Cole Sprouse talks about Disney, Love and Lili Reinhart in Call Her Daddy – Rolling Stone

Cole Sprouse does not afraid to look within. In the latest episode of Call her daddyAmerica’s self-proclaimed podcasting Founding Father Alex Cooper sat down with the River valley actor to discuss a variety of topics, including his self-professed mommy issues, his time on the Disney Channel, and of course, his much-discussed love life.

Sprouse, along with his twin brother Dylan, made a name for himself as a child actor, starring as Ross Gellar’s son in Friends and in the 1999 Adam Sandler film Big Daddybefore landing their breakout role on the Disney Channel original series Suite The life of Zack and Cody. After taking a break from acting to attend college, Sprouse returned to the spotlight in the self-successful CW drama River valley, which completely revamped his acting career. While appearing on the podcast, Sprouse reflected on his upbringing and how his early experiences and relationships influenced his view of fame and love. (He also lit a cigarette about 4 minutes into the podcast, which is already getting the meme treatment on Twitter and will most likely be an extremely difficult smell to get out of Cooper’s signature Boucle loveseats)

The Sprouse twins were born in Arezzo, Italy, but their parents divorced before they were two years old, and then the boys moved back to the United States. Though Sprouse’s mother was the first to get the twins into acting, her own mental health issues and inability to manage their finances eventually led their father to assume full custody of the boys. While Sprouse called his father his best friend and described their long-standing bond, the actor acknowledged that his mother’s personal demons led to the demise of their relationship, which is still incredibly strained today.

“To be honest, she’s lost her mind,” Sprouse said. “I think it was the result of a weird alchemy of addiction and mental instability. It is probably the biggest wound of my life and also the biggest motivation to continue in this industry.”

Sprouse also told Cooper that his early fame with the Disney Channel was a “golden ticket” for their family financially, but had a serious impact on his ability to trust and be emotionally vulnerable in relationships. He described an encounter when he was 14 when he lost his virginity to a stranger – which he says set him on a path of serial monogamy.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really tried to unpack the distinction between my public and private life,” Sprouse explains. “My public life was a mess of showing my awkward teenage years and all this stuff to the world, and I think it’s a perfectly natural consequence of my upbringing to be a little nervous about vulnerability and belonging when it comes to was about romantic partnerships.”

One of Sprouse’s most public relationships was with his own River valley costar and on-screen love interest, Lili Reinhart, who starred as Betty Cooper. The two first confirmed their romance in 2017, but announced their breakup in January 2020. Although Sprouse originally called his breakup with Reinhart a “mutual” decision, Cooper’s pressure — in the form of her bullshit — led him to admitting that the two did some “damage” to each other emotionally and that he was the one who eventually left the relationship. He also shared how having to keep working together affected their split.

“I think the work got hard because it was hard to suspend all the feelings we had for each other. And it didn’t give us the distance to really overcome that. I know we’ve both hurt each other quite a bit…we’re good friends now, which is great,” Sprouse said. “But to be honest, when you’ve been in a relationship that long and someone leaves, it’s not like someone is saying ‘What?!’ It’s no surprise.”


But throughout the episode, Sprouse insisted that even with all the twists and turns, he wasn’t going to change anything about his life.

“I have a very complicated relationship with the public, and that’s how much I let them in and how much I don’t let them in,” he said. “A lot of things probably should have been done differently in the past, but that’s who I am and it’s made me who I am today. So I don’t really regret it.”

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