Exclusive: Boy Meets World's Ben Savage: "Did I date Danielle Fishel? Erm..."

Published Wednesday, Sep 10 2014, 13:13 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Boy Meets World star Ben Savage was a childhood icon of the 90s and now he's back - playing a dad in spin-off show Girls Meets World!

In the new Disney programme, Ben has reprised his role of Cory Matthews and together with wife Topanga - played by original actress Danielle Fishel - is bringing up their 12-year-old daughter Riley.

Girl Meets World - 10 September 2014

© Disney

Some of the show's other favourite faces also make an appearance, including Cory's best friend Shaun (played by Ryder Strong) and instead of going through the pains of adolescence himself, Cory is now experiencing it through his fatherly eyes.

We caught up with Ben, 33, after he jetted into London and couldn't wait to find out how it feels to be back in the shoes of such a well-loved character!

Hi Ben! How does it feel to be back?
It's been great - it is really like taking a step back into my childhood, so it's been a lot of fun and an interesting experience. Not everyone gets to do what we are doing and we're having an absolute ball!

Was it easy to slip back into the role of Cory or was it difficult because he's in such a different place in his life now?
That's a good question. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, as we had to imagine what the character would be like 14 years after where we left him. There was a bit of a process of figuring out how much he had changed and how we wanted to imagine him at this point in his life. In the end, I think we found a really nice blend of keeping the original character with the same traits and quirkiness - you know, funny and of good nature - but also showing him in a much more serious light. He's is a dad with a kid now and we're trying to present him as someone who is much more focused on a being a good role model and presenting a good example for his children.

Boy Meets World cast shot

© Rex Features

Have the cast stayed in touch over the years?
We have but we didn't talk all the time. I think a good sign of a friend is that you don't have to talk everyday and you could go away for some time but, when you rekindle, it's like no time has passed at all. That's how it's been on the show, not just with the cast but with the crew too. We have a lot of the same writers and a lot of the same people still working on the show, so to all be back together again is a blessing.

Are you enjoying working with Ryder again?
Definitely. Ryder first joined Girl Meets World to direct the Christmas episode, but we have since acted in front of the camera together. I literally felt like I was a teenager again. It was so much fun!

Does it freak you out that you're technically old enough to have a 12-year-old daughter?
Yes! I mean, I don't have kids and I'm not married but I guess I technically could. If my daughter was real I would be very happy [laughs]!

Girl Meets World - 10 September 2014

© Disney

You always had good chemistry with Danielle, did that click straight back when you got in front of the cameras again?
Yes it did. Danielle has been a very close friend growing up and she is one of the people I was referring to earlier, about how all this time has passed and the second we started working together again was as if nothing had changed. It's like a really interesting déjà vu moment where you're acting and forget what year it is! It's such an interesting flashback, it's been great.

You were such a believable couple on the show. Was there ever any romance in real life when you were growing up?

Should we take that as a yes?!
We're very close and I really trust Danielle. She's a great person and she's married now!

Did you find it difficult growing up in front of the cameras?
I don't know if I found it difficult, because it was the only life that I knew, but we had a very good support system around us. We had great teachers, one of whom is Rowan Blanchard (Riley's) teacher now. They put an emphasis on our education and our school before anything else. Rowan has a great support system and a great family. Everyone on set always makes sure that school is a priority and plus, she has me looking out for her, so she's blessed!

Girl Meets World airs on Disney Channel at 6pm on Fridays from Friday 12 September

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