Tiana Le made her series regular debut as Destiny Winters in David E. Kelly’s new hit series Big Shot, which premiered on April 16. You might recognize the actress from her recurring roles on HBO’s Insecure, Amazon Prime’s Just Add Magic, and Netflix’s No Good Nick. The season 1 finale, as well as the entire first season, of Big Shot is now available to stream on Disney+.
After getting ousted from the NCAA, a men’s basketball coach is given a chance for redemption with a coaching position at an elite private high school. He soon learns that the teenage players require empathy and vulnerability — foreign concepts for the stoic Coach Korn (John Stamos). By learning how to connect with his players, Marvyn starts to grow into the person he’s always hoped to be. The girls learn to take themselves more seriously, finding their footing both on and oﬀ the court.
I was able to ask the actress about what attracted her to the project, what she feels passionate about, diverse storytelling, dream roles, and more! Keep reading to find out what she said.
What attracted you to Big Shot originally? Is there a reason it stood out to you compared to your other projects?
LE: What really interested me was that I got to play a high school athlete. I’ve always played sports on travel teams growing up, and I was an athlete in high school when I auditioned. I could really relate to this project!
Did portraying Destiny Winters teach you any lessons that you’ll apply in your own life?
Destiny is such a strong character and I definitely relate to how emotionally resilient she is with her family and friends.
Destiny is very passionate, using her voice to stand up for what she believes in; what are you passionate about? Is there something specific that you like to use your voice to speak up for or against?
There are so many issues that I feel passionate about, such as environmental sustainability, racial justice, and animal rights. There’s a long way to go on tackling these issues and I hope to be able to use my voice to continue to bring awareness to these matters close to my heart.
The whole cast is absolutely incredible; did you learning anything or get any advice from the adult actors on the show, such as John Stamos, Jessalyn Gilsig, Richard Robichaux, and Yvette Nicole Brown?
Thank you! We truly are like a big family. John, Jessalyn, Yvette, and Richard are so down to earth and I’m so thankful that I can say they really care about us as individuals, not just castmates. We started filming season one right before the pandemic started so we’ve been through a lot together. They’ve definitely taught us how to rely on each other, trust the process, and still have fun along the way.
Are there any memories from your time working on Big Shot that still stand out to you as a really special moment?
Some of my special memories are the late-night crafty runs the girls and I would do. We worked long hours so we really appreciated those moments together when we would just goof around and eat some Oreos with oat milk, ya know?
Something I really appreciated was that this show followed an all-girls basketball team and gave viewers some really strong and empowering diverse female characters. Why do you think characters like this are important in today’s entertainment?
I think it’s really important to change the common narrative in storytelling to promote inclusion and acceptance. Diverse casting and storytelling are needed so underrepresented voices and perspectives get a chance to be heard. I think it’s really great that a show like Big Shot provides a platform for strong diverse female characters to be role models.
What inspired you to get into acting?
I’ve always loved to perform as a young child so I spent a lot of time taking classes in singing, piano, and dancing. I also did musical theatre for years, and by eighth grade, I was acting professionally. My mom’s been a huge source of support for me growing up because she’s always encouraged me to follow my dreams and do whatever I’m passionate about as long as I dedicated myself to it wholeheartedly.
What has been your biggest challenge acting-wise from any of your roles?
I really admire method actors and strive to challenge myself with each role. I try to identify, interpret, and understand each character, and bring that character alive.
What message do you hope to give your fans?
The message I hope to share with fans is to feel empowered and proud of who you are and to stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
Do you have any dream roles or projects you’d like to do in the future?
A fun dream role for me is to play Ashoka from The Clone Wars!