It's been over twenty years since the fan-favorite sitcom Boy Meets World wrapped up, and five since its sequel/revival series Girl Meets World concluded, but the cast of the series are still knee-deep in the lives of Cory and Topanga. Earlier this summer former cast members Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel & Will Friedle launched Pod Meets World, a retrospective podcast on the series that dissects the episodes with insight and guest commentary from others that helped bring it to life. This week's episode of the series got real however with Fishel revealing details of unkind treatment by series co-creator Michael Jacobs.
In the discussion, Fishel revealed that she was initially not the actress cast in the role of Topanga, a part she booked when she was 12-years-old and played until she was 20 (then again in her 30s). She noted that her first day on set was fraught with being placed in the spotlight in a bad way, with Jacobs singling her and her performance out in front of the rest of the cast to an embarrassing degree.
"I had never been a part of his marathon notes session. This was my first one because it was my very fist week," Fishel revealed (H/T Variety). "Michael starts off the notes by saying, 'Danielle, I'm going to give you your notes all at one time, at the end and I'm going to give everyone else their notes now, because if I made everyone sit here through all of the notes I had for you, we would all be here for hours and no one would ever get to go home. So you're just going to wait for the end.' From that moment on, my eyes welled up because you know, I'm now in front of everybody – all the producers, all the writers, all the cast and all eyes are on me for a second."
"He went through every single one of my lines and what he wanted and what I wasn't doing right and how slow I needed to talk," she added. "What I know specifically was said is, 'All I know is, if you don't come back tomorrow doing this entirely differently, you are also not going to be here,' referencing the girl I had replaced."
Fishel added that pleasing Jacobs' became her primary goal on set rather than getting her performance right, noting "That's what I remember feeling. That's what I don't think is healthy." She noted that she earned his approval however and that "chasing the dragon of Michael approval" became something that was prevalent on set.
Friedle, her co-star who played Eric Matthews in the series, added: "He set it up in such a way that for now when he gives you the standing ovation, it's like the sun is shining on you. It had nothing to do with your acting. It was just, make Michael feel good.'"
All seven seasons of Boy Meets World can be watched on Disney+. New episodes of Pod Meets World drop every Monday and Thursday.