What Julie Andrews Has to Do With Rider Strong’s Initial Disinterest in ‘Boy Meets World’

Before Boy Meets World, Rider Strong starred alongside actors like Julie Andrews. By the time the role of Shawn Hunter came around, Strong was less than interested in playing the part. Find out why Strong didn’t initially want to work on the ABC sitcom.

Rider Strong poses for a photo while filming an episode of 'Boy Meets World'
Rider Strong | ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

‘Boy Meets World’ cast reunites to host a rewatch podcast 

Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle, and Strong are hosting a Boy Meets World rewatch podcast called Pod Meets World. From iHeartRadio, the gang is taking fans back to 1993 when ABC aired TGIF and the beloved series premiered. Working their way through every episode, Fishel, Friedle, and Strong will share memories, behind-the-scenes moments, and all the Boy Meets World stories a fan could ever want.

Rider Strong didn’t want to do ‘Boy Meets World’ because of a girlfriend

In the debut episode of Pod Meets World, Strong talks about his success as a child actor going into Boy Meets World. “Unlike you, Danielle, I didn’t wanna be there from the get-go,” Strong admitted in “TGI-Happening.” He elaborated: 

“I have this very distinct memory of when we got picked up for the back nine [episodes] and calling my girlfriend at the time back in northern California. I was 13 years old, just so lovesick.” 

Rider admitted he was “always love-sick” and promised to discuss it more in future podcast episodes. He remembered telling his girlfriend about signing a seven-year contract and being 20 years old if the show kept going, which he thought was “death.” He added: “I wanted to be home.” 

Rider Strong already landed his dream role with Julie Andrews before ‘Boy Meets World’ 

Despite his desire to be home with his girlfriend, Strong wanted to be an actor, too. However, he felt like he already achieved his dreams acting in TV and wanted to do other projects.

Boy Meets World was like my 20th job,” Strong continued. “I had already done the TV series that I wanted to do … where I got to play Julie Andrews’ son.” He’s talking about the short-lived sitcom Julie.

Rider added: “I had a much bigger part, it was so much fun. It was my first sitcom. Blake Edwards was directing … we had all the attention [because of] Julie Andrews…”

“By the time Boy Meets World came around, I had agents and managers and everyone saying, ‘This is good, just get on another pilot,'” Strong remembered. “I wanted to do movies, I wanted to do plays.”

‘Boy Meets World’ was initially called ‘The Untitled Ben Savage Project’ 

On top of already feeling like he’d peaked in TV, Rider was hesitant about Boy Meets World because the show focused on Ben Savage’s character, Cory Matthews. “If you guys remember, it was called The Untitled Ben Savage Project,” Strong said. “It was being built around Ben.” 

In the original pilot, Strong remembers only having two lines. “I wanted to act, but for me, Boy Meets World was just one of the many jobs I was doing,” he concluded. “The fact that it became this hit surprised me and sort of threw me for a loop.” 

Boy Meets World became one of the most beloved sitcoms of the ’90s. The love for the show continued with the Girl Meets World spinoff, and now Strong, Fishel, and Friedle are keeping that love alive with their podcast. 

Pod Meets World is available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard. 

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