YEM Exclusive Interview | with Justin H. Min and Ally Maki from Shortcomings


Has everyone had the opportunity to watch Shortcomings? This American comedy-drama film initially garnered interest from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in January. It was then released in theatres on August 4th. But for those hoping for more of what the film has, we have some exciting news for you!

We have an exclusive interview with stars Justin H. Min and Ally Maki, who star as Ben and Miko, respectively in the film! We cannot wait to talk to them as they talk about Shortcomings, their thoughts on the representation of the film, and their experiences, brought to you by Young Entertainment Exclusive! Because the film is already released, if you are planning on reading this interview and have not watched the series, this article will actively avoid any spoilers regarding the series. For those planning to watch before reading this article, we highly recommend watching it first. And now, onto this interview and its refresher.

Click here or scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the YouTube video

As mentioned earlier, the film Shortcomings came out through the 2023 Sundance Film Festival under the U.S. Dramatic Competition in January and was eventually sent through Sony Picture Classics for release through theatres on August 4th. The director Randall Park, whom you might know as Louis Huang from Fresh Off the Boat and who was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, directed this film from a screenplay written by Adrian Tomine, the author of the graphic novel.

Popularity for this film skyrocketed upon hearing about the director’s involvement and cast members, ranging from Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola, Ally Maki, Debby Ryan, and others. Other than the cast members, the story following the film is rather interesting. Ben, a struggling filmmaker, is left to his own devices when his girlfriend moves to New York for an internship. When he’s left alone, he begins to explore what he thinks he might want, while spending his time either obsessing over unavailable blonde women, watching collection DVDs, or eating with his best friend.

As mentioned earlier, Shortcomings was originally a graphic novel created by the cartoonist Adrian Tomine. It was initially serialized in Tomine’s comic book series Optic Nerve until it was released in 2007. The story follows the same format that follows the thematic approaches of being a young Asian-American male living within American society. It follows Ben’s journey as it does in the film. Shortcomings have done so well that it was not only excerpted in Timothy McSweetney’s Quarterly Concern Issue #13, it was frequently praised through Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, and Amazon.

For those curious about the writer, here’s some background on him! An American cartoonist, Tomine self-published Optic Nerve as a teenager and worked with Drawn & Quarterly to have it published. He eventually released Killing and Dying in 2015, which received critical acclaim and became a New York Times bestseller. For those curious to know more about Tomine’s works, you can check Tomine’s website here:, to see more. Or, if you want his Instagram:

And now, here is some information on our stars! First up is Ally Maki! Born in Seattle, Washington, Ally moved to L.A. after being scouted by a talent agent. From there, Ally has been involved in such works as the voice of Giggle McDimples from Toy Story 4, Jess from Wrecked, Mina Hess from Cloak & Dagger, Dawn from 10 Things I Hate About You, and as the characters Viney and Ad, along with some additional voices from The Owl House.

Lastly, we have Justin H. Min, an American actor who started his acting career with Wong Fu Productions. He’s best known for his roles as Ben Hargreeves from The Umbrella Academy, Edwin from Beef, Justin from Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine, Jason Wang from New Amsterdam, and Yang from After Yang.

We first asked what it was like to prepare for emotionally intense scenes. Justin first answers that it’s about understanding how you got there, as these scenes come from a build-up of things, and Justin uses the timeline of events in the movie to help describe it. For Justin personally, he wanted to make sure he had all of that information underneath, and he and Ally had multiple conversations about the relationship between the characters and preparing themselves for it. Ally agreed, mentioning that there are a lot of rules in building your source material and backstory and creating that for yourself. She talks about how lucky it was to have Tomine’s works as source material. Ally mentions how well the graphic novels emote to help build upon them. If you want to know more, be sure to watch the entire video for the full interview!

Thank you, everyone, for spending some time with us! You can follow them on their Instagrams at @allymaki and @justinmin. Please also watch the interview below. We ask them more questions, such as the interpretation of Asian actors and filmmakers in current media regarding representation, and more! While you’re there, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for the latest news in young entertainment!