#87. A Conversation with Danielle Fishel: Part II

Jason Anders: So what is the most annoying question you are asked on a regular basis?

Danielle Fishel: I don't know, probably if Cory and I ever dated. That's probably the most annoying. It's weirdly personal, and I've said it in every other interview that "no, we never did date". We maybe went on like one half-date to try and figure out if we really did like each other, or if we were just actors- I've said that in every interview, and people continue to ask me that all the time. It's like- wow, the show started seventeen years ago and you're still interested to know if Cory and I ever dated?

JA: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you want to be?

DF: That's a good question- I would probably be in Maui. There's two sides to me right now, part of me feels like I really need a vacation because I've been jumping back and forth to New York and I'm extremely exhausted. The other part of me feels like I really need to be in the Gulf trying to figure out what I can do to help, but I don't really know what I could do. Those would be the two sides of me.

JA: Do you have any phobias?

DF: I'm terrified of spiders!

JA: Me too!

DF: It doesn't matter how big they are, doesn't matter how small they are- I just cannot stand them. Years ago I would wake up screaming in the middle of the night about them. I think I get that from my mom, she has night terrors about spiders... I think it's just one of those things that she passed on to me.

JA: Do you collect anything?

DF: I collect two things: I collect sweatshirts from everywhere I go. I always buy a sweatshirt because I love hoodies! I also collect Starbucks mugs from everywhere I go. I have all kinds of different mugs from all over the world- I have them from London, Switzerland, China... some my dad brought to me, and I also have them from every city I've traveled to in the United States. That's probably my favorite collector's item.

JA: Do you remember your first car?

DF: Yeah, I do. It was a black Toyota 4Runner and I loved it. I thought it was the greatest car ever and I was so excited about it! What I really wanted was a red Celica Convertible, but my parents refused to let me buy it... even though I was paying for it with my own money.

JA: Here's a random question- If you could be the star of any television show in history, which character would you want to take on?

DF: Well that's really hard for me because I feel like I already got to play the one that I would have wanted to do. I don't think I would have chosen to do anything other than Boy Meets World and to play Topanga. That was such a good growth experience for me, and such a fun show. It was such a good show, and people still respect it so much. I don't know if I would have wanted to do anything else. I will say that I do love Law & Order. I think that it's amazing, and I would have loved to have a character on that show. I'd still love to do a show like that right now and really get to test my dramatic acting skills.

JA: So what were your favorite television shows growing up?

DF: I didn't watch a ton of TV when I was growing up, although I did love all the Saturday morning shows like Saved By the Bell and California Dreams. Sesame Street, when I was really little, was the end-all, be-all for me of TV shows. As a teenager, all of my girlfriends were watching Melrose Place and 90210... I just never really got into those.

JA: Do you have a favorite television show that you watch now on a regular basis?

DF: Favorite television show now would be The Office. Also Saturday Night Live- I think as you move along in any sort of career you get goals in mind that are things which make you think, "wow, if I could do that then I would really feel like I have made it." For me, I think the epitome of my career would be if I ever got to host Saturday Night Live. I look forward to seeing it every week. I just think they're all so talented and amazing. I'd love to be a character on the show, but if not that I'd love to just host it.

JA: Do you have a favorite SNL cast member?

DF: I absolutely love Steve Martin, so anytime that he's hosted or done anything for the show is amazing. I think my all-time favorite has become Kristen Wiig, I think she's just incredible and so funny. I love her. She's never been in a skit that I don't think is absolutely hysterical. If she's not my all-time favorite, she's pretty darn close.

JA: What's your favorite movie?

DF: Probably Goodfellas. I love that movie. I love gangster movies! I also love P.S. I Love You, on a totally opposite spectrum (laughs), I don't really know why I love it so much, because I don't typically love 'pull-at-your-heartstring' girl movies, but I just really love that movie. I actually just ran into Hilary Swank this last time I was in New York, and all I could say was "oh my gosh, I love your work!", but what I really wanted to say was, "I watch P.S. I Love You every chance I get!"

JA: Do you have any weird habits?

DF: I don't know. I'm sure my boyfriend would be able to tell you some of them, but I can't really think of any. I don't think this is a weird habit, because I think a lot of people do it, but I have to wake up at least an hour before I start getting ready to go somewhere and just sit on the couch with my dog and have a cup of coffee. If I don't do that, my entire day feels out of whack. I'm often a very early riser so that I'm able to have my 'sit on the couch and drink coffee' time, but I don't know how weird that is. I'm sure I have them, they're just hard to say about yourself, so I don't know.

JA: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?

DF: For the first time in my life I feel like my age. I've always felt older than my age, and it used to drive me crazy. I constantly wanted to be older. When I was a teenager I wanted to be in my twenties, in my early twenties I wanted to be in my thirties. I'm 29 now, and I really feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Sometimes I will forget how old I am and think I am younger, and then sometimes 29 still sounds so incredibly young to me. But for the first time ever, 99% of the time, I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

JA: What is the best Christmas gift you've ever received?

DF: Taking myself back to when I was a very little girl, my parents got me a fur coat when I was about ten years old. It was before it was politically incorrect to have fur- I didn't know any better, my parents didn't know any better... everybody had one. I just thought it was the greatest gift I'd received in my entire life and loved it so much. I never really even wore it, I think maybe one time? How many opportunities are there to wear a fur coat, you know? Since then I've donated it to somebody else because I would never wear or buy fur anymore. But I do remember that being the most excited I had ever been about receiving a present, and I called my best friend to tell her about it, and she had also received one for that Christmas... we were both just thrilled to death.

JA: What would be a fondest memory you have of being on the set of Boy Meets World that you might not share that often?

DF: I think that some of my favorite moments happened between Ben and I when we were between shooting scenes. Obviously we were all very close after seven years of working together on a show, but I think particularly Ben and I maybe had the closest and most intimate relationship because we had played boyfriend and girlfriend for so many years. We really felt like we had a very unique connection to each other. I think some of my favorite moments with him were just joking around between the scenes, him sharing secrets with me, me sharing secrets with him, and just laughing and giggling. I look back at that time on Boy Meets World as when you're still really naive about the way your life and your job works, and all you know is that you're having a great time and you don't think it's ever going to be anything different from this- I look back to those moments that no one knows about, that I've never shared with anybody, and my fondest would be with Ben.

JA: What are three adjectives you would use to best describe your personality?

DF: If I had to pick three words- I would say kind, empathetic, and hard-working.

JA: And one more question- Did you and Cory ever date in real life?

DF: (laughs) We went on one half-date and then decided we were just going to be friends.

Read Part One of "A Conversation with Danielle Fishel"