Being a Disney Channel star is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Actor Cole Sprouse was only 8 months old when he started acting. Cole, alongside his twin brother, Dylan, landed their first big role when they were cast as Patrick Kelly in the ABC series Grace Under Fire. After that, opportunities kept on coming for the twins, and they soon earned roles in the television series Friends and in Adam Sandler’s movie Big Daddy.
The success of the Sprouse twins seemed to be neverending. They were both undeniably adorable and incredibly talented for their age. The twins were able to expedite shoots by switching off filming between the two of them. Before long, Disney knew that they needed to make these kids big stars.
In 2005, ‘Zack and Cody Martin’ became household names with the success of their Disney Channel television series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. To the outside world, it seemed like Cole and Dylan were living the dream, but it seems that that was not the case. In a recent interview on the Podcast Call Her Daddy, Cole Sprouse opened up about all the trauma he experienced in his childhood.
Cole Sprouse Tells All on ‘Call Her Daddy’ Podcast
It was Cole and Dylan’s mother who pushed the twins into the industry as a child. Cole explained that the success of the twins was a way for the family to support themselves financially. It also helped make their mother feel more accomplished after her own acting career never took off. Cole explained, “it satisfied some sort of narcissism that she had to be recognized as this sort of artistic success … but as time went on I think the entertainment industry just sort of broke her.”
After a lifetime in the industry, Cole now has a much more jaded look at the world of showbiz. He says, “This industry in very many ways encourages the worst qualities of you as a person — narcissism, selfishness, greed, a lot of these things that we’ve come to know as practically cardinal sins, it’s one of those things that encouraged a kind of selfishness that was directly opposed to the very fundamental idea of motherhood.”
Today, both Cole and Dylan remain working in the industry, but on their own terms. Cole has found success playing Jughead on the tv series Riverdale. As they navigate their new independence, they are still left the grapple with the trauma of their childhood.