Actor Cole Sprouse has opened up about his experience of growing up in the public eye.
Talking to Elle.com the former Disney star admits he grew tired of living in a bubble and, as a result, became disillusioned with the entertainment industry.
“Acting requires a great amount of empathy for real lived human experiences.” Sprouse explained.
“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.”
So Cole made the decision to turn his back on showbusiness.
“I was really sick of the entertainment industry and wanted to step away.”
“Dylan and I were nonstop—we were being recognised and it was overbearing, and I figured it would be nice to let that dissolve. I didn’t know if I was going to return, and then this project sort of crept up.”
In 2011 Cole and his twin brother Dylan enrolled in the Gallatin School of Individualised Study, a small interdisciplinary college within New York University, where students are able to plan their own curriculum.
Explaining his reasoning for choosing to go to college rather than continue acting, Cole said “college seemed like the most productive way to prove to people we were coming into ourselves.”
“I was finding out my identity and growing by going to an institution where I could evolve and become more adept at understanding why I was thinking certain things, and how society viewed me.”
Both Cole and Dylan graduated in May 2015.
After some time away from the industry, Cole returned to the small screen earlier this year playing the role of Jughead Jones, in the CW’s Riverdale.
When asked if he was enjoying being back acting again, Sprouse said “yeah, it’s fulfilling.”
“And I think that’s the only currency I am looking for right now. As long as it stays fulfilling, I will continue doing it, but the second it stops being fulfilling I’ll leave.”
Cole and Dylan Sprouse began acting at just eight months old, appearing in ABC’s Grace Under Fire, both playing the role of Patrick Kelly.
In 1999 the brothers appeared in their first major feature film, Big Daddy.
Starring alongside Adam Sandler, the boys shared the role of Julian McGrath who was adopted by Sandler’s character Sonny Koufax.
Six years later the Cole and Dylan were cast in the Disney Channel original series The Suite Life of Zack And Cody, a sitcom for kids which told the story of troublesome twins Zack and Cody Martin, who lived at the Tipton Hotel.
The show ran for three seasons before ending in 2008.
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