Vivid childhood dreams of flying are a testimony to Ali Faulkner’s drive to excel. So real were her dreams that upon awakening, she felt as though she’d actually flown throughout the prior night. Those exhilarating sensations – the ones similar to experiencing a roller coaster ride, propelled Ali out of her childhood home town of West Plains, Missouri and into an acting career. The world of make believe began in her formative years. Believing that she could fly, Ali even took an umbrella (inspired, no doubt by Mary Poppins) to her tree house and jumped down a few feet, hoping to soar. That desire to soar has stirred a passion in her heart, which continues to this day.
Ali began to awaken her connection with the performing arts initially through musical performance. At 7 years of age, she found her gift for singing when she began performing solos in her church choir. Celine Dion was an idol of hers, and her hit song, “Because you Loved Me,” an inspiration. Ali’s mother, a beautiful singer herself, was a stronghold in her life, and encouraged Ali’s development of her gift and appreciation for music. Though her family lost her mother when she was 10, her mother has remained one of Ali’s biggest inspirations. Her family relocated to Texas soon after, where she took her first steps into the world of performing. At 15, she was chosen to sing in Johnnie High’s County Music Revue, singing on the same stage LeeAnn Rimes and LeeAnn Womack have frequently graced. She performed in high school musicals at a very competitive 5-A school, embracing an array of characters from the fiery Anita in A West Side Story to the softer Sandy in Grease. In her senior year, Ali placed first in her division of the highly acclaimed and competitive TMEA All-State soloist competition and performed with the Women’s All-State Choir that year.
“Eternity,” Ali’s initial original demo album, recorded while studying communications at the University of Texas at Arlington, was a tribute to her mother. Soon after, Ali landed her first professional musical theatre role, performing at the vaunted Theatre Three stage in Dallas to outstanding critical reviews of her performance as Yonah in Children of Eden.
Inspired by the film Moulin Rouge, Ali was drawn to film and the progression to a career of film acting struck her interest. The feature films Gladiator, Last of the Mohicans and The Family Stone all appealed to her because of their authentic and resonating emotional character portrayal. In 2007, Ali went to her first film audition, and booked her the leading role opposite Jackson Bostwick of Shazam. Since then, she has performed in several film projects. Ali was given the title role in Maggie’s Passage, featured on Lifetime and Hallmark and directed by Mike Norris.
In 2011, Ali was cast as Bianca in the popular franchise, Twlight Saga: Breaking Dawn, opposite Michael Sheen. Being part of a dynamic billion dollar franchise prepared Ali for bigger roles and gave important exposure to large budget films, to compliment her independent film experience. Kim Henkel, original creator of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, cast Ali as the lead in his edgy and dark Boneboys, set to release fall of 2012. Also on schedule for a 2012 release, Ali plays the quick-witted and deeply troubled Tricia Wilkes in Bad Kids Go to Hell (based on the successful comic book). Her roles are diverse, yet have one thing in common – they are powerful characters, motivated by passion.
Though her film career is her primary focus, incorporating music into film, like Moulin Rouge, would be Ali’s dream performing arts platform.
Ali’s passion for performing is mirrored by her desire to “give back” to the world. She has a vision of a performing arts charity that pays for the education of highly talented young people, who wouldn’t be able to afford to develop their talents.
Ali enjoys sitting in restaurants or coffee shops and people watching, though she admittedly gets caught staring quite often. The simple things in life appeal to her the most- spending time with her dog of eleven years, taking long road trips and finding random bed and breakfasts, driving with the windows down in the summer listening the Three Dog Night or with the windows up in the winter listening to Enya. Nature is very important to her, and she has said that spending time in outdoor settings is healing to her.
Above all, God and family are very important in Ali’s life. Her father, sister, brother and boyfriend remain the backbone of her support, as well as a few close friends since childhood. Her father always emphasized the importance of family, hence the closeness her family still shares.