Cole Sprouse Believes Greedy Estranged Mom Pushed Him & Twin Dylan Into Acting For Her Own Profit: It's 'Wicked Narcissism'
Countless child actors only enter showbiz after years of begging their parents, but for Cole and Dylan Sprouse, it was their mother, Melanie Wright, who pushed them into acting.
Cole gave the scoop on his unusual childhood during a recent appearance on "The Diary of a CEO with Steven Bartlett" podcast, where he admitted Wright used him and his twin brother for her own financial benefit.
"My mother was, and still is, the tortured artist type. She struggled with, in many different ways, her place in the world," the Riverdale star, now 30, spilled. "I think she found a tremendous sense of self-identity through motherhood and tried to turn it into a profitable business at the same time, which for identical twin boys going into acting ... can be incredibly profitable, so that's what she did."
Cole and his sibling's first big shared role came in 1999's Big Daddy, and just a couple of years later, court officials gave their dad, Matthew Sprouse, sole custody due to their mom's declining mental and physical health.
"I think as I have aged, I've looked back on a lot of circumstances of that entire environment and I see a person that grapples with mental illness, drug abuse, but primarily narcissism," the Disney Channel alum said of Wright. "A wicked narcissism. The inability to perceive anything out of your own perspective, and that just doesn't work with being a mother, with being a family in general."
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The heartthrob acknowledged that being involved in the world of Hollywood likely inflated her ego even more, as the industry "encourages ... selfishness [and] greed."
"A lot of these things that we have come to know as cardinal sins," he said. "It’s one of those things that encouraged a kind of selfishness that’s directly opposed to the fundamental idea of motherhood.”
"[My father] desperately wanted us to be normal kids, and my mother wanted us to be ... a bit more of a caricature of two normal kids," Cole elaborated. Despite the custody change, the talented tweens still pursued acting, though once they hit 18, they took a hiatus to attend NYU before returning to Hollywood.
Cole confessed he no longer has a relationship with his mom, but insisted he misses "her a lot."