Why Rider Strong "Did Not Want to Be Associated" With Boy Meets World

Rider Strong, who played best friend Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World, blamed "adolescent insecurity" for making him distance himself from the popular ABC show while it was on air.

By Emlyn Travis Jul 07, 2022 4:48 PMTags
Watch: Cory and Shawn Reunite on "Girl Meets World"

Somebody call Mr. Feeny! 

Boy Meets World star Rider Strong recently shared that, as a teenager, he was embarrassed about portraying Cory's (Ben Savage) ultra-cool best friend Shawn Hunter on the beloved ABC show. In fact, he would actively avoid it at all costs when they weren't filming.   

"I did not want to be associated with the show, which is crazy to me now," the actor, who was 13 when the show first began, told Insider. "For years in my midteens, I didn't watch the show. Whenever we were down from the show, I literally ran away from Los Angeles and buried my head in the sand." 

The actor, 42, explained that, in his younger years, the idea of signing a seven-year contract to the show—which ran from 1993 to 2000—felt like "death" and that he "didn't want to be there from the get-go." 

Now, over two decades after the show's final episode, Strong shared that not fully embracing his time on set during the series has become one of his biggest regrets.  

Boy Meets World: Where Are They Now?

He also pinned his negative teenage outlook on being both "anti-mainstream" and battling "adolescent insecurity" at the time.  

Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

"In retrospect, I'm like, 'That's pretty bad,'" he told the outlet. "I should have just been happier and lived in the moment and been proud of the show and been proud of what we were doing. But instead, I don't know, I had a real chip on my shoulder." 

Rider was able to get a second shot at Shawn when he reprised his role as the iconic bad boy with a heart of gold in the Disney Channel spinoff series Girl Meets World in 2014.

In addition to directing several episodes, he also made multiple guest appearances on the show, which ran for three seasons before it was ultimately cancelled in 2017.   

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