Note: This article was originally posted in June 2013, when the cast reunited at the Austin Television Festival. To celebrate the debut of "Girl Meets World" tonight on Disney, check out our Now & Then gallery above -- and keep reading to see 15 Facts You Probably Never Knew about "Boy Meets World."
The cast of "Boy Meets World" got back together on Friday for the first official reunion since the show went off the air in 2000 -- and they revealed a ton of secrets we never knew about the long-running TGIF staple.
Ben Savage (Cory Matthews), Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), Trina McGee (Angela), Maitland Ward (Rachel), Matthew Lawrence (Jack), Betsy Randle (Mama Matthews) and Lily Nicksay (Morgan #1) joined show creator Michael Jacobs at the Austin Television Festival earlier today.
From a Q&A with fans, one-on-one interviews on the opening night red carpet and a press conference with the cast, toofab has put together some surprising facts about the show.
1.) Ben Savage's first kiss was on camera
Ben and Cory's first kisses were at the same time. The young actor had never locked lips with a girl before his smooch with Topanga (Danielle Fishel) -- and was so nervous before shooting it, he asked, "Can I die from this?"
2.) Mr. Feeny is not British
The kids on set thought that William Daniels was from across the pond. In reality, the Brooklyn-born actor just has really great diction.
3.) Morgan #1 has had a very interesting life
After the first two seasons of the show, Nicksay was replaced by an older actress. But she's been a busy girl since leaving the show. Lily told us she went to high school in the Scottish highlands, sailed around Europe, lived with the Karen tribe in Thailand for a month and studied Ancient Greek and Latin at St. Andrew's. Impressive!
4.) Rider Stong was Shawn from Day 1
Michael Jacobs says Rider was the first person to show up to audition for the show -- and even though he had hundreds of others scheduled to audition for the role of Shawn, he sent them all home after Strong's run-through.
5.) Danielle Fishel wasn't the first choice for Topanga
Danielle didn't have it as easy as Rider. She revealed (via video message) that another actress was initially cast in the role. When that didn't work out, Fishel was brought in -- but she thought she'd get canned too.
"At the end [of the first run-through], Michael said "I have so many notes for you I'm going to do you last and let everybody else go home." After some coaching, a calm and collected Topanga emerged -- and the next day, Michael's only comments came in the form of a standing ovation.
6.) Jared Leto is an angel
Fishel also talked about a scary accident that happened on the way to set one day, an accident that left her car totaled after she hydroplaned during El Nino.
"I had hazard lights on, nobody stopped except one person, like an angel out of nowhere," she explained. "This car pulls up next to me and rolls down the window ... and it was Jared Leto."
After he made sure she was O.K., he drove off. "I thought Jordan Catalano/Jared Leto might be an angel," she says.
7.) Not everybody loved Shawn & Angela's bi-racial love connection
"I did [get some negative feedback], but I also learned not to play into that," Trina revealed. "The world today is a little bit meaner than it was when 'Boy Meets World' was playing. Now I hear a lot of strange comments but I feel sorry for those people."
8.) Rider almost quit the show
"Rider came to me and said 'I have to quit,'" Jacobs said about an interesting meeting around the show's fifth season. After saying he wanted to go to college, Michael told him "What makes you think we can't work out a schedule where you can go to college and do the show?"
They worked it out and the show continued for another two years.
9.) Danielle was fine with her "Felicity" moment
Topanga cut her famously long hair during one episode -- and Jacobs says Fishel didn't hesitate.
"I talked to Danielle and said one of the things we're thinking about doing is cutting your hair," he says. "She said 'Get me the scissors.'"
Watch her do it below:
10.) The cast members are a bunch of thieves
"I was looking through my closet the other day and I found these really nice black leather shoes and on the bottom it said 'Cory,'" said Ben. "13 years later, I still have those shoes, sorry!!
Rider took something too: Shawn's leather jacket.
"I took the leather jacket with me to New York and then it got stolen out of my garage in Brooklyn," he says. "Some hipster in Brooklyn stole it!"
11.) Maitland Ward never auditioned for "Boy Meets World"
Maitland met Michael Jacobs when she auditioned for one of his other shows: "Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane." While he didn't think she was right for that show, he cast her on "Boy Meets World" instead.
"ZDJ&J" only lasted 26 episodes.
12.) The cast had a family of "stalkers"
"They baked us cookies every week and they'd say 'From The Stalkers," says Rider. "They were great."
The family attended every taping and didn't mind the nickname. "They liked it," says Ben. "They were very dedicated fanatics."
13.) Brittany Murphy made a lasting impression
She only appeared on 2 episodes of the show, but Rider clearly loved having her around.
"She was so quirky and different and it was really tragic when I found out she had died," he says. "I was not surprised to see her instantly achieve huge success after our show, she always had real crazy cool quality to her."
14.) The set had a secret "Death Chair"
During the first few episodes, the creators tried giving Cory two sidekicks, not just Shawn.
"The first, 3-4 episodes, there's always another kid with us," says Rider. "We had a chair that we called "The Death Chair," because whoever sat in it wouldn't be back the next week."
Eventually, they gave up on the other character and gave all his lines to Rider.
15.) Those tears during the finale are real
"We did that last scene in one take because we were such a wreck," Rider say of filming the series finale. "It was 7 years, like high school and college all rolled into one saying goodbye to each other."
Danielle Fishel's goodbye to Mr. Feeny was so touching, they didn't want to re-shoot it -- even though the actress' real-life tattoo was showing on the back of her neck!
Unfortunately, the clip has been pulled from YouTube. So go ahead and rent it on Netlix!
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