Boy Meets World’s Ethan Suplee On Treatment He Received As An Overweight Actor And How The Sitcom Helped Him Find Acceptance
Boy Mets World alum Ethan Suplee spoke about how the show helped him find acceptance with his weight.
Boy Meets World had a profound effect not only on its devoted fanbase but the cast as well. While the actors have spoken on the harsher side of the ABC sitcom, they’ve also opened up multiple times about the lasting impact the show had on them. The latest alum to speak on its lasting impact was Frankie “The Enforcer” Stechino actor Ethan Suplee. Suplee opened up about how the sitcom helped him find acceptance after speaking about his treatment as an overweight actor.
The My Name is Earl star played the sensitive lackey of Harley Keiner in Seasons 2 through 4 of BMW. While he didn’t originally plan on becoming an actor, he spilled to the hosts of the Pod Meets World podcast that he caught the acting bug while visiting his schoolmate Giovanni Ribision on the set of The Wonder Years. While the idea of making money and ditching school appealed to the sitcom vet, Suplee mentioned both child stars being seen as their characters, not themselves, appealed to him. Suplee mentioned that his actor friends were being seen as characters, not as themselves, and that appealed to him.
Hiding away was part of a bigger reason for Suplee turning to the acting profession. The TV veteran spilled about his weight insecurities playing into his decision. The Ranch alum said on the podcast.
Ethan Suplee wanted viewers to see him as his character, not his actual self. Of course, having millions of eyeballs on you weekly sounds like the worst idea for someone looking to hide away. However, playing an overweight character on TV allowed viewers to love Suplee as the sensitive Frankie.
His childhood insecurities plagued him even after he became a successful actor. The 46-year-old actor admitted he had a distorted image of himself that continued during his time at BMW. Suplee felt being overweight was a deformity leading to him question whether audiences were looking at him because of his weight or his role on the show. He would find some relief when he realized others were recognizing him due to his TV work, not his weight.
Suplee went on to tell a story about a trip he took with his dad, and how he was really afraid when a few boys walked up to him. He explained that he thought they were going to embarrass him in front of his father, who he wanted to make proud. However, instead, they wanted to let him know they were fans.
Being on Boy Meets World allowed Suplee to let go of the shame and self-loathing he had harbored for years (at least, for a moment). Facing early childhood pressure to lose weight seemed to strain his father-son relationship but witnessing the younger Suplee’s TV fame appeared to draw them together. It allowed the American History X actor to come to terms with his weight.
Since his Boy Meets World days, Ethan Suplee has gained attention for his weight loss transformation in recent years. His social media presence is filled with gym selfies and amazing exercise videos. Focusing on fitness doesn’t mean his acting career was on pause though, as he starred in notable 2022 releases, including Dog and the ill-fated Babylon.
You can hop on iHearRadio to listen to more Boy Meets World stories like Ethan Suplee or other BMW cast members on Pod Meets World hosted by Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle. In the meantime, get a Disney+ subscription to see Frankie Stechino’s transformation from a bully to the resident poet on Boy Meets World.
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