Danielle Fishel revealed that the creator of “Boy Meets World,” Michael Jacobs, threatened to fire her on her first day.
The actress – who played Topanga Lawrence on the show – recalled her first rehearsal on the most recent episode of her podcast, “Pod Meets World.”
Fishel, who described her 12-year-old self as “bubbly, fast-talking [and] spunky,” said she found it “very hard to speak slowly” and this seemingly annoyed Jacobs.
She recounted that at the end of rehearsals, Jacobs gave her some pretty harsh feedback and even threatened to fire her.
She told her co-hosts and former castmates, Rider Strong and Will Friedle, “Michael starts off the notes by saying ‘Danielle I’m going to give you all of your notes all at one time at the end and I’m going to give everyone else notes now because if I make everyone sit here through all of the notes I have for you, we would all be here for hours and no one would get to go home.”’”
She continued, “From that moment on I remember my eyes welled up because I’m in front of everybody. All of the producers, all of the writers, all of the cast and all eyes are on me for a second.”
After going through his notes, Jacobs, 67, told Fishel and her mom, “All I know is if you don’t come back tomorrow doing this entirely differently, you are also not going to be here.”
Fishel proceeded to stay up all night with her mom, who coached her on speaking much slower. This apparently worked because the next day, Jacobs applauded her during rehearsals.
She told her co-hosts, “He up and all the writers stand up alongside him and says, ‘Let’s give Danielle a round of applause. You did exactly what I asked of you, thank you. Congratulations, it was wonderful.’”
Fishel – who had actually come in as a replacement for the original actress cast as Topanga – managed to score the role.
Commenting on the incident, Strong, 42, told her, “I can see this still affects you. Like I can see just sitting here next to you it still affects you.”
David Trainer – who was the show’s director and a guest star on the podcast – added, “To hear this, you’re sweating, I’m pissed.”
He also called Jacob’s behavior “hateful.”
Fishel was one of the main stars of “Boy Meets World” and was on the show throughout all seven seasons.
She also reprised her role as Topanga on the spin-off show, “Girl Meets World,” which ran from 2014 to 2017.