By Sierra Tishgart
It looks like gymnastics may not be enough to impress McKayla Maroney (but neither is meeting the president!). The Olympic gold medalist is making her acting debut on the Nov. 20 episode of Hart of Dixie, "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me." She plays the best friend of Rose, McKaley Miller's character. Though acting feels like a natural extension of the professional vaulter's career (she sure know show to be theatrical), McKayla's not giving up gymnastics just yet. We spoke to McKayla, who just finished the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics, about her experience on set and the show she'd like to appear on next.
How did you like being on set?
"I had so much fun. I really wanted to get started with my acting career, and I can't wait to be on set again."
Were you a fan of the show before you got cast?
"Yes, it's so cute! When I watch it, I'm so happy. Some shows stress you out, but after I watch Hart of Dixie, I'm smiling."
Can you tell us about your character?
"My character's name is Tonya, and I'm playing Rose's best friend—so hopefully I'll be on the show again, but I'm not sure about that. Zoe is going on a date with one of Rose's friends, and there's drama between Zoe and Rose. I'm by Rose's side because I'm her best friend."
How'd you prepare for the role?
"I've taken acting classes, but I didn't really prepare too much because it comes pretty naturally."
Do have plans to pursue an acting career?
"Yes, definitely. I love it so much. It's a full-time job, just like gymnastics. I'm in the gym eights hours a day, and it's same as acting when you're filming from the morning all the way to the night. It's definitely something that I want to do more of in the future."
If you could join the cast of another show, which would you choose?
"I really want to be on Awkward or How I Met Your Mother—but I'm not really fit for that show because I'm kind of young. Awkward is hilarious."
Do you have your sights set on Rio 2016?
"That would be a dream come true. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, and there are so many good girls that also want the spot. It's not just about seeing yourself there; it's another four years of working your butt off. But once I get back into the gym, that's definitely something I'll be looking forward to and training for."
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