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Voice acting can be an isolating experience in the making of an animated movie. Most productions have performers working alone in a recording booth, as opposed to in pairs or groups, so there are many instances where co-stars never actually get to meet each other. It was because of these circumstances that Toy Story 4 actress Ally Maki almost missed out on her chance to meet Tom Hanks… but while she did eventually get to meet the Oscar winner, the situation wasn’t exactly ideal.
This was a story I learned last week when I sat down with Ally Maki for an interview on the Walt Disney Pictures lot in Burbank, CA – the conversation centered around her turn as Giggles McDimples in Toy Story 4. I specifically asked about the opportunities she had to meet the other members of the star-studded cast, and while that query initially inspired a laugh, it led to her recounting her first run-in with Tom Hanks.
The meeting happened after the actors’ respective recording sessions were done for the Pixar movie, and instead was during a random press day promoting the film. At the time Maki had no idea that their schedules were going to crossover, so she wasn’t exactly prepared for the moment:
I had a really cool run in with Hanks. We were doing press and interviews on the same day, and I had no idea. I showed up with like no makeup on, messy bun, like a teddy bear jacket. And, of course, that day I had a giant pimple on my face, and I walk in and think I'm going to hair and makeup, and they're like, 'Yeah, come in, come in. Tom is just coming down.'
Funnily enough, this met with more confusion than surprise, as Ally Maki hadn’t even considered the possibility of the encounter occurring. She continued,
And I'm like, 'Tom? I don't remember a Tom in all of my time here.' And they're like, 'Hanks!' And I was like, '...Right. Yeah, I would meet Hanks like this.' And, of course, he's just the best. We like chatted for 10 minutes. He's everything you want him to be and more. He exceeds your expectations.
With that, the reputation of one of the most legendarily nice guys in Hollywood gets a bit more sterling. And while it may not have exactly been the meeting with Tom Hanks that Ally Maki imagined, it’s perhaps better because that extra twist makes it more memorable.