Child actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse spent their formative years printing money for Disney.
Between the years 2005 and 2008, the twins, previously known best for appearing as one alongside Adam Sandler in Big Daddy, starred in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, one of the most successful Disney Channel shows of all time.
By the end of its original run, The Suite Life had become one of only three Disney Channel Original to air over 65 episodes, helping the Sprouse Bros. snag a spot on People magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest teens.
Disney sought to capitalize on the heartthrobs’ draw with the 2008 spinoff The Suite Life on Deck, which went on to become the top scripted series among tweens two years in a row (beating venerable Miley Cyrus vehicle Hannah Montana).
By 2010, Dylan and Cole were the fourth highest paid kid actors in the world — second only to Selena Gomez among Disney’s stable of on-screen children.
It was a shock, therefore, when, just one year later, Dylan and Cole decided to walk away from the negotiating table after being invited by Disney to re-up for another season.
Now, for the first time, Dylan is speaking out about what really happened in that meeting that made the twins opt for college in lieu of buckets of cash.
Even if you don’t know who these guys are or why they were once billed as “the most successful twins since Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen,” the story of their exit from Disney is a fascinating insider’s look at how the Mouse Factory treats its talent once it gets old enough to think for itself.