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John Stamos 'panicked' over 'Big Shot' role

John Stamos stars in the new Disney+ series Big Shot. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
John Stamos stars in the new Disney+ series "Big Shot." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 15 (UPI) -- John Stamos said he expected to play a lawyer in a David E. Kelley show. When Kelley's Disney+ drama, Big Shot, cast Stamos as a basketball coach, he said he became nervous.

"My heart sank because I am so bad at sports," Stamos said in a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel. "I sort of panicked when I heard it was about basketball."

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Big Shot stars Stamos as college basketball coach Marvyn Korn. When Korn is fired for his outbursts on the court, the only job he can get is coaching a girls' high school team, the Sirens. Stamos said former Laker Jerry West ran a basketball practice to help him prepare for the role.

"They call it a practice, but I called it a rehearsal," Stamos said.

Stamos said he overcame his fear of basketball because playing Korn was worthwhile. In his career -- which includes family sitcom Full House and medical drama ER -- the 58-year-old Stamos said he's never played an unlikeable character like the coach.

"I was looking for a way to play an adult character that had layers and wasn't just light and fluffy," Stamos said. "It's about redemption for my character."

When Korn first meets his new team, he attempts the same tough approach that got him fired from the NCAA team. Stamos said the Sirens teach their new coach better ways to get through to players.

"It's an anger issue," Stamos said. "[Korn] accepts that he needs to change and he needs to learn."

Korn's growth will also extend to his relationship with his daughter, Emma (Sophia Mitri Schloss). Stamos said that as he struggled to wrap his head around the basketball aspect of Big Shot, the father/daughter story brought his journey into focus.

"The daughter's going to move in with me, and I have to learn how to be a parent," Stamos said. "That's the missing link for me."

Big Shot premieres Friday on Disney+.

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