Growing up in the 1990s meant you probably had a crush on the quirky girl next door, Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World. Almost 15 years later, Danielle Fishel is back to reprise the role that has defined her career in Girl Meets World, which premiered on the Disney Channel at the end of June. She’s no longer the girl next door; instead a married mother of two, which crushes any childhood dream you once had. It’s time to move on, fellas.
Despite our hopes being reduced to merely a fond memory, Fishel’s role on the show is an opportunity she finds not just enjoyable, but also unique.
“It’s great to be able to play a character through all of her teen years and then to, 14 years later, now play a young mother and kind of see what the differences are, see where the maturity is, maybe the lack of maturity… it’s been a real learning experience, especially for me, who is not a mom in real life,” says Fishel.
In addition to the added nuances to the role, Fishel appreciates returning to work with a cast that was a major and memorable part of her life.
“When you get the opportunity to work with such wonderful people for seven years and then you take a 14-year hiatus and then get to work with them again, it’s kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity that we’ve all really relished,” sayd Fishel, adding that the second incarnation of the show has allotted more time for cast members to spread their wings. “Ben (Savage) has directed an episode, writers directed a couple episodes, I’m going to get to direct in the second season; so not only are we able to work again, but we’re actually getting to flex different professional muscles than we ever have before and really expand our horizons that way.”
After one season and seven episodes, the cast will be returning and begin taping the second season in November. In addition to the show, Fishel has also authored a memoir — Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern — which details the not-so-glamorous points in her life.
“I like to call this book my ‘unhighlight reel’ because social media tends to give us the opportunity to always present the best versions of ourselves: we’re always eating at the best restaurants, we’re always going to amazing concerts,” says Fishel. “I just felt like if we were all maybe a little more honest about all of our screw ups and our awkward moments, maybe we could find some solace in that.”
Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern is available in bookstores now.
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