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Rider Strong Is So 'Grateful' For His Role On 'Boy Meets World,' But Now He Wants To 'Forge A New Path' By Being Behind The Camera

Jul. 20 2021, Published 5:21 p.m. ET

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In the '90s to the '00s, Rider Strong played bad boy Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World — a character that had young girls fawning over him and instantly launched his career.

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As the actor aged, he realized that he wants to move onto bigger and better things, though it took him a while to get there.

rider strong talks bmw
Source: Toby Wilkins; MEGA
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"I was never really a good actor – not that I was bad at it. I just never understood what it took until I was older," the 41-year-old exclusively tells OK!. "Part of being a child actor – you show up and you do this thing, but you don’t really understand what it is. It wasn’t really until my mid 20s, early 30s that I really understood what acting is as an actor."

"And I just found myself being on sets where I would be like, 'I think I can do these other people’s jobs better. I think I am better at this other thing.' And when I started making short films with my brother 10 years ago, it was like a lightbulb went off, and I was so fulfilled in a different way," he shares.

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Despite wanting to move around in the industry, Strong has nothing but kind words to say about the Disney Channel show that put him on the map.

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"I am very happy with my life and ultimately, Boy Meets World opened up more doors for me than I could possibly have opened," he gushes. "I was able to send myself to college and pay for it myself. We think about it on a fundamental level like the amount of opportunities I have had because of my childhood acting career, I am so grateful and thankful. Artistically, it was easy – especially in my 20s to be defined by something I had no control over. I sort of stepped into it as an unknown 13-year-old and then to be defined by that for the rest of my life. It was a struggle."

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Now, the Hollywood star can cross directing his first music video off his list! Strong got to work with indie rock bank Typhoon — who played at his wedding in 2013 — on their song "We're In It."

"I heard an early version of the song and there was a very clear narrative in the song itself about friendship and suicide and troubled histories of these people," Strong says of his latest endeavor. "So, instead, I came up with this time travel thing. The song is one story, and the video is its own little movie — it kind of tells a similar story but in a fantastical way."

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rider strong talks bmw
Source: Shiloh Strong

The video stars This Is Us star Jon Huertas and Leif Gantvoort, who travel back in time to prevent the death of their friend (Kyle Morton).

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"I just wanted it to be as beautiful as possible – I grew up in the Redwoods of Sonoma County, Calif. — so I always wanted to shoot something in that atmosphere," he says of the location. "It’s such a beautiful look, and I have always liked science fiction. Our joke was we are making a full feature film in four and a half minutes. I can’t believe we pulled it off. I am really glad it actually worked – it took a lot to pack all of the story in but it’s there, and I am really proud of it."

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rider strong talks bmw
Source: Shiloh Strong

Going forward, Strong has a clear vision for what he wants to accomplish next.

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rider strong talks bmw
Source: Shiloh Strong

"I want to surround myself with creative people I want to work with, and in this case, it was working with Kyle," he admits. "I just want to make the stuff I want to make and put it out there – life is too short, I am no longer going to be waiting for permission. So, it’s kind of like I am at the tail end of a long journey but also the beginning of a new one for me."

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