Cole Sprouse is an actor who started working in Hollywood as a kid. As such, he has had first-hand experience with the industry and seen its treatment of child actors.
In a new interview, Sprouse opened up about being a child performer himself and what he witnessed with his peers. He also shared why he is “violently defensive” of stars who are often mocked for “going nuts” after growing up in the spotlight.
Cole Sprouse acted on Disney Channel for several years
Sprouse and his twin brother, Dylan Sprouse, started acting as babies in the 1990s. They had roles on commercials as well as some TV shows and movies. In 2001, the twins even landed a recurring role on Friends as Ben, the son of Ross Geller.
However, Cole and Dylan Sprouse’s most notable roles would be on Disney Channel. In 2005, the network premiered The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, which starred the brothers as the main characters. The series was a hit and even got nominated for an Emmy Award three times. It went on to have a spinoff in 2008 called The Suite Life on Deck.
The Suite Life franchise came to an end in 2011, and the Sprouse brothers took a break from acting to attend New York University. Cole Sprouse studied archaeology and geographic information systems. They both graduated in 2015.
After returning to Hollywood, Sprouse most famously stars on the teen drama Riverdale as Jughead Jones.
Cole Sprouse defends Disney stars who are mocked for ‘going nuts’
Many onlookers have cited the Sprouse twins as former child stars who made it to adulthood without encountering career-damaging scandals. However, in a recent interview with The New York Times, Sprouse explained why he believes it is unfair to compare him to other celebrities, especially those who are women.
“My brother [Dylan] and I used to get quite a bit of, ‘Oh, you made it out! Oh, you’re unscathed!’” he said. “No. The young women on the channel we were on [Disney Channel] were so heavily sexualized from such an earlier age than my brother and I that there’s absolutely no way that we could compare our experiences,”
Sprouse added, “And every single person going through that trauma has a unique experience.”
“When we talk about child stars going nuts, what we’re not actually talking about is how fame is a trauma,” the actor continued. “So I’m violently defensive against people who mock some of the young women who were on the channel when I was younger because I don’t feel like it adequately comprehends the humanity of that experience and what it takes to recover.”
He also shared that he sees the “same psychological effects” of fame on the new generation of young stars.
Cole Sprouse took a break from acting because he needed a ‘detox’
In 2019, Sprouse talked about the break he took from acting after The Suite Life on Deck ended. He revealed that the break was a “detox” from the entertainment industry.
“This is going to sound a bit strange, but you develop a moral sickness when you’re in front of a camera for a long time,” he explained to W Magazine. “The act of performance is an incredible experience, and it’s really nice. But the part of the industry that’s fascinated with celebrity and idolatry and that part of the industry and the publicity and all that can be dangerously validating, especially for young men, and so I found myself needing to detox from a lot of that.”
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