When I meet Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter before Christmas for festive hot chocolate-peppermint beverages, the girls—who star as the lead and BFF, respectively, on the much-awaited Disney sitcom Girl Meets World—are brimming with excitement. They’ve already shot five full episodes of the series and, in the process, developed a friendship they call “unbreakable.”
Blanchard, who is 12, plays Riley, the daughter of Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence, who fans will remember from the hit ’90s comedy (and crown jewel of the TGIF lineup) Boy Meets World. Now married and all grown up, its no surprise the couple is raising a preteen who is just as quirky and curious as they once were. Riley’s best friend, Maya, played by Carpenter, age 14, has a patchy relationship with her family and is a bit of a rebel, forever getting Riley in trouble.
Blanchard and Carpenter each borrowed some style inspiration from their characters the day we gather—Blanchard dressed in a flouncy boho lace skirt and hot pink sweater, Carpenter in a plaid, quasi-punk dress. They clearly love what they’re doing, love their characters, love living out a young teen’s dream. Boy Meets World may have ended before the girls were born, but in the 20 years since it started, it still hasn’t gone off the air. Carpenter and Blanchard grew up on the show’s reruns, never thinking they’d get to be a part of it, nor dreaming they’d make a friend for life along the way. They chatted with Aritzia—often filling in each other’s sentences, the way any BFF would—about friendship, pranking fellow cast members, and bonding over Adele.
HOW’S THE SHOOTING GOING?
Sabrina: We’ve done five episodes, and they’re way better than anyone expected.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
Sabrina: They all have such real elements to them.
Rowan: All episodes have a very significant—
Sabrina: Life lesson!
Rowan: It opens your eyes to a lot of things you didn’t realize.
Sabrina: We can’t give too much away, but—
Rowan: I’ve definitely learned that no matter what, family and friends are first. It’s not that I didn’t know that before, but our amazing writers have reminded us.
Sabrina: And that not all family is blood. There’s such a crazy strong bond that we have in this show. They made us out to be sisters at this point, and we kind of are in real life, too.
IT MUST’VE BEEN FABULOUS TO FORGE A FRIENDSHIP WHILE WORKING ON THIS TOGETHER.
Rowan: It’s incredible that I can say my best friend on screen is my best friend in real life.
Sabrina: It’s cool, because you don’t get to choose who you work with all of the time…
Rowan: We lucked out!
Sabrina: The whole cast, though…the boys, Ben [Savage], and Danielle [Fishel], we’re all a family.
WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE WITH YOUR ON-SCREEN PARENTS OFF SET?
Sabrina: We like to prank Ben a lot.
Rowan: I tee-peed Ben’s dressing room. Twice!
Sabrina: I think we’re in some sort of war. But we don’t prank Danielle because we have such a good relationship with her. We love her. We love Ben, too, in different ways though.
Sabrina: We’re pretty hard on him. He’s so much fun though, he’s like this big kid, and then on set he’s very professional. Danielle is like the mama bear.
Rowan: She’s the sweetest person on earth.
Sabrina: She gives such good advice.
Rowan and Sabrina: Stay humble.
Rowan: You really are who you surround yourself with. We come home and we both do chores, and she said—
Sabrina: That’s good. It keeps you humble. She said that her parents always made her do chores when she was younger.
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
Rowan: We met in the audition process.
Sabrina: At the screen test. It was the very last audition we both had before we were cast. It was really nerve-wracking because at that point they had seen every single girl—
Rowan: On earth!
Sabrina: And they told us that.
Rowan: They took us inside the building and then said, “Go outside and bond.”
THAT MUST’VE BEEN WEIRD.
Sabrina: It was the first time we’d met, and you never know how it’s gonna work out. We were just hoping that—
Rowan: You were good!
Sabrina: And that you were nice!
SO HOW DID YOU BOND?
Sabrina: We talked about music.
Rowan: A lot of music.
Sabrina: Les Misérables. Pink Floyd.
Sabrina: Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland. And then we went back in the room, and they asked us to sing a duet. On the spot.
Rowan: They just said, “Think of a song.”
Sabrina: They were like, “How about Katy Perry?”
Rowan: And we were like, “No, that’s OK…”
Sabrina: I love Katy Perry, but—
Rowan: We decided on Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”
Sabrina: We just kind of started.
Rowan: I started, and then you sang the next line, and then we both joined in on the chorus.
Sabrina: It just clicked.