‘Flying Wild Alaska’ Star and Chapman Alum Ariel Tweto On Her New Film

The pilot expands her horizons.
Photograph courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

Tweto takes a fast-paced, cross-country tour of hidden canyons, rugged mountains, and urban green spaces by kayak, hot-air balloon, mountain bike, and more in “Into America’s Wild,” premiering at IMAX theaters this month. She also has a Fox animated series, “The Great North,” in the works.

Getting started in show business
While I was at Chapman, I auditioned for “Wipeout” on ABC. I ended up doing really well, and they invited me back twice. It was right when “The Deadliest Catch” had become popular. So a friend and I, who I’d met on the set of “Wipeout,” were like, “Let’s create our own show—my family’s interesting.” So we pitched it. It got picked up, and I ended up going home to Unalakleet, Alaska, for a couple of years while we were filming (the reality show about our rural airline). It took me 10 years to graduate, but my dad was the happiest guy ever.

Filming “Into America’s Wild”
It was a dream come true. I love traveling and I love adventure, and it was a combination of both. The backbone of the film is getting kids into nature. So it’s following me and John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, across America and showing kids the possibilities of what can happen in nature and what you can do in the great outdoors. We got to do some mountain biking and hiking and running and kite surfing. I got to see places in America that I don’t think I would have gotten to see if I hadn’t been part of this film. And it makes you so grateful for how lucky we are to live in this country because it’s so diverse and beautiful.

The new Fox show with Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”), Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”), and Jenny Slate (“Bob’s Burgers”)
It’s this crazy cast, and I play a 16-year-old girl who’s obsessed with cable TV and “Judge Judy.” I’m a big old brat. It has the same creators as “Bob’s Burgers.” This has been so much fun. I did my first table reading (by phone) sitting on this little curb in Hawaii, and then I flew to L.A. to do the recording. It’s a blast, and I’m going to learn so much. It’s a cartoon in the realm of “South Park” and “Family Guy,” and so you’re like, “Oh, my god, I’m saying that?” But it’s hilarious, and I think the writers are so creative.

Popping Bubbles, the suicide prevention organization she founded
My whole thing about suicide is that in order to stop it, you need to show kids that life is worth living. I lost like half of my high school class to suicide. My friend and I were counting the other day, and we lost more than 37 of our close family and friends to suicide. Right now, we do a lot of motivational speaking. My goal is to start more after-school programs and opportunities because I want to show kids in these (rural) towns, hey, if you have dreams, let’s set goals together and work toward them. You can do it.

Facebook Comments