most extreme emotions of love, joy and happiness, it's almost too much to process."
When Maki was watching Toy Story as a kid, she certainly didn't expect to be part of its illustrious cast one day.
"Toy Story is probably the first movie I ever saw in the theatre, so that in itself is an experience I will never forget," Maki said. "It's a movie that really helped shape my childhood and so many parts of my identity and who I became in life."
So to be in a room with Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and all the people who have voiced these beloved characters for 24 years was madness.
"I met them after the film was completely done and we did this giant press day and everyone was getting together for the first. That was a crazy day.
"I had to keep pinching myself and saying, 'oh, you're actually in the film and not at some crazy Toy Story meet-and-greet'. They're all here in this one room and I get to tell them how awesome they are. To actually be a character within that is mind-blowing.
"Honestly, I thought I would probably have one line and that will be the coolest one line I'll ever have in my life."
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Maki voices one of the many new characters in Toy Story 4, the pint-sized Giggles McDimples, a small police officer figurine with a larger-than-life personality.
Giggles is a great friend to Bo Peep, after Bo set off on her own adventure in the time between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 4.
Together, Giggles and Bo make what Maki called a "phenomenal girl power duo".
"It's so inspirational to have that within the Toy Story universe. They're going to resonate so much, especially with younger girls of the next generation.
"We need to show more of how female friendship is so important, and that can be the element that changes your life."
Maki, 32, has been acting since the early 2000s but her most prominent roles have been in the past 10 years, including a stint in the short-lived 10 Things I Hate About You TV show, three seasons of Wrecked and as part of the supporting cast of Marvel TV series Cloak & Dagger.
Even though they're very different properties, she's found similarities between her Cloak & Dagger character and Giggles.
"The main thing I look for in a character is passion. With Mina Hess (on Cloak & Dagger), she's just so passionate about science and saving the world. With Giggles, she's passionate about being part of the team, and making sure Bo is good and being a true and loyal friend."
Toy Story 4 is in cinemas now
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