During an episode of her Pod Meets World podcast, the 41-year-old “Boy Meets World” actress revealed that she had a crush on her former co-star and current cohost Rider Strong when they were on the series as teens.
Fishel, who played the role of Topanga Lawerence, came clean when a fan asked the two and fellow cohost Will Friedle if they had ever had a crush on each other while the series ran from 1993 to 2000.
“I’ll go first,” Danielle admitted. “I had a crush on Rider [Strong].”
“That’s not true, you’ve never told me that!” Strong, who played Shawn Hunter exclaimed. “You saved that for 30 years? So … I was your first celebrity crush. [It was] Jonathan Taylor Thomas and me. You really had the teen magazine thing covered way through the ’90s.”
“It is too true,” she replied, before recalling the moment her crush began.
“I think it started maybe later in season 1 and definitely through season two. I did. I had a crush on Rider. I don’t know — he was so smart.”
Fishel continued, “You know one of my favorite things about Rider, and it still stands to this day, Rider is very effusive. He will tell you how he feels and he’s very free with his compliments, but he doesn’t throw them out willy-nilly. When Rider compliments you it is thoughtful, it has meaning, and you can tell … it’s coming from a very real place.”
The actress admittedly noted that she probably “annoyed” Strong when she initially joined the cast, but added that the two eventually formed “a very nice, deep friendship and we had very meaningful conversations.”
She also remembered gushing from a compliment she received from Ryder while taking the same acting class.
“I remember getting a … very real compliment from Rider. And then feeling like, ‘Oh, my God, I love you,'” she quipped.
Though Fishel and Strong never made it out of the friend zone, the “Girl Meets World” star recounted the time she and her on-screen boyfriend Ben Savage went on an actual date.
“Really, truthfully, there was a moment … [Ben and I] looked at each other after all these weeks of playing boyfriend and girlfriend [and] all the kissing and we just looked at each other like, ‘Should we just go to dinner one night?'” Fishel said. “It was very quickly into the meal that we realized this was a hard boundary to jump. … it was very obvious that no, what we had was just a very fun, non-romantic [connection].”
Danielle shared that the two realized their relationship was “more than a friendship, but not at all romantic.” — adding, [We realized] it’s just going to be a deep respect and friendship that will be unexplainable to somebody.”