Growing up in idyllic Hawaii, Ethan Wacker excelled in both acting and sports. The 16-year-old Bizaardvark star has a particular interest in basketball, an affinity reflected on his YouTube channel, where he can often be seen casually hanging with basketball’s biggest pros. Despite having over 2 million followers on Instagram alone, Ethan remains grounded, setting his sights on earning a college degree. Beyond acting, political science, economics, and business are of interest to him. He wants to have plenty of options for a potential future career, even if his dream of basketball stardom stays just out of reach…literally.
Cliché: What was your first acting gig? When did you first discover your love of acting?
Ethan Wacker: My first acting gig was an appearance in a Jimmy Kimmel skit about Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. It was really fun. I knew I loved to act when I was in To Kill A Mockingbird as Dill at the Diamond Head Theatre in Hawaii.
What was your childhood like in Hawaii? Do you think your time there inspired your passion for sports?
Hawaii definitely inspires a passion for sports. The weather is beautiful year-round so I’m always outdoors. Kids, in general, are always outside running around, starting with recess and PE. I like to swim, hike, bike, play tennis, flag football, archery, ride ATVs. My favorite thing right now is playing pick-up basketball with my friends. I also love to ski; that’s how I broke my ankle in two spots earlier this year. Spoiler – they wrote into the Season 3 episodes.
While we’re on the topic, you play so many different sports and have even hung out with some of the pros in football and basketball. Who is your biggest sports idol and why?
I have many sports idols. If I had to pick one, I’d pick Donovan Mitchell, an NBA player on the Utah Jazz team. This rookie made his mark on the NBA league as a point guard and shooting guard. He went to a lower profile team (the Jazz) and played his heart out and brought it up. He is a good team player and I really respect that he takes care of his family and he is only 21!
If you had to pick one sport to play professionally, which would you pick?
Basketball but I’m a little challenged height-wise. Hah! It’s the most action packed and fun. And the players get paid a ton. But we all know that this is not happening. I love interviewing and hanging with the players though.
How are you and Bernie alike? How are you different?
I’m like Bernie in that he tries hard at things and can be goofy sometimes. He is a good friend and kind and is never really out to hurt anyone, even though he is a little clueless. I’m probably more athletic than the character and hopefully less vain about my biceps! Hah! And I’m usually outside where most of the scenes for the show are inside!
You have over 2 million Instagram followers! How did you go about cultivating such a massive social media following? In your opinion, what’s the key to producing good content?
When Jake Paul was on the show we hung out all day most days; he taught me a lot about social media so I owe a lot of my fast rise to him. I think that it is important to constantly evolve the content and test out what your fan base likes and give it to them.
Many young actors decide not to go to college, but you’ve said that you want to go to university. Why is earning a degree so important to you?
I think everyone has to do their best to build options for the future. I love acting but no one knows what will happen. My goal is to make the best decision when I hopefully have options to choose from. Right now, one of my school programs is Stanford OHS. I really appreciate the challenging curriculum and the teachers are crazy good and smart. I’d love to get accepted into a college program of that caliber.
You’ve expressed interest in potentially studying political science, economics or business. What sparked your interest in those fields?
Just a little brainstorm to answer that–
Political science – I LOVE to debate and have interesting conversations
Economics – I love money! Just kidding. It’s a fascinating subject that combines everything going on in the world and all the impacts on an economy. It combines the art of facts with speculating as to why something happened and what will happen.
Business – for me business knowledge is a good fundamental skill to have. But I would say I’m interested in business as it applies to something, like running a show, or running a large company, not just business for the sake of business.
If you weren’t an actor, what would your dream job be?
If I wasn’t an actor, my dream job would be a sports announcer, lawyer, or basketball player. One of those is unlikely but I have enjoyed working with the NBA and NFL.
Tell us about what’s happening in Bizaardvark season 3!
Well, in Season 3, the group moves to a beach house in Malibu for the summer. There are 3 new characters, who are all eleven, named Willow, Zane and Rodney on the show. They are fun to work with and funny on the show. I broke my ankle and they had to write it in so there are some funny moments related to that. Lots more physical comedy from Bernie. Lots of friendship stories from Paige and Frankie. Amelia switches to imperfectly imperfect from perfection and she’s really funny. Overall, good cast and great episodes.
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Ethan Wacker Talks “Bizaardvark” Season 3, Sports, and Planning for the Future. Photo Credit: Ryan Daly.