In the 2000s, identical twin brothers Cole and Dylan Sprouse rose to prominence as dual leads on the hit Disney series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody from 2005 to 2008. Both boys then starred in the spinoff series The Suite Life on Deck from 2008 to 2011. From then on, it was perhaps natural to assume that both would have long careers ahead of them. Unlike his brother Cole – who continued his successful acting career, most notably as Jughead Jones on The CW’s “Riverdale” – Dylan more or less dropped out of the acting business and instead chose other, more dejected earthly lifestyles.
Shortly after his Disney Channel appearance ended, Dylan was just beginning to explore this new path in his life, so he didn’t mention it publicly. That’s why many fans were surprised when he saw him land this unexpected role in New York City in 2013 at the age of 21. And now, almost a decade later, Dylan continues to pursue a regular job, completely separate from his acting career.
Dylan Sprouse has castigated fans for questioning his personal life
In 2013, two years after his Disney Channel fame ended, Dylan Sprouse had quietly retired from the spotlight and was spotted working as a restaurateur in New York City. This sighting comes amid both Sprouse brothers’ decision to attend college. both attended New York University from 2011 to 2015 per variety. Dylan has a degree in video game design; Cole, in the humanities with a major in archeology.
However, given the history of former child stars experiencing emotional breakdowns or otherwise tumultuous lifestyles as they came of age, many fans have wondered if Sprouse had “lost all his money” and therefore had to resort to a regular job.
In response, Sprouse defended his decision to work his restaurant job, revealing that he was indeed financially secure and only chose to take the job for personal reasons (fittingly, a “video game addiction”) while chastising fans for inappropriate speculation in his private life. “To clear the air (which is admittedly quite rude),” he wrote on his Tumblr at the time (via Us Weekly), “I didn’t take this job because I’ve ‘lost all my money,’ I’m financially secure, and took this job primarily to feed my insatiable video game addiction.” He added, “to criticize someone [working] is quite strange… in no way do I think any experience is a step down for me.
Dylan Sprouse continues to hold a regular job
Given their years of experience in the entertainment industry growing up, it may come as no surprise to learn that both Cole and Dylan Sprouse have spoken out against inappropriate analysis of the personal lives of former child stars. “When we say child stars go crazy, we don’t really mean that fame is traumatic,” Cole told the New York Times in April. “So I’m fiercely defending myself against people making fun of some of the young women who were on the channel when I was younger because I feel like it takes the humanity of that experience and what it takes to grow.” recover, does not adequately understand.”
For his part, Dylan has been similarly vocal about certain elements of his past life that he wishes to leave behind in the past, particularly the term “former child star.” “That term is so pejorative,” he told Vulture in 2017. “Isn’t it always pejorative? Even ‘young actor’ sounds better… It also implies the past tense. It implies you’ve already failed, doesn’t it?”
Now Dylan continues to live a more or less “normal” life without the public scrutiny that he and his brother once experienced as children; Though he no longer works at the New York restaurant, he opened a meter shop called All-Wise in 2017. Although the New York flagship was forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dylan continues to sell his mead in select quantities in stores across the United States.