Q&A: Willa’s Ali Milner shares her love of Douglas Adams, Robin Williams and the Garden State soundtrack

September 5, 2014

If you haven’t yet heard of Willa, a.k.a. Ali Milner, you soon will. And truthfully, you may have already heard the Vancouver native’s powerful vocals: Milner has contributed to tracks like SonReal’s “Honor Roll” and “Today and Tomorrow,” taken from his One Long Day mixtape. Of course, Milner’s an accomplished songwriter in her own right—she’s posted her jazzy, piano-driven pop songs on Bandcamp, and live, she also plays a killer cover of the Cardigans’ “Lovefool.” (No, we’re not kidding.) Prior to her upcoming Vancouver show—she’ll be opening for New Politics at an AUX and SCENE-presented show at the Electric Owl—we caught up with Milner to talk about her favourite films, actor, and the one insect-related flick that traumatized her.

So, what’s your favourite movie of all time?
I’ve always been in love with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. First of all, I love the world that Douglas Adams’ created. Everything he says in the book, and movie, makes no sense and all the sense at the same time. It sure feels like he knew something the rest of us don’t. In the movie, the casting was perfect. Every time I watch the movie, I notice some other strange little thing that the actors snuck in there. The whole thing is epically strange and I love it. The answer to everything is 42…. But what’s the question?

That’s a good question in itself. As for actors, who’s your favourite?
Robin Williams because I always believed him. And because he could make me laugh, cry, think, and laugh-cry all at the same time.


And he’s still making us laugh and cry. Onto a personal question: What’s your best or worst movie memory? Like, did you ever watch an awkward movie with your parents?

When I was 8 years old, I watched a movie called Mosquitos about giant mosquitos from space that invade Earth and tear apart any human they see. I had nightmares for two years after that one.

Ouch. So, being a musician, what’s your favourite movie soundtrack? 

Garden State. It perfectly captures the soul of that movie.

In the biopic of your life, who’d play you and your band? 
Emma Stone, Ashton Kutcher, Paul Rudd, and then Andrew would play himself because he’s one of a kind.

SCENE®, the entertainment rewards program launched by Scotiabank and Cineplex Entertainment in 2007, is free to join and offers members an immediate 10 per cent discount on movie snacks and 10 per cent more off already discounted Tuesday tickets, purchased at any Cineplex Entertainment location. With more than five million members across Canada, SCENE enables members to earn and redeem points for music, movies, DVDs, movie downloads and concessions. Members can also accelerate their earning power with the SCENE® ScotiaCard®* debit card and SCENE® VISA* card. Maritz Canada’s annual loyalty report 2013 found that SCENE is a leading Canadian retail loyalty program with 81 per cent member satisfaction. Visit www.scene.ca to learn more.

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