Cole Sprouse revitalized his acting career with the hit series Riverdale, and now his name, his lovable “weirdo” character Jughead, and his high-profile photography have all become a ubiquitous facet of magazine covers and billboards.
While the on-screen hat aficionado’s life seems to the outside observer to be all jingle jangle and rainbows (sorry), in a new interview he revealed that he started taking pictures to combat his depression.
“I was sad and in a dark place and I turned to a hobby to sort of take me out of that,” he told YouTuber Duan Mackenzie. “I used it as an outlet, as a way to create and feel better, and it took off. If people can end up finding joy with that work, with the same thing that makes you feel at peace, keep doing it.”
Cole also explained that his early work — which was mostly landscapes — helped him to escape fame to an extent.
“I used those adventures as an attempt to separate from not just the virtual world but from a world I felt paranoid was watching me quite a bit,” he said.
With photoshoots with Kendall Jenner and Sam Smith under his belt for major magazines, it’s safe to say his hobby paid off in professional success as well (and his start offering to shoot his travels for Conde Nast for free is inspiring to anyone looking to get into the business).
“Photography has always been such a personal kind of therapy,” he concluded. “I never imagined it would turn into something other people would feel a similar kind of therapy for. It feels good.”
Watch the full interview below.