Dylan and Cole Sprouse know that sometimes it takes two.
The adorable identical twin boys, who captured our hearts almost 25 years ago with their playful performance as the precocious little boy on Big Daddy with Adam Sandler, are no longer little. Nor are they boys.
Now handsome 30-year-old man, Dylan, and his younger brother by 15 minutes Cole, are not as attached as they were at the start of their careers, but they are still very close.
Born in 1992, the adorable blond boys were only 8 months when they started sharing roles as one toddler or child in commercials, TV, and film.
With Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen–of Full House fame–serving as a testament, identical twins are a huge resource in Hollywood due to child labor laws that prevent children from working too many hours.
And for the little Sprouses, two of them were better than one.
Their breakout role was in the TV comedy series, Grace Under Fire, where from 1993 to 1998, they played the son of Brett Butler’s leading character Grace Kelly. Growing up from infants into talking and walking six-year-olds, the twins were extraordinary in sharing the role of Patrick Kelly.
“As Grace’s 8-month-old, it’s impossible to tell at this point if Dylan and Cole Sprouse are the Olsen twins of tomorrow,” writes Tim Grey in Variety.
When they starred as Sandler’s adopted son in the comedy film Big Daddy (1999), they stole every scene with their perfectly timed lines and their playful performance.
Speaking with People in 2022 about Sandler, Cole said, “Perhaps I’m a bit biased because I’ve known him for ages, but I do admire his career. He’s got a really, really wonderful balance between art and commerce that I think is the currency of a real working actor.” Cole continued, “He’s walking that line beautifully and he’s raising up all of his friends at the same time, which I think is incredible.”
From 2000 to 2002, the power pairing of Cole and Dylan was split when Cole played on the hit TV series Friends. Acting as Ben, the young son of Ross Gellar who’s played by David Schwimmer, Cole performed the role on his own, the first role that didn’t include Dylan.
Speaking of his favorite Friends episode that he appeared in, “The One with the Holiday Armadillo,” Cole explains, “I remember that quite well. I was infatuated with the costumes and the practical effects that they had.”
He also revealed that the costumes weren’t his only infatuation. He also had a big crush on his co-star, who played Rachel. In an interview with TODAY, Cole said, “I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Jennifer Aniston, which the whole world had at that point. But I do remember being quite intimidated around her, because of that. I remember blanking on my lines and having kind of stage fright when she sat next to me on the couch in one episode.”
In 2002, Cole and Dylan were reunited and twinned again in the shared role of the young Pistachio Disguisey in the film Master of Disguise.
At this time, the boys were starting to develop unique personalities, which would route their careers as individuals.
That was when they played Zach and Cody in The Suite Life of Zach & Cody, an Emmy-nominated Disney show that ran three seasons starting in 2005. When the series ended, their roles as Zach and Cody crossed the Disney universe into other shows, like Hannah Montana with Miley Cyrus, and in their film, The Suite Life Movie.
Driving young girls wild, the teenage heartthrobs’ popularity was growing, but level-headed, the young men moved onto the next phase and went to New York University, Dylan studying video game design and Zack humanities and archaeology.
“I needed to take a break and step outside myself, I needed a dose of reality, and I needed to see myself from a more objective point of view. And now I think I can enjoy [acting], which is a really fundamental part about being an actor,” Cole said, explaining that the long-running Disney series had him feeling like a machine. “I’m not saying that we didn’t enjoy that time, but it worked. It’s a career and a business, and it got me to college, which is one of the most fantastic gifts I could’ve been given. But I’m glad to be [acting] on my own accord now.”
Both graduating in 2015, Cole returned to television, again acting without his brother.
Their distinct personalities are guiding them on separate journeys, and as individual men, they are no longer sharing one role.
Since 2017, Cole has been playing the lead of Jughead Jones in Riverdale, a supernatural drama TV series based on the characters from the Archie comic books.
He is currently dating French-Canadian model Ari Fournier, whom he met more than two years ago.
Dylan on the other hand, is voicing video game characters and is engaged to the Sports Illustrated model, Barbara Palvin. He is also the co-founder of All-Wise Meadery, a craft brewery in Brooklyn, NY.
Speaking with US Weekly in 2020, Dylan said, “It’s more likely that I will write something for us to work in together, rather than someone approaching us. Twin movies are never good! That’s just the universal truth I think the universe has given to us, and so if we can find the right thing then, yeah.”
It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since we first saw the adorable Sprouse twins on Big Daddy! They both have done some incredible things in and out of Hollywood and we can’t wait to see what they do next.