Danielle Fishel had a crush on ‘Boy Meets World’ co-star Rider Strong
What could have been a cute “Boy Meets World” encounter instead became girl-on-girl, unrequited love.
Danielle Fishel – best known for playing free-spirited Topanga in ‘Boy Meets World’ – has confessed to falling for co-star Rider Strong, who played protagonist Cory’s best friend Shawn, early on in filming. the series, revealing it a long-kept secret on the latest episode of “Boy Meets World” themed “Pod Meets World” podcast.
After reading a question from a fan – “Were there any off-screen romances or crushes?” — Fishel didn’t hesitate to admit his past feelings.
“I’ll go first: I had a crush on Rider,” she replied.
Strong, seemingly momentarily speechless, reacted to his confession with a series of gasps before sputtering, “Whaaat?! That’s not true, you never told me that!” — prompting Fishel to double down on the revelation.
“You kept this for 30 years?!” Strong continued, seemingly still in disbelief.
The actress went on to explain that the crush started “maybe later in Season 1, and definitely in Season 2.” The show’s first two seasons premiered in September 1993 and September 1994, respectively, and the series finale aired at the end of the seventh season in May 2000.
“He was so smart, and, you know what? One of my favorite things about Rider – and it’s still going strong – Rider is very effusive. He will tell you how he feels. He’s very free with his compliments, but he doesn’t just throw them around,” said Fishel, 41.
“When Rider compliments you, it’s thoughtful, it makes sense — it’s coming from a very real place,” she said.
Fishel recalled one particular moment when she swooned over a heartfelt compliment from her co-star while in acting class.
“I remember getting a very real compliment from Rider, like, ‘You, my friend, are doing an amazing job,'” she recalled, implying that the kind words made her blush.
“And I found a diary that I wrote for about three months on ‘Boy Meets World,'” she continued.
“And it was so embarrassing because I was finishing the diary [entries] with like ‘PS I like…’ And then there are like four people that I liked. And Rider was one of them! she concluded, prompting a shy and slightly puzzled Strong to echo, “I made the list at some point?!”
The former co-stars are both happily married, with Strong wedding actress Alexandra Barreto in 2013 and Fishel marrying producer Jensen Karp in 2018. Each couple shares a child together, with Strong and Barreto welcoming son Indigo in December 2014 and Fishel giving birth to her and Karp’s son Adler in June 2019.
“Pod Meets World” debuted in June 2022 and features former “Boy Meets World” cast members Fishel, Strong and Will Friedle — who played Cory’s older brother Eric — as co-hosts. . Episodes to date have included interviews with various other cast members interspersed with reactions from cast members while rewatching old episodes of the ABC sitcom.