Today, Cole Sprouse stars in Riverdale as Jughead. But many know him from his early years on the Disney Channel. In between the two, Sprouse took time off. Here’s what he had to say about the transitional period and what he recommends for other young actors in a similar position.
Sprouse became famous as a child
Cole, alongside his twin brother, Dylan, began acting at a very young age. They shared many roles early on, including portraying Ross’ son, Ben Geller, in Friends and Julian McGrath, the child who Adam Sandler’s character takes care of in the comedy Big Daddy.
But it wasn’t until they each took on their own role in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody that the twins became household names. They reprised their roles in one-off episodes of other Disney properties such as Hannah Montana and even continued into a sequel, The Suite Life on Deck.
He took time off from acting for years
After their contracts with Disney came to an end, the Sprouse twins took some time off from show business. Both decided to attend New York University, with Cole studying archaeology and Dylan focusing on video game design. They graduate in 2015.
After their time in college, both briefly continued to pursue other interests. Cole utilized his archaeology degree, and also developed a love of photography, which he continues to this day. Dylan, meanwhile, opened the All-Wise Meadery in Brooklyn. However, it wasn’t long before both got back into acting.
This is why he thinks actors should go to college
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Cole said that, to him, “Taking time for college was really important. I think it’s one of those things that I’d recommend to every single young actor. That allowed me to regain a semblance of my anonymity, which is something that’s really important.”
He continued, saying, “Anonymity is one of those things that allows you to enter into a human space with a kind of open heart and really be able to move with more agency and learn about people. And learn about their stories without these sort of predetermined notions of yourself being carried by other people.”
Sprouse’s experience was different from many other child actors. “I also had the luxury of being identified as a duo for a long time with my brother, and when I separated and sort of did my own thing, I wasn’t as easily recognized,” he said.
A recent incident may have lead to this conversation
Sprouse hasn’t hit his dislike of the culture, but recently, it’s come into view more prominently. After rumors of a break up with his girlfriend and Riverdale co-star Lili Reinhart, the two appeared in a W Magazine spread, and the above caption explains his feelings on the way the media took the rumor and ran.
He echoed these sentiments in the Vanity Fair interview. “I think an issue that we’re dealing with [is] recoiling from social media and the internet age. I’ve found the internet rewards extremes, so it started to encourage a real sensationalist kind of thinking. That’s bound to have adverse effects.”
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