Things You Might Not Know About ‘Riverdale’ Star Cole SprousePublished on May 11, 2017. Updated July 22, 2020
Cole Sprouse is one of those actors who seemed to grow up in front of fans’ eyes. He has been everywhere from portraying Ben on Friends to starring alongside Adam Sandler in 1999’s Big Daddy and then of course landing his own Disney series with his twin brother Dylan in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody from 2005 to 2008 and The Suite Life on Deck from 2008 to 2011. After a hiatus, he is now back and all grown up starring as Jughead Jones in the CW’s hit new teen drama Riverdale. Despite being an Archie Andrews-based show it is safe to say all the attention and love is on Sprouse and fans are excited to see him acting on his own without his twin. As his star is quickly rising, here are 10 things you never knew about the actor:
10. Disney Life
Cole Sprouse is one of the few former Disney stars who seemingly didn’t have to go completely off the rails in order to develop his career as an adult. He is also one of the few to speak fondly of his Disney days and credits it with giving him a good work ethic from a very early age. “That show gave me a profound work ethic. I never missed a day of work in the eight years I was there, and it really taught me to push myself and drive myself.” Eventually the twins made a decision to leave the network in order to find themselves.
9. Celebrity Crush
Since he has worked in the industry since he was a child, Cole Sprouse has met his fair share of celebrities, but like so many others he couldn’t help but crush on Jennifer Aniston when he was working on the set of Friends. “I had a really, really hard time working with Aniston because I was so in love with her. I was infatuated. I was speechless — I’d get all bubbly and forget my lines and completely blank. Ir was so difficult,” he said of his crush.
8. Early Life
Cole Mitchell Sprouse was born on August 4, 1992 in Arezzo, Italy, 15 minutes behind his twin brother Dylan Thomas Sprouse. The brothers’ parents Matthew and Melanie were in Italy teaching at an English school in Tuscany at the time and when the twins were four months old the family moved back to Long Beach, California. Cole later revealed that his mother chose to enter her sons into acting because they needed money. “My brother and I were put into acting when we were eight months old by our mother because we needed the money. I never made the decision to join the arts, or acting specifically. It was never my passion. To be honest, if she never thrust me into it, I probably never would have thought of it as a career choice for myself.”
7. Cole and Dylan
Twins are usually very close, so it isn’t surprising that Cole and Dylan Sprouse are not only brothers, but the best of friends. “I love to have a twin cause you always have someone to talk to when you are lonely. You kind of have someone to share your feelings with, without talking out loud,” Cole said of their connection. Despite this and having their careers tied together, he is the first one to admit that now they have gone separate directions they support each other but don’t go too far with it. “He supports the show… I don’t know if he enjoys it,” Cole said of Dylan’s opinions of Riverdale. “This kind of programming has never really been our flavor of choice. I don’t really want him to watch anything I do and I don’t really watch anything he’ll do. We have a very easy time separating work and play and I wouldn’t really care less if he watched or if he enjoyed it.”
Although Cole steadily acted from a child until 2011 when he was 19 years old, there is a nine year break in which he has now returned to acting in Riverdale. So what did he do during the hiatus? He and his brother Dylan decided to leave fame behind and go to college. He studied archaeology at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and also served as the president of the undergrad anthropology club. “A lot of people asked us, “Why did you guys leave?’ And I think that way of phrasing it makes it sound like we were like, ‘No, never again,'” Cole said of their decision to focus on their education instead of acting as well for several years. “That’s not really the way we thought about it. We always had an anticipation to go back, but we desperately wanted an alternative perspective on it.” He added in a separate interview, “Acting requires a great amount of empathy for real lived human experiences. I hadn’t lived any real human experiences outside of homeschool and being in a sound stage, and there was really no other option. I couldn’t continue to live in a bubble and hope to be an empathic actor. It doesn’t work. I was really sick of the entertainment industry and wanted to step away. Dylan and I were nonstop—we were being recognized and it was overbearing, and I figured it would be nice to let that dissolve.”
5. Before Riverdale
After taking time away from the spotlight to grow up and find his identity, Cole still didn’t feel the urge to jump right back into acting and starting working normal jobs. Cole instantly took to photography and posts much of his work on his own Instagram and after school he took a job in an archaeology lab in Brooklyn where he was working when his manager approached him about Riverdale even though he wasn’t sure about acting again. “I was planning on continuing with archaeology, but when I auditioned and I got the part and we did that pilot, I had a lot of fun. I didn’t really think of it, but it felt fulfilling again, which is really the only thing you should honestly pursue in art. And as long as it feels fulfilling, I’ll continue,” he said of accepting the role and jumping back into fame.
One of the most interesting things about Cole being an actor but also someone who has lived a normal life and taken up photography is the way he interacts with fans. To counteract the celebrity culture, he set up the Instagram account @Camera_Duels which catches fans taking pictures of him. “I was younger and just about to go to college, and very discontented with the way people were treating me in the public sphere. Sometimes you can read someone’s aura and actions—they’re shifting and fidgeting, and they’re fumbling for the phone. It’s a dehumanizing, very obvious kind of thing.” He added, ‘I would always be dissatisfied that people wouldn’t just ask, because I always say yes. So @camera_duels was born. It was a way of coping or trying to turn it around in my favor and give me more agency in a situation. I felt sort of like a man behind a glass wall. It ended up really helping me, so much that I stopped. I found the whole thing not to really disturb me anymore.”
Who would have thought, the mother with child, would have prioritized taking our picture over steadying her baby’s carriage on a moving train? I did. I would have thought. Firstly, her child is too young for The Street Life of Shaq and Kobe, so we all know she was taking that picture for herself. Unless of course she was making a long term investment, banking on the baby enjoying the show when #it grows up. #ItsCalledInvesting. Trying to be sneaky, she made the number 1 rookie mistake, #Flash. My poor, helpless, innocent, virgin brother was caught in the middle of our duel. You can see the fear in his eyes and the determination in mine, both being trumped by the look of shame in hers. #cameraduels #BabyOnBoard #FamilyDrama #TheStreetLifeOfShaqAndKobe
3. Personal Life
Cole Sprouse has always kept his personal life out of the spotlight and it wasn’t until he left Hollywood for college that he had his first longterm relationship. Sprouse met Bree Morgan in 2013 and the pair bonded over their love of video games, but after a couple of years the pair ended their relationship. Now he has once again became quiet about his romantic life, but he might be dating his Riverdale co-star Lili Reinhart in real life!
2. Net Worth
While many parents enter their children into acting and modeling, the Sprouse’s were very fortunate with their son’s success. Cole’s first role came at only 1 year old in Grace Under Fire and lasted for five years until 1998 when he then had his film breakout in 1999’s Adam Sandler hit Big Daddy. He had even more success with a role in seven episodes of Friends as Ben Geller and of course starring alongside his brother in one of Disney’s most successful series with Zack and Cody. Now, the actor has an estimated net worth of $10 million which is only growing with his role on Riverdale.
1. More Than An Actor
Through interviews, it has become obvious that Cole Sprouse is one of the most open, self-aware and down-to-earth celebrities there is out there, and he often has eye-opening things to say on many topics outside the realm of just his acting. When asked about a comment he once made in a magazine when he was 11 about not liking girls who “wear too much makeup,” he was very self-reflective and proud to say what he has learned and about being a feminist now. “There is no question I consider myself a feminist, but I also think the term ‘feminist’ has become a topical thing to say without backing it up with any real action. My satirical tweet about my old opinion doesn’t solidify me as a figure within a conversation that’s so much greater than my straight, white male opinion. My Twitter is a joke toilet and I filter all these old, cringe-y parts of my brother and my childhood through that, in an attempt to flush it down the drain forever. When you grow older, you unpack the way masculinity teaches you to view women.”