We recently spoke to Ally on a conference call interview about playing Mr. Yang on Psych as well her recent appearance at the Academy Awards in a tribute to Breakfast Club director, John Hughes.
Q: Tell us about the conversation that occurred when somebody came to you and said, "Hey, do you want to play a serial killer just for fun?"
ALLY: I heard, "So there is a show called Psych and they want you to do a character called Mr. Yang, and could you take a look at the script?" I read it. I didn’t know how on earth anybody had me in mind for that part either, not a clue. But as soon as I read it, I thought, okay. This is going to be really, really, really fun so absolutely and jump in. That’s how it went.
Q: How did you prepare for the role?
ALLY: I just told myself not to plan anything ahead of time. It was so funny and wacky so I decided to completely dispense with the creepy dark, very serious, and brooding serial killer thing and I thought the whole thing was hysterically funny. I thought that whole monologue in the car in the first one was hysterically funny. So I decided I was going to do that and if somebody thinks it should be not funny then they’ll come and tell me.
Q: How hard is it to be a menacing character on such a hilarious show?
ALLY: It’s not hard at all because everybody is so whacked out and so extreme that I feel like I’m not in the middle of some very serious true to life drama where I have to pull out all these details about how a serial killer would really behave. I just feel like I get to swing out there and wing it, and it was fun working with James [Roday] as a director because I definitely had the feeling like anything I could come up with goes. Nobody was coming up to me and saying, "Well, that’s really not how da, da, da, da, da." I felt like I have total freedom with this character to go anywhere, which is the best when you’re working.
Q: Was it tough when you first played the character to come into the show with this really tight knit ensemble cast or did they make you feel welcome from the get-go?
ALLY: They made me feel welcome and it was not difficult because this is just a whacked character. You could drop this character anywhere and I don’t think that she particularly pays any attention to what’s going on around her. She lives inside this crazy ass mind. I felt really welcome and I didn’t feel like an intruder at all. I felt like the killer has shown up.
Q: What’s the best part about playing Mr. Yang?
ALLY: Everything. Everything about Mr. Yang is fun for me, everything. When I read this one and – I wish somebody could read what I read for the first one. Mr. Yang is on a bungee cord banging off walls. I read that and then I gave it to my kid to read and I said, “I don’t have a clue how they’re going to do this.” She thought it was just hilarious. I also said to [my daughter] Rebecca, “I’ve done a lot of stuff in my career as you know, my darling girl, but I have never been on a bungee cord.”
Q: Can you share any funny stories about your time on the set of Psych?
ALLY: Oh my gosh, do you have all day? The whole thing was really funny, but I have to say it’s very difficult to work with Jimmy and not break because he is so friggin’ funny. I just basically decided if I started laughing it actually would work and as soon as I did that then it wasn’t difficult. Do you know what I mean? I wasn’t thinking, "Don’t laugh," because it’s impossible. Besides I think I would find him funny.
Q: Your character Allison Reynolds on The Breakfast Club seemed a little off. Do you think if she hadn’t become friends with those kids during detention she may have gone off – lost the wheels and become Mr. Yang?
ALLY: Oh my goodness. Isn’t that funny? Well, I think she has that day with them but I don’t think it means that her wheels don’t come off. I think things go back to the way they were after that. That’s what I think at the end of The Breakfast Club day it’s the way it was before. I have my own ideas in my head about what happens with Allison but I do think the wheels definitely come off at a certain point, yes.
Q: If you could bring anybody from The Breakfast Club over to Psych for an episode, who would it be?
ALLY: One of my favorite people in the world is Judd [Nelson], but he already did an episode of Psych. I guess my personal soft spot love is for Judd, so there you go.
Q: Considering all the remakes that they’re doing in Hollywood, if they were to do The Breakfast Club reboot who do you think they should cast in the roles?
ALLY: Well that will never happen, by the way, ever, never, never… But, you know who I think is great who would be so great as either Allison or Molly's character? I love that actress in Up in the Air, the young one, Anna Kendrick, she’s great, so she can do anything.
Q: What was it like the night of the Oscars to have all those Breakfast Club actors on the same stage again?
It was great to see everybody. It’s really, really nice actually to see everyone. The only person I’m really in touch with regularly is Judd, so it was just nice to check in and see everyone is doing so great. Really I haven’t seen most of those people for quite a while. It’s bizarre because every time we see each other it’s like not a lot of time has passed. I share this crazy experience with those four people and nobody else in the world. It’s weird. We just share a lot so there is a lot of unspoken stuff that goes on.
Q: What did you think about your Short Circuit co-star Fisher Steven’s win?
ALLY: That movie The Cove is an incredible documentary. It really, really is. I’ve never seen a documentary quite like that one just because of the particular people who were involved in it. It was thrilling. There was Fisher, who I’ve known forever, up there for a documentary. I can’t really describe the feeling but there is something about it where you kind of feel like you’re proud of the person even though there is no reason for you to feel proud of them.
Q: Is there another show you would like to do a guest spot on and what type of character would you want to play?
ALLY: I like extreme characters these days that are just fun. The Good Wife films in New York and it’s a cool show and I was thinking I’d love to play one of those horrible Washington hostesses. Somebody who is just really awful in every single way on that show, someone really mean. That would be fun.