Who Is Cole Sprouse?
Cole Sprouse (born August 4, 1992) was a successful child actor who shared parts in movies and TV shows like Big Daddy and Grace Under Fire with his identical twin Dylan. Sprouse and Dylan became stars in their own right when they portrayed a set of twins for the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Sprouse took a break from acting to study at New York University, getting his degree in 2015. In 2016, he was cast as Jughead Jones on the teen drama Riverdale.
Early Life and Brother Dylan
Cole Sprouse was born on August 4, 1992, in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, a quarter of an hour after his brother Dylan. The twins’ parents, Melanie Wright and Matthew Sprouse, were English teachers in Italy at the time.
Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart
Sprouse and Lili Reinhart co-star on Riverdale; their characters, Jughead and Betty, are an onscreen couple. A few months after the show’s 2017 launch, Sprouse and Reinhart’s interactions in public and on social media led to rumors they were dating. However, the two were circumspect about publicly confirming a romance, with Sprouse admitting he wanted to maintain a private life.
In January 2018, Sprouse and Reinhart were seen together in Hawaii. In April, they were spotted kissing in Paris, and later that month Sprouse’s social media revealed the two were vacationing in Mexico. The couple then attended the May 2018 Met Gala together.
In July 2019, it was confirmed that Sprouse and Reinhart had split after two years of dating.
Movies and TV Shows
‘Grace Under Fire,’ ‘Big Daddy’
Sprouse and Dylan shared the role of Patrick, the youngest son of Brett Butler’s character on the TV show Grace Under Fire (1993-98). In 1999, the brothers made their feature film debut playing Adam Sandler’s son in Big Daddy, then were seen as a set of alien twins in the movie The Astronaut’s Wife. In 2000, Sprouse alone was cast as Ben, the son of David Schwimmer’s character of Ross on Friends (working on set, Sprouse developed a crush on Jennifer Aniston).
‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’
Sprouse and Dylan reached a much higher level of fame with their Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (Sprouse played Cody, the more conscientious of the twins). The Suite Life was a top-rated series that ran from 2005 to 2008. The Sprouses also headlined a Suite Life TV movie and the spinoff The Suite Life on Deck (2008-11). In addition, the duo’s Suite Life characters showed up on contemporaneous Disney hits like That’s So Raven, Wizards of Waverly Place and Miley Cyrus’ Hannah Montana.
After taking time out to get a college degree, Sprouse started his adult acting career with the CW series Riverdale, a noirish spin on the world of Archie comics that premiered in January 2017. Though he’d initially been up for Archie, Sprouse was drawn to the character of Jughead Jones — an outsider who serves as the show’s narrator — and asked to audition for that part.
Sprouse was cast as Jughead but had to dye his blonde hair black for the role (he’s noted this makes it easier for people to distinguish him from his twin). Other stars on the successful series include KJ Apa as Archie and Camila Mendes as Veronica.
‘Five Feet Apart’
In 2019, Sprouse co-starred with Haley Lu Richardson in Five Feet Apart, the two playing cystic fibrosis patients who develop feelings for one another. The romantic drama was a commercial success but drew mixed reviews, with some in the cystic fibrosis community criticizing the trivialization of a series illness.
Sprouse is a talented photographer, and has credited photography with offering a positive outlet when he was experiencing depression. He’s photographed magazine covers and fashion shoots, with his work appearing in publications like The Sunday Times and L’Uomo Vogue. The subjects he’s photographed include model Kendall Jenner, Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner and singer Sam Smith.
Talking about his passion for photography with The Sunday Times in 2017, Sprouse said, “I’ve been dabbling with the notion that if and when photography takes a more prevalent role in my life, I will likely never return to acting.”
Sprouse has several accounts on this social media platform. A personal account features his original photography, @sprousemasterworks is a place for fan art and @camera_duels showcases people trying to photograph him in public. The impetus for @camera_duels was to call out invasions of privacy — but fans ended up considering an appearance there to be a badge of honor, which limited its effectiveness as a deterrent.
Sprouse, Dylan and their parents moved from Italy to Southern California when the twins were four months old. Following the suggestion of their grandmother, an actress and drama teacher, the brothers soon embarked upon what turned out to be a very successful acting career (they even landed the first commercial they auditioned for). Sprouse has noted that his childhood entry into acting resulted from his family’s need for money, though he came to appreciate many of the opportunities the career presented him with.
During their Suite Life success, Sprouse and his brother were reportedly earning a combined $40,000 per episode. They also worked with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s entertainment company to launch a magazine, deodorant and other products. However, when they were 18 a dispute about creative control made Sprouse and Dylan decide to walk away from stardom and the Disney Channel.
College and Work
After leaving Disney, Sprouse studied archaeology, geographic information systems and satellite imaging at New York University (Dylan went to the same school; Sprouse’s future Riverdale co-star Mendes was a fellow student as well). Sprouse and his brother graduated in May 2015; as a prank, they switched places to get their diplomas. Sprouse next took a job as an archaeological assistant in an artifact laboratory in Brooklyn, where he was working when he read the script for Riverdale.
Sprouse credits social media with facilitating his stepping back into the spotlight, telling People magazine in 2017, “I anticipated we would go to college and then we would fade out, that was kind of what we wanted at the time, but social media hung onto my brother and I, and thankfully fans hung onto my brother and I, and I think it’s one of the reasons that this reemergence can come back with a little more strength, and I’m very thankful for that.”
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