After racking up 7.4 million followers on TikTok, South Texas native Sara Echeagaray has landed her first break in Hollywood.
The 21-year-old star — born in Edinburg and raised in McAllen — will soon make moves on the hardwood in Season 2 of the Disney+ original series Big Shot.
In the series, Echeagaray plays Ava Navarro, a hot-headed beach volleyball phenom who becomes the newest recruit of Coach Marvyn Korn (John Stamos), a fired NCAA Division 1 basketball coach who now heads an all-girls team at a private high school.
Echeagaray finished high school in Las Vegas and is now based in Los Angeles. She tried college for a couple of years but decided against the traditional academic route.
"I knew that's not what I wanted at the end of the day," Echeagaray said. "So, I decided to pursue acting to the fullest and crossed my fingers."'
She continues to stay busy with TikTok content, ranging from lip-synced movie dialogue to one-woman comedy sketches.
The second season of Big Shot premieres Oct. 12 on Disney+.
What was the most challenging part about coming into a TV series that had already aired for a full season?
I think the most challenging aspect was just joining a new cast that is already established. So, I was just very nervous that I wasn't going to be welcomed as a new cast member. I was shaking in my boots. And when I first arrived at basketball camp, I met [the cast] and I was like, "Why was I so nervous?" They're literally the greatest human beings ever. It was just a great experience overall.
What are some of the similarities between you and your character?
I would say one similarity is that she is a perfectionist. She wants to be No. 1 at everything, which sometimes I kind of catch myself wanting to do. I'm just like, "I'm going to be the best!" At the end of the day, I have to tell myself, "That's not how it happens, honey. Let's calm down." But my character is like, "No, I'm going to be No. 1." So, she's a more intense version of what I actually am. But it's great to see some similarities.
How athletic are you in real life? Did the basketball and volleyball come naturally for you?
Volleyball came pretty naturally to me since I played volleyball for four years. At the same time, it was a different type of volleyball. I'm used to indoor volleyball, and my character plays beach volleyball, which is tremendously different. I learned that the hard way, because there's only two people on your team in beach volleyball, and in indoor, there's six. I was just like, "Wow, props to actual beach volleyball players!"
Not to mention having to run in sand, right?
Yeah, that's a cardio workout in itself.
Do you have any favorite sports teams? You're originally from Texas, so the correct answer is the Spurs.
Oh, for sure, the Spurs. "How 'bout them Cowboys," as well. I know that's football, but we love the Cowboys and anything Texas related. Go Texas!
What was it like working with John Stamos, someone with a lot of TV experience and who's well known for his role in Full House?
Full House was one of my favorite shows growing up. I would always watch it with my sister because my mom would put it on for us. My mom had the biggest crush on Uncle Jesse, of course — as everyone else did on the planet. It was so surreal working with him because he was such a household name. I was like, "Oh my God, it's John Stamos, the guy with the amazing hair!" Then, I got to know him on a personal level, and I was like, "He's a goofball!" He is literally Uncle Jesse. He's kind of like a grown-up child. He's so much fun to work with because he always has you laughing.
I watched one of your TikTok videos where you pretend to be in a Marvel movie. Is that something you'd like to experience sometime in your career?
Oh, for sure. I have always dreamed of being in a Marvel movie or just a superhero movie in general. That just seems like such a surreal dream to accomplish. It's like, "There's magic shooting out of their hands!" That's definitely on the bucket list.
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