Cole Sprouse Online

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From Disney camp to the reboot of Twin Peaks: Cole Sprouse, star, along with his twin brother Dylan, of the beloved teen saga “The suite life of Zack & Cody”, plays Jughead Jones in “Riverdale”, the CW series that Netflix is distributing worldwide (in Italy from January, 27th coinciding with the United States), in which the characters of the famous Archie Comics of the 1940’s are transplanted to the present day, where a film noir atmosphere imbues an iconic American small town. After the success of “Stranger things”, this could be the new series to glue us to the screen, analyzing obsessively, looking for nostalgic references and clues to decode. What is certain is that it will be difficult to recognize, in the oddball Jughead, the baby-faced blond kid, born in Arezzo (where his parents were teaching English) and raised in California, who lived in the candy-coated world of the Disney Channel for eight years.

But the sabbatical that the Sprouse brothers took since leaving the Los Angeles studios (we saw them also in “Big daddy” with Adam Sandler) to devote themselves to their studies at New York University (they both graduated with honors from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study: Cole in archeology – his grandfather was a geologist – and his twin in Game Design) turned them into men. The role of Jughead, the first that Cole has chosen to play after years away from the set, is that of Archie’s best friend, a guy portrayed in the original comic as asexual – a character type that had not yet appeared in the mainstream.

“There’s narratives within the show that are going to really resonate with a younger audience but also with families. I’m a believer that we should support various forms of representation because they clearly resonate with unheard groups of people, and for such a huge project like Riverdale this kind of representation is fundamentally important. In the beginning I really thought hard about that with the creators and authors of the show. The way this first seasons is shaping up is that this is not going to be a narrative that’s touched upon, which I don’t really mind you know: I think there’s really potential and room for that narrative in the future. I would love, love, love that representation to be more at the forefront”.

The 24-year-old actor, who was also president of the undergrad anthropology club, is also a budding photographer and uses the camera as a therapy tool: a passion that blossomed during his studies and soon became a professional endeavor (his photos have been published by several magazines). “The world of fashion and fine arts in New York really took me by surprise and photography has helped me through a period of person turmoil. I am glad when people like my portfolio, but its aim is, or was, to keep me at peace. The beauty of commercial work is in the common goal, in working as a team. I feel I can belong as long as my person style is consistent throughout the shoot. But the second this becomes unappealing to me, I leave: I don’t have that kind of commercial necessity, I’ve been working my whole life, and that allows me the flexibility to do it because I want to, and that gives me comfort”.

Any ideas for independent projects? “After living in two cities (Los Angeles and New York, editor’s note) I really feel the need to travel as much as possible because – it might be a bit of a cliché – only when a culture completely different to your own surrounds you, can you see who you are as a person and how do you operate under those circumstances. I’ve become obsessed with trying to figure out who I am against situations that make me uncomfortable and not settled, ensuring that that fear of stagnation doesn’t allow me to flip in to that bubble of privilege.”Among the likely destinations, he cites Bulgaria and Mongolia. Mongolia seems the perfect place for a young archaeologist specializing in the use of a software that elaborates predictive models to find ancient artifacts.

The excitement is palpable in his voice when he explains this more technological side of the discipline. Sprouse sees a connection between his passion for gaming and collecting, the adventure novels he devoured as a kid, and his future Master’s degree in archeology. “To think that I hadn’t seen Indian Jones until my senior year at college! But it’s probably for the best: those movies created an image of an archeologist’s job that is pretty far for my reality. Which is more me standing in a one-by-one ditch for six weeks, smelly and covered in dirt, and much less me using a wip and running from boulders!”

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