Since starting their podcast, Boy Meets World alums Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel, and Will Friedle have spilled a number of personal, behind-the-scenes stories. While they've spoken about the good times, the former co-stars also haven’t shied away from the downsides of being the stars of a classic sitcom. While they're all clearly adults now, some people might still refer to them as "child actors," and the trio of podcasters have some strong opinions when it comes to that title.
It was during a recent episode of Pod Meets World that the three hosts opened up about still getting the “child performer” label long after their time on the ABC sitcom ended. Of course, many young actors have worked to shake the stigma surrounding the category and, clearly, Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel, and Will Friedle had to do the same. Strong, who has since become a director, revealed that in the past, he found a number of ways to avoid using the "child actor" label to identify himself:
His take on being a child actor isn’t too surprising. The Shawn Hunter actor admitted to running away from his Boy Meets World fame, as he had a major chip on his shoulder due to being associated with the show.
And Rider Strong wasn't the only one who disliked being labeled a child actor. Co-host Danielle Fishel didn’t hold back when talking about that the infamous tag either. What apparently became a sticking point for her was the plethora of negative connotations that surround that moniker:
Over the years, many young stars have made headlines due to legal and personal issues. Drew Barrymore has been particularly vocal about being a child star and dealing with drugs at a young age. Some child stars also struggle with transitioning into more adult roles, and such gigs can yield mixed results for them. And as Danielle Fishel mentioned, having one’s value wrapped up in their place in Hollywood can lead to self doubt.
While his colleague had their issues with the label, Will Friedle actually didn’t view his status as a child actor as a negative thing. He just saw himself as an actor who started working at a young age. But the Kim Possible alum did touch on the uphill battle young actors who worked during the '90s had to face after the negative press surrounding numerous '80s child stars:
The Eric Matthews actor certainly does provide an interesting perspective here. Multiple child actors of the era were in the news for a plethora of negative reasons unfortunately, so public opinion wasn’t in their '90s counterparts' favor. But despite that, Will Friedle is one of the stars who's managed to thrive over the years.
Not everything about the Boy Meets World stars experiences were negative. For instance, they were surrounded by great adult actors who provided guidance that served them well in the years that followed. Will Friedle, Rider Strong, and Danielle Fishel have opened up about the lessons they learned from working with Mr. Feeny actor William Daniels, who treated them as equals even when they were young. As child actors, they certainly appreciated that and, knowing what they know about the business, I'm sure they'll treat any other young actors with that same respect.
If you want to hear about things like Ben Savage being Danielle Fishel’s first kiss or why Cory Matthew’s sister Morgan switched actresses mid-show, you can listen to Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle spill secrets on Pod Meets World. You can also check out their past work by getting a Disney+ subscription and streaming every season of Boy Meets World.
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