Danielle Fishel revealed that “Boy Meets World” creator Michael Jacobs threatened to fire her on her first day.
The actress — who played Topanga Lawrence on the show — recalled her first rehearsal on the most recent episode of her podcast, “Pod Meets World.”
Fishel, who described her 12-year-old self as “bubbly, fast-talking” [and] spunky,” she said, finding it “very hard to speak slowly” and this seemingly annoyed Jacobs.
She said Jacobs gave her some pretty harsh feedback at the end of rehearsals and even threatened to fire her.
She told her co-hosts and former castmates, Rider Strong and Will Friedle, “Michael starts the notes by saying, ‘Danielle, I’m going to give you all your notes at once at the end and I’m going to give everyone notes now, because if I let everyone sit here because of all the notes I have for you, we’d all be here for hours and nobody would go home.’”
She continued: “From that moment on, I remember my eyes widening because I’m standing in front of everyone. All the producers, all the writers, the entire cast and all eyes are on me for the same.”
After going through his notes, Jacobs, 67, told Fishel and her mother, “All I know is that if you don’t come back tomorrow to do this very differently, you won’t be here either.”
Fishel stayed up all night with her mother, who coached her to speak much more slowly. Apparently it worked, because the next day Jacobs applauded her during rehearsals.
She told her co-hosts, “He gets up and all the writers get up next to him and say, ‘Let’s give Danielle a round of applause. You did exactly what I asked of you, thank you. Congratulations, it was great.’”
Fishel – who had actually come in as a replacement for the original actress cast as Topanga – managed to score the part.
Commenting on the incident, Strong, 42, told her: “I can see this still affects you. As I can see sitting here next to you, it still affects you.”
David Trainer – the show’s director and guest star on the podcast – added: “To hear this, you’re sweating, I’m pissed.”
He also called Jacob’s behavior “hateful.”
Fishel was one of the main protagonists of “Boy Meets World” and was featured on the show for all seven seasons.
She also reprized her role as Topanga in the spin-off show “Girl Meets World”, which ran from 2014 to 2017.