Cole Sprouse on His Disney Experience as a Child Star

Cole Sprouse on His Disney Experience as a Child Star

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 06: Cole Sprouse attends Variety's Power of Young Hollywood at The H Club Los Angeles on August 06, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Riverdale” star Cole Sprouse recently opened up about the damaging experiences that come with being a child star — particularly for young women — in an interview with The New York Times. Sprouse has been acting since the age of 6, with one of his first solo roles being his cameo on “Friends” as the son of Ross Geller. He later starred in Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,” followed by seven seasons of “Riverdale.” His latest release is HBO Max rom-com “Moonshot,” which he stars in alongside “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” actor Lana Condor.

In response to a question about child stars either “[spiraling] out of control” or “[coming] out OK,” Sprouse explained: “My brother and I used to get quite a bit of, ‘Oh, you made it out! Oh, you’re unscathed!’ 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. 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. 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.”