Ally Shawver: Big City, Bigger Dreams


Kelila Ritchie 


As a Jacksonville native, it is always really cool to see people who come from the same city as you doing something amazing. That “amazing” can be people who serve as neighborhood heroes or people who are simply following their dreams. This is the case for Ally Shawver, an actress born and raised in Jacksonville coming soon to the big screens near you! 


Shawver grew up surfing in Jacksonville Beach and performing in plays at her school theater. Following your dreams, unapologetically can be scary but when the reward outweighs the risk, you take the chance. And that is exactly what she did.


“It’s such a talent to fake all of that emotion and passion and make it look so real and authentic. I think that is the coolest thing. That’s what made me fall in love with acting,” said Shawver during our interview. 


Ally took part in many plays throughout her educational years, attributing her love for acting to drama class and a drama teacher who played a major role in her wanting to pursue a career in acting. 


“I grew up here in Jacksonville, so I knew absolutely nobody that acted. Besides school plays, I knew nothing about it. I first found my passion for acting when I was in sixth grade and I started drama class. I was so obsessed with it. Something about it, I just fell in love with it,” she said excitedly. 


Shawver first got her big break after auditioning for a movie starring Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson (that has not been released yet).


“It was wild. I had no idea what to expect, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up,” she recalled. “My mom kept trying to calm me down. I kept a really quiet mind going into it, but I knew once I got on set that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It really was the confirmation I needed.” 


Of course I asked the question everyone wants to know (or maybe just me), does she experience being star struck being around celebrities we’ve watched on the big screens for years? Surprisingly, no. 


“There’s been a couple moments when everyone around you on set is like, ‘OMG, Channing Tatum is gonna be on set’ or whoever that excitement starts to bubble, but once they’re on set and they’re a few feet away from you, and you’re all having a conversation, it’s like, ‘You’re just a regular person,’” she said. “We are one in the same, it’s a cool feeling.”


Since her first callback, Ally has worked with A-list director, Ava Duvernay, who she says is someone she really looks up to.


“Ava Duvernay is such a big person in my life. I have met her; we’ve had a couple brief talks. But in those moments of just being in her presence and watching her communicate the way she did with everybody is incredible,” said Shawver. “Greta Gerwig is the definition of girl power, also.”


You can catch Ally Shawver — Hollywood’s next big thing — in a couple new movies coming soon to theaters. “Origin” will be in theaters January, though due to the writer’s strike, many movie releases have been delayed but are still on the way!


It is always so refreshing seeing people from my hometown doing huge things, following their passions. It’s not just an inspirational story to me, but for the children of Jacksonville who also dream big. 


In the words of Shawver, “If you can fake it until you make it, you will make it 100%. Be kind also and you can go so far.”

About Kelila Ritchie

Kelila has dedicated her teenage years to advocating for injustices around her and in the world. Journalism is more than just a passion for her but a calling. She is dedicated to keeping her community informed and spreading awareness about social inequalities. Catch her on the beach any given weekend!