Recently making its Disney Plus premiere is the fun comedy-drama series Big Shot. This series is shaking things up a bit and releasing episodes weekly, having viewers tune in every Friday for the next nine weeks to see what their new favorite basketball team is up to.
The series follows the emotional career journey of acclaimed basketball coach Marvyn Korn (John Stamos), who finds himself coaching an all-girls basketball team at a private high school after being kicked out of the National College Athletics Association for his violent outbursts.
This career change comes at him fast as he grows to realize that his cold and dismissive attitudes do not pass with his new, young players.
Playing high school basketball teammates in Big Shot are actors Tisha Custodio (Carolyn “Mouse” Smith), Tiana Le (Destiny Winters) and Cricket Wampler (“Samantha “Giggles” Finkman). Monsters & Critics was able to chat with the trio about their athletic experience and their audition process coming into the show.
Monsters & Critics: Each of you plays a character who is on a high school basketball team. Do you have any personal experience with basketball and what was that training like?
Cricket Wampler: Yeah, I did have a couple of years of experience, but not at like a high school level. Very different. I definitely come from a basketball family. I have cousins who play in college. My dad played in college, so I knew the sport.
But when auditioning and testing for this show, I had my dad, my brother, and my manager all helping me try to get me better at basketball. And then once we did book the show, we had a basketball coordinator, Keyla Snowden, who gave us, basically, a boot camp for a couple of months leading up to the start of filming.
We had a lot of basketball training, multiple hours every every day we were training together. So definitely becoming a team even before we were ever on screen with it.
Tiana Le: I grew up in a very athletic family. Me and my brother, we basically played sports our whole lives, and he played travel basketball growing up. So I was always around basketball, but I never played on a team myself. And so when I got the script for this role, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’ll have to play basketball.’
We did, like Cricket said, months of training before we even filmed. Now, honestly, I consider us a real team, like we’ve practiced together and we’ve played games together because the shots you see on the show are shots we genuinely made. Like those layups and those threes are real, and we earned them. I think definitely we’ve become like a real team.
Tisha Custodio: I didn’t come from a super athletic family, but my dad used to play in the Philippines. He used to play varsity basketball and he loves the sport. And that really helped me when I got this audition because I didn’t know much about the sport.
And now, working with my dad and going through this basketball training process, I understand it. And I also have a really deep appreciation for it. Now, if you consider tap dancing a sport, that’s really the only thing athletic thing I used to do.
Monsters & Critics: What was the audition process like for you, Tiana? Specifically, coming from a less basketball skilled background? Do they ask you about it a few times?
Tiana Le: Yeah, they definitely asked. But I think the requirement was more so like, ‘has at least the base of an athletic ability or like the ability to learn.’ But for me, I mean, I love sports. I grew up playing sports. And so for me, playing baseball is just like adding another skill. And I totally took to it.
M&C: What sports did you play?
Tiana Le: I played soccer growing up and then I transitioned to dancing competitively. And then, in high school, I settled down with crew and I rowed competitively for all my years in high school — all the way up to my junior year when I took a step back and focused on acting. So I loved this show, especially because I got to go back to that team environment and got to be an athlete again.
I missed it. I mean, when you’re an athlete, you just miss working out every day with a group of girls that become like your sisters.
M&C: Cricket, do you play any sports?
Cricket Wampler: I have kind of been a runner my whole life and a dancer. I’m a dancer, I’m a dance teacher. So definitely that and I don’t know, I feel like workout-wise, I kind of try different things, I’m boxing sometimes. It just depends on the day.
Check out our full interview below!
Need more Big Shot content? Check out our interviews with Big Shot’s Jessalyn Gilsig and Big Shot’s Sophia Mitri Schloss, Nell Verlaque and Monique Green.
Big Shot is currently releasing weekly episodes, every Friday on Disney Plus.