"Boy Meets World" stars, Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle discussed shooting intimate scenes as child actors.
The cast shared their uncomfortable experiences on the latest episode of their joint podcast, "Pod Meets World."
Strong voiced the importance of intimacy coordinators, while Fishel said she believes things are changing in the industry.
"Boy Meets World" stars Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle, shared some of the "horribly uncomfortable" encounters they've had while filming intimate kissing scenes on the latest episode of their joint podcast, "Pod Meets World."
During the episode, the cast rewatched episode 7 from season 1 titled "Grandma was a Rolling Stone." In the episode, Friedle revealed he had his first onscreen kiss in the series. Rather than fondly recall the memory, Friedle and his costars began discussing the "creepy" feelings they experienced while shooting the hit series.
One scene in question featured a 17-year-old Friedle kissing guest star Keri Russell, who played Mr. Feeny's niece. "Everyone is just staring at you," Friedle said of the awkward moment on set.
Over the years, both Friedle and Strong said they kissed different girls as the show's resident playboys.
"When I was about 18 and it was a girl a week — Rider, we both went through this, where it's like: 'That's your partner and you're going to kiss!'" Friedle said. "I started asking, 'How would you like to do this?' because it's creepy."
"It was hugely uncomfortable. Everyone talks about that, like 'oh man you got to kiss all these girls and you got to do all this,' and it's not awesome. You might think it is, but it really is horribly uncomfortable to do in front of an audience," Friedle continued.
Strong agreed wholeheartedly and voiced that an intimacy coordinator would have made the experience less awkward on set.
"I love the idea. That never existed, and now it's become pretty standard on set and I love it," Strong said. "I've never worked with one personally, but I totally think that it's a necessary role because you can't just trust that a director or a producer is going to have the experience or the delicate tone that is required of that situation."
The hosts went on to discuss the amount of kissing between child actors on TV shows in the 90s by pointing out that it "doesn't happen anymore." Due to that, Fishel said the future looks optimistic for child actors.
"I know when I've been on set [as an adult] the conversation is: 'We would never ask a child to do that; we're not doing that because that's an uncomfortable thing to ask any 14-year-old to do," she said.
The actress went on to share her own experience with being unable to say no to, especially as a kid. "We were actors, it didn't matter whether or not we were uncomfortable or comfortable with it. Whatever the writer wrote is what you did, and you were made to feel that if something did make you uncomfortable, it was inappropriate for you to express that."
The podcast episode also touched on the pay inequity Fishel faced during the early seasons of the sitcom.
The hit coming-of-age sitcom "Boy Meets World" aired on ABC from 1993 to 2000. The show, which ran for seven seasons, followed main cast members Cory (Ben Savage), Topanga (Fishel), Shawn (Strong), and Eric (Friedle) from childhood to early adulthood.
The popular series birthed "Pod Meets World," which debuted in June. Each week, the trio rewatches an episode of "Boy Meets World" with a different special guest.
Since its launch, the hosts of "Pod Meets World" have dished on all their experiences while filming, from showrunner Michael Jacobs' "puppetry" on set to Fishel's emotional reaction over not being cast as Topanga after auditioning.
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