Ally Ioannides was just nine when she was first bitten by the acting bug. “I auditioned for my first [Egyptian Theatre] Youtheatre production on my birthday,” she says. “I walked in a little late and unprepared and just went up and sang a song from Annie.” Ioannides landed that role and several more at the Egyptian as well as roles at the Hale Center Theater and Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake City. At 14, she moved with her mother from Park City to Burbank, California. There she enrolled in a home school program so she could focus more time on acting. Ioannides graduated from high school early and, along the way, landed coveted guest-star roles on Parenthood, Law & Order Special Victims Unit, and Elementary. Her current gig is the part of Tilda on AMC’s Into the Badlands, a role that is quickly catapulting her to stardom.
Park City Magazine: Your guest-star role in seven episodes of Parenthood was the first time you worked on television and your big break. How did it feel to land such an incredible part?
Ally Ioannides: Parenthood definitely felt like a wild ride. When I auditioned I didn’t expect to get a callback, let alone book the role. I loved every minute of it. From being on set to seeing people’s response to the character, it was all so exciting.
PCM: You went on to guest star on Law & Order Special Victims Unit and then almost immediately after landed the Into the Badlands role. What was it like, first, working for such a well-known show—Law & Order—and then landing a job with AMC, a network many consider the hottest on television?
AI: My sister and I used to watch the Law & Order 12-hour marathons, and never in a million years did I imagine I would be on that show. It was definitely difficult because the material was so intense and I wanted to do it justice. When I found out I got the role on Into the Badlands, I was obviously stoked and felt very confident about playing Tilda in a way that I had never felt before. I am really excited to see where the story goes and am counting the days until I get the scripts for season two.
PCM: All of that—Parenthood, Law & Order, and Into the Badlands—happened within a year. Is it a bit much to take in, or is this how you imagined the acting life?
AI: I had no idea what life would be as a working actor. I’m having a blast, and when it gets overwhelming my family and friends are always there. I’ve always known I would be an actor, and I always will be. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do.