America Ferrera Celebrates 20 Years Since Her 'First Day as a Working Actress': 'We Did It Baby Girl'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Glenn Garner
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection

America Ferrera has become a leading actress since making her onscreen debut on the Disney Channel in 2002.

On Saturday, the Golden Globe winner, 37, celebrated 20 years since filming her first role in the Disney Channel original movie (DCOM, for the die-hard Disney kids) Gotta Kick It Up! "20 years ago today was my first day as a working actress," she wrote in the caption.

"My mind was blown that my dream was becoming a reality," she added. "I was being PAID to act and dance in a Disney Channel Movie called Gotta Kick It Up! I couldn't believe I was rehearsing with real dancers and choreographers, that all the snacks were free, and that my wardrobe fitting was on the famous Warner Brothers lot where I spotted George Clooney playing basketball and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston hanging out in the door of his trailer!!"

Ferrera starred alongside Camille Guaty, Jhoanna Flores, Suilma Rodriguez and Sabrina Wiener in the movie, which was based on the true story of a group of Latina middle school girls who started a dance troupe.

RELATED: America Ferrera Will Return to Superstore for Series Finale: 'A Joyful and Bittersweet Goodbye'

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Ferrera fondly reflected on the excitement of her first acting gig, which came before she landed starring roles in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Ugly Betty.

"I soaked up every moment of being on that set with @camilleguaty @suilma #sabrinawiener & #jhoannaflores because the truth was I had no idea if I'd ever get the chance to do it again," the Superstore alum continued.

"I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be," she wrote. "We did it baby girl. I'm proud of us."

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

Disney Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection

Ferrera previously recalled a casting agent asking her to "sound more Latina" during her first audition.

"I was this little, brown, chubby, valley girl, who spoke like a valley girl," she explained, while preparing for the 2020 Emmy Awards. "I walked in, did my audition [and] the casting director looked at me and she was like: 'That's great. Can you do that again, but this time sound more Latina?' "

RELATED: The Sisterhood Is Alive and Well! How the Cast Has Stayed Close All These Years

Eddy Chen/NBC America Ferrera

The actress/director/producer explained that the moment "fueled me to create more opportunity for little brown girls to fulfill their talent and their dream."

Ferrera most recently served as a multi-hyphenate on her NBC series Superstore, which ended last month after six seasons.

"I think what the show accomplished, the fan-base that it built, what it did for NBC — I only have so much pride in what we accomplished with the show, and it's always sad to say goodbye," she told PEOPLE in December. "These days TV lives forever and there's still an audience for it to reach and still people to find and discover and enjoy it, so I'm just incredibly grateful for what it has been."