Why Cole Sprouse Is 'Violently Defensive Against People Who Mock' Former Female Disney Channel Stars

The actor found fame through his role on Disney Channel's 'The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.'

Cole Sprouse is sticking up for fellow child stars. In an interview with The New York Times, the 29-year-old actor, who found childhood fame on Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, shuts down the thought that he and his twin, Dylan Sprouse, easily survived early stardom, while also remarking how their female counterparts had it much worse. ET has reached out to Disney for comment.

"My brother and I used to get quite a bit of, 'Oh, you made it out! Oh, you’re unscathed!' No," he says. "The young women on the channel we were on 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," Sprouse continues. "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."

Looking back on his years on Suite Life doesn't make Sprouse want to get involved in a reboot of the series.

"I don’t think I’ll ever return to that. Not that I have a problem with other people doing the reboots thing. I’m just a big believer that if something is beautiful in the past, you should let it stay beautiful," he explains. "To bring it into the future feels a bit like reheating a really good, fresh meal in the microwave. It would be hard to be in my 30s and go, 'Zack and Cody are back, man!'"

After his Disney days, Sprouse took a break from acting to attend college. Shortly after earning his degree, though, he was thrust back into the spotlight with a starring role on Riverdale.

"As I have now gone through a second big round of this fame game as an adult, I’ve noticed the same psychological effects that fame yields upon a group of young adults as I did when I was a child," Sprouse says. "I just think people have an easier time hiding it when they’re older."

No matter how fraught Sprouse's connection with fame is, he remains grateful for what Riverdale has given him. Therefore, he says, "it's not completely accurate" that he lamented the CW series' recent seventh season renewal, as some fans assumed via a bevy of memes.

"One, because I’ve just assumed we’re going to see the finality of our [seven-season] contracts. Two, I think the internet assumes -- because of how insane our show is -- that we’re probably doing a bit worse than we actually are," he says. "It’s easy to forget that people love the show. And I do think it’s going to be much more appreciated in 10 years than it is right now."

"It would be pretty pompous of me to say that another season of financial stability is not something that would be appealing," Sprouse continues, before admitting, "Though I’m not going to lie. The memes do make me laugh."

He does assume, though, that the show will end after its seventh season, thus "definitely" setting up a new chapter for Sprouse as he begins a new decade of his life.

"​​I feel like my ducks are in a row better than they’ve ever been. We’re also seeing the conclusion of a program I’ve spent the majority of my 20s on, so there is this world of possibilities that lies before me at the end of this production that I find incredibly appealing and intoxicating," he says. "And, I hate to break it to everybody, but I’m not the only 30-year-old playing a teen on television."




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