‘Boy Meets World’ star remembers smoking cigarettes, selling ‘porn magazines’ at 11 years old

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Will Friedle admitted his freedom as a child actor allowed him to make decisions his parents were not necessarily aware of.

During an appearance on the “Hey Dude… The 90’s Called!” podcast, the “Boy Meets World” star revealed he used to buy porn magazines while on auditions in New York City to sell to friends back at home in Connecticut.

“I tell people my story, and they think I’m lying, or they think my parents had a serious problem,” Friedle told hosts Christine Taylor and David Lascher. 

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Friedle explained how his parents refused to give up their careers as attorneys for his own budding acting pursuits. When he was just 11 years old, he was allowed to take three-hour solo bus rides into Manhattan from his home in the Connecticut suburbs. 

“My manager would pick me up most of the time, and I would walk the streets at 11 years old. I would go to my audition … These stories are awful,” Friedle said.

“I started smoking at a very young age, so I would go, and I would buy my cigarettes. I would buy a couple porn magazines ’cause I knew that I could sell them for way more money to my friends back in Connecticut, so I could jack up the price.”

Friedle added, “So I would stop at the kiosk, they would look at me and say, ‘Well you’re 11, so of course. Here are cigarettes and porn.'”

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He admitted, “I tell my parents these stories now, and they are retroactively mortified that any of this ever happened, but I loved it.” 

Boy Meets World cast in 1998

Friedle also discussed the day he realized he had an anxiety disorder, which eventually prompted him to stop working on camera.  

He remembered suffering his first panic attack while filming “H-E Double Hockey Sticks” in 1999.

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“I’m in the middle of a take and I have my first panic attack,” he said. “They used the take, so I can actually watch my first panic attack ever. I’m the only one who knows it. I thought I was dying.”

He added, “You have to be dying because there is no other explanation for why, all of a sudden, your body and mind is doing this to you.”

Matthew Lawrence, Maitland Ward and Will Friedle of Boy Meets World

Friedle remembered being in-between seasons of “Boy Meets World” when he had to go on medication to treat his anxiety. Friedle starred as Eric Matthews in the hit ’90s sitcom.

“You see one season I’m really, really thin, and then I come back, and I’ve put on like 30 pounds, and it’s because of the medication I had to take.”

He said that after his first anxiety attack, his “whole life was different.”

“Everything is different. The colors are different; food tastes different; acting is different. You are a different person – human being than you were the nanosecond before you had the panic attack,” he said. “And you’re different then for the rest of your life.”

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