Ally Maki stars as plane crash survivor Jess Kato on Wrecked, the new island-set TBS comedy that’s loosely based on Lost. But when she first signed on for the role, Maki wasn’t all that familiar with the ABC drama that had diehard fans theorizing about the Island and its many, many mysteries for six long years, from smoke monsters and The Others to that ever-present set of magical numbers (seriously, we could still recite Hurley’s ill-fated winning lottery ticket by heart: 4, 8, 15, 16…).
“I’d never seen Lost before, and I was pretty much the only one who hadn’t seen it when I signed on for the show,” Maki told InStyle when she stopped by our New York City offices. “So right after I landed in Puerto Rico to film the pilot, I ordered room service and watched the pilot in my jet-lagged state.” But Maki soon discovered that while Wrecked certainly draws inspiration from Lost—the comedy’s creators, Jordan and Justin Shipley, are “super-fans” of the drama—the two shows are ultimately very different. “People definitely make the Lost comparison, but if you really watch it, Wrecked is its own thing,” said Maki. “It has action, comedy, adventure, and a little bit of thrill.” So despite the fact that Wrecked “leaves plenty of Easter eggs for Lost fans to pick up on,” the series have some major key differences.
For instance, the plane crash survivors are cast in a very different light. “Lost had these very capable people, like Matthew Fox[’s character, Jack],” said Maki. “But the Shipley brothers wanted to write something from the underdog’s perspective. Their whole theory was, ‘What about the people that aren’t going to make it? What’s going to happen to them?’”
Well, they’re all just trying to survive—and Maki’s character, Jess, is trying to find her true self along the way. “I love my character, because I can connect to her in so many ways,” said Maki. “She’s dealing with this bad ex-boyfriend, and she’s kind of trying to find her own strong independent self this season. A lot of girls can relate to that, which is cool.”
On last week’s episode, things took a romantic turn for Jess. “She had a little love scene,” said Maki, laughing. “I would say she Beyoncé-d out and had a little Lemonade moment!” With the show already picked up for a second season, Maki has one big hope for her character. “I would love to see Jess be single for a bit,” she said. “I think it would be fun to watch her explore her single side.”
As for her own goals when filming season two? “I’m going to request wearing long pants instead of shorts next year,” she said. “My legs were constantly being bitten by mosquitoes, and I don’t want to get eaten alive again!”