Dylan and Cole Sprouse
Acting since they were six months old, identical twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse started out by playing one character in TVís Friends and movies like Big Daddy. Now they get to work side by side in their popular Disney Channel comedy The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, playing brothers who live in a Boston hotel. Taking a break from math lessons in their on-set classroom, where their pet bulldog Bubba kept them company, the twins took time out to tell IML about their exciting lives on and off the show.
IML: Before The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, you usually shared roles. How is it playing separate people?
Dylan: Itís really nice. Itís fun to actually get to interact with each other.
IML: How are you guys like and not like the characters on the show?
Cole: Actually the characters were originally based off our personalities. In fact they were originally named Dylan and Cole.
Dylan: While we were shooting Big Daddy we stayed in a hotel for four months and we came up with the idea of twins living in a hotel. So thatís where The Suite Life of Zack and Cody came from.
Cole: But they tweaked it a little bit to make it a little more interesting. Whatís different is, Iím a little smarter in the show now. Zack is a little more mischievous. Heís the guy who will go the extra length in a plan where Cody will say, "Hereís where we stop."
IML: How are you different from each other and how are you most alike?
Dylan: Cole likes darker colors.
IML: How about personality-wise?
Dylan: Iím more laid back. I want to sleep all the time.
IML: What do you fight about most?
Cole: Mostly stupid, territorial stuff like ĎI called that last muffin! Why did you eat it?í Or, ĎIt was my turn to play the video game and you played a couple extra minutes so Iím gonna play a few extra minutes.í ĎWell thatís not fair!í Dumb stuff like that.
IML: Are you both good athletes? What sports do you like?
Dylan: Weíre both equally athletic, but our favorite sports are basketball, surfing, snowboarding. We like baseball, but not as much as some of the other ones.
Cole: What I like best is snowboarding. I really love the snow and we donít get too much snow in Hollywood!
IML: Whatís a typical day like for you?
Dylan: In the morning I wake up really groggy and try to go back to sleep for ten minutes but I canít, so I get in the shower and wake up. We usually get to the set around 8, 8:30 on some days but on Mondays we get in around 10:00 and do a table read with all the cast there and we read the script and practice later that day. On Tuesday and Wednesday we rehearse and on Friday we actually shoot it. On Thursdays we leave around 9:00 and on Fridays we have to get out by 8:00.
IML: Do you have favorite episodes of the show?
Dylan: I like "Hex Kitchen" and "Birdman of Boston." Those are really good episodes. ĎBirdman of Bostoní hasnít come out yet. It has a real emotional basis. Cody adopts a baby hawk that flew onto the balcony of Londonís suite. He has to learn to let it go. Itís pretty sad but funny at the same time.
Cole: "Hex Kitchen" is my favorite because it was really fast paced and I take over a kitchen, and I love to bake and cook. I make some mean Snickerdoodles and hot milk sponge cake.
IML: What is that?
Cole: Itís a really fluffy, sugary cake thatís warm and stays warm longer because the milk is heated.
IML: Who taught you to bake?
Cole: I taught myself a lot of it but my mom taught me a little bit.
IML: You have school here on the set, right?
Dylan: Three hours of school.
Cole: Our teacher is great and that makes it go a little faster. The schoolwork we do, we have to cram it in. When we donít get enough school on a filming day we have to stay extra on another day.
IML: Do you have to do homework when you get home?
Cole: No, because we do a lot of work here and our teacher spares us!
IML: What are your best subjects?
Cole: My favorite subjects are reading and English.
IML: How do you keep up with your friends? Do you see them on weekends?
Dylan: Yeah, mostly on weekends. Sometimes we invite them on Fridays to come see the show.
IML: Youíve been acting most of your lives. Do you ever feel like you missed out on things that regular kids get to do?
Cole: Not really, because weíve grown up in this and we went to public school from kindergarten through seventh grade, when we started the show. So we know what itís like. The only thing we miss is going to school and seeing our friends there. Part of school is having the social activity. But either way we get the better side of the deal, I feel, because we get to work and have fun with our cast.
IML: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Dylan: Weíre pretty big nerds
IML: In what way?
Dylan: I like nerdy things and we have some nerdy qualities. We like Godzilla, we read a lot of comics, which to us isnít nerdy. Nerds will take over the earth one day!
Cole: I am afraid of the dark. I canít stand pitch-blackness. Iíll have a nightlight on just so I know whatís in my room!
IML: So no watching scary movies before bedtime?
Cole: I try not to!
IML: Speaking of movies, what are some of your favorite movies that youíve been in and havenít been in?
Dylan: My favorite movie I havenít been in is Anchorman. Itís my favorite movie ever and if you havenít seen that movie I highly suggest you rent it. Itís kind of weird for me to watch movies I have been in so Iím not sure of my favorite but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Big Daddy.
Cole: Probably Big Daddy.
IML: What kind of movie would you want to do if you had the chance?
Dylan: A superhero movie!
Cole: I always wanted to be in one of those creepy sci-fi thrillers or be in a Godzilla suit and be able to kick down buildings and destroy cars.
IML: Youíre best known for comedies. Would you like to do dramas too?
Cole: I enjoy comedy so much more. Itís a better vibe for me.
Dylan: Yeah. When you start going into drama it gets soap opera-y. Itís kinda weird.
IML: What other actors would you like to work with?
Dylan: Iíd like to work with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angelina Jolie.
Cole: It would be fun to work with Dave Chappelle.
IML: What are your favorite video games?
Cole: The Legend of Zelda, itís a classic. It hits every point of interest that I look for in a game. Itís really fun.
Dylan: My favorite would have to be Super Smash Brothers Melee on the Game Cube. The new version is coming out and Iím pretty excited about that.
IML: What books do you like to read?
Cole: Weíre reading Tom Sawyer right now and thatís really good.
Dylan: I really like Lord of the Flies; itís really dark, though.
Cole: Right now Iím reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and I like that. And I liked The Odyssey and the adventures of Ulysses.
IML: Who are your role models?
Dylan: My dad is a big role model. And people on our set, like Kim Rhodes.
Cole: I consider my family and comedians before me as role models, like Jack Lemmon. Our director on the show always shows us old clips, to show us what makes people laugh. I love hearing people laugh.
IML: How do you cheer yourself up when you feel down?
Cole: Iíll call a friend or Iíll find a funny joke or Iíll see Bubbaís face and he always makes me laugh.
Dylan: Definitely Bubba. I watch Anchorman -- that always cheers me up. Or I lie down and think about whatís going on and itís usually not that bad at all.
IML: Youíre doing a magazine called Sprouse Bros. Code and clothing and grooming products for boys. How involved are you in all that stuff, since youíre busy on the show?
Cole: We actually have a lot of creative control over the designs that go on the tee shirts and what the bottles will look like. For the deodorant, we pick a lot of the citrus scents. For the shirts, we thought funny sayings would be good so weíre thinking up little one-liners. One has a picture of a gnome and says ĎYou donít even gnome me.í
Dylan: The magazine, we wanted it not to be like all the chick magazinesóPopstar, Tiger Beat. Most of them are not for guys our age.
IML: Do you think that guys your age will read it? You play a lot of sports and video gamesóbut do you read magazines?
Dylan: We read video game magazines. In our magazine we want to have the video games that are coming out, cool gadgets, deodorant. Things guys would care about. We want to aim it towards guys.
Cole: I read magazines that appeal to what I like. And guys like video games, sports, gadgetsówhatís cool and whatís not.
IML: Youíre working with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsenís company Dualstar. Have they given you advice?
Cole: We did get advice from them about clothing and how it should be done. We also had kids come in to pick what they liked best. Mary-Kate and Ashley have been very successful in their business but theyíre girls. We wanted to hit the guys.
IML: Will you have a column in it when we see the first issue this summer?
Cole: Yeah. So will Bubba.
IML: How old is Bubba?
Dylan: He was born in October.
Cole: Heís our first bulldog.
IML: Is he your only pet?
Dylan: We have a monster goldfish. We got him at a carnival. Most goldfish are two or three inches and heís eight or nine inches. His name is Killer.
IML: How do you deal with fame? Is it ever annoying that you canít go out to the mall without being stopped by fans?
Cole: Recently we went to the science museum and we got mobbed. Itís something you have to deal with when youíre a celebrity and you can say no or yes. Dylan and I regret the fact that weíve said no before but we try to avoid being mobbed. When we say no we have a good reason to say noóweíre either on vacation or there are so many kids it would take too long to do it for everyone.
IML: Do you ever use a disguise?
Cole: We havenít done that yet. When it gets a little crazier, maybe we will.
IML: Do you want Suite Life to continue a few more years?
Dylan: Yeah, Iíd like to stay as long as possible, until I go to college. I want to go to college and get a masters or a Ph.D in zoology so I can work with animals.
IML: So you think youíll give up acting one day?
Cole: Iíve thought about it a little bit, and I know Iím going to college but I donít exactly know what Iím going to do just yet. Iím still young and I have a while to think about it.
IML: We asked some of our IMLíers to send in questions for you. This question is from Haylie, 13. She asks, ďWhat do you like most in a girl, either as a friend or a crush?Ē
Dylan: I donít want them to be psychotic, as in, ďOh gosh, youíre Dylan and Cole!Ē that kind of attitude. I like girls that are in good shape.
Cole: My taste in girls? Girls that I can relate to. Girls that are funny and outgoing and just really want to have fun. And care enough to take care of themselves.
IML: This one is from Jenny, 10, who asks, ďHow do you like working with a twin brother? How is it different from working with people youíre not related to?Ē
Dylan: Working with each other, we can bring the fact that we are brothers to the show. So when we fight in it we bring the feelings behind it of what weíre doing in real life, and what would annoy us then. If I was fighting with someone who wasnít a brother, and had to hit him, Iíd be like, ĎOh, Iím sorry!í
Cole: Dylan and I are on the same tune, the same key, so when the writers will put something in for the two of us to say something at the same time, we can get it in one shot. Dylan and I know exactly what makes people laugh so weíll rely on each other and the comedic timing will come in when one of us says something and weíll make a big joke happen together.
IML: Kelsey, 9, would like to ask, ďWhat do you think of the rest of the cast of your show? And Cole, what was it like to be dressed up as a girl in that one episode?Ē
Cole: It was pretty breezy. I walked in those shoes like a pro. I could run and jump in them ó I think itís from snowboarding and the balance ó but seriously, must have gone through four pairs of tights. Tights are very uncomfortable. They ripped. And my boxers got all bunched up!
Dylan: The cast is great; itís like a family. Most people start off saying that and by second or third season itís Ďyeah, whatever.í But we call each other and hang out on weekends. It is a family. We see each other every day so why wouldnít we be?
Cole: We are a big family. We know exactly what makes each other mad and sad and happy.
IML: Nirmiti, 11, asks, ďHow do you handle media rumors about you?Ē
Cole: Rumors are part of being famous. Part of the challenge of acting and being a celebrity is dealing with the challenges that come with it. Our tastes in bands have changed. Right now my favorite band is System of a Down.
Dylan: Shakira isnít our favorite singer so donít listen to that one! I like Weezer. You canít really complain because itís going to happen to everyone in their lives at some point. The best suggestion is donít let it affect you very much. If you know itís not true then other people will know itís not true.
IML: Any final message to IML readers?
Dylan: Keep watching. This season has a whole bunch of funny stuff in store!
Cole: Thank you!
For more on Dylan and Cole Sprouse, visit their Web site at www.sprousebros.com.
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