Rowan Blanchard is an American actress and model who is best known for starring as Riley Matthews on the Disney Channel comedy series Girl Meets World (2014–2017), which follows Cory and Topanga’s daughter Riley as she navigates her freshman year of high school.
Blanchard’s family history
Blanchard was born in Los Angeles, California, to Elizabeth and Mark Blanchard-Boulbol, who are both from Texas. She has a younger sister named Sage and grew up in Santa Monica. Her father is of Mexican descent, while her mother is Jewish (of Russian Jewish ancestry).
Blanchard’s career as an actor
Blanchard started acting at the age of seven when she began doing commercials. From 2009 to 2014, she had regular television guest roles on Modern Family, The Middle, Criminal Minds and Make It or Break It.
Blanchard was originally considered for the lead role of Riley Matthews on Girl Meets World, but Rowan has stated that she auditioned for the role of Maya Fox on the show instead because both girls tested for both roles.
During her audition, she performed the monologue from The Diary of Anne Frank. She was then told that they were looking for two different characters and that they wanted Blanchard to play Riley Matthews. After seven to eight auditions over the course of six months, she got an email that she had landed the role.
Blanchard stated in an interview that “it was probably the best audition I ever did”. After landing the role, Blanchard began to work with a dialect coach to have an American accent. When asked by Disney Channel if she could relate to her character Riley Matthews, Blanchard said that it is different because Riley is much more outgoing than she is.
Blanchard also noted that she and her character both get embarrassed a lot. In an interview, Rowan stated “I have been acting for about 7 years now, doing auditions since I was seven, so being able to work on Disney Channel has been awesome”.
Blanchard is in the cast of Girl Meets World. She is starring as Riley Matthews, the daughter of Cory and Topanga.
Blanchard starred in No Better You, which was directed by Sean McNamara. She played Abby, “a spirited young girl with a terminal heart condition who is determined to survive long enough to experience all the wonders she can in her short life”.
She has also signed on to the indie film, Your Name Here, as Phoebe, a young actress who becomes friends with Tom (played by Austin Stowell), “a disillusioned adult film star”.
Blanchard starred in The Goldbergs episode “Girl Meets Boyfriend” portraying Adam Goldberg’s girlfriend. She also has guest-starred on The Fosters as “Lena”.
Blanchard also stars in Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World which premiered on June 27, 2014. As of July 2015, Blanchard is co-starring with Sabrina Carpenter in an E! reality series entitled “The Unauthorized Story of Jessie J”, which chronicles the life of singer Jessie J.
Blanchard has also filmed the Lionsgate film “The Spy Next Door”. She plays Margo, a 12-year-old spy in training who is living with her uncle (played by Jackie Chan).
Blanchard has signed on for a recurring role in Fuller House, the 2016 Netflix sequel series to the sitcom “Full House”. She plays the role of “Ellen”, D.J.’s (Candace Cameron Bure) daughter who is dating Kimmy Gibbler’s (Andrea Barber) son.
In April 2016, Blanchard was one of six women to speak out about being sexually harassed by director James Toback.
Blanchard stars as the title character in the 2018 Disney Channel Original Movie “Zombies”.
Blanchard also stars as Skye Westmore on ABC’s new show “For The People” which premiered on March 13, 2018.
Blanchard attended New York University for one semester as a creative writing major before deciding to take time off from school to focus on acting. She has written numerous short films, webseries episodes, and also graphic novels.
Blanchard is vegan due to ethical reasons. When she was 12 years old, Blanchard started a Twitter account for her rescued pet rabbit named Puff where she posted photos of him dressed up in costumes. Blanchard stated that she dressed Puff up as a method of “bringing cuteness and joy to the world”. When Puff passed away in 2015, Blanchard wrote a eulogy for him.
Blanchard’s support to non-profit organizations
Blanchard supports the non-profit organization Kids Company because “it not only focuses on giving children various outlets for creativity but it also helps them build stronger relationships within their families and communities.” She has also volunteered at soup kitchens in middle school.
Blanchard is an activist. She has campaigned for Planned Parenthood by organizing donations and speaking at rallies to raise funds for cancer research. Blanchard has written various articles and spoken on panels about women’s rights and modern feminism. She has also spoken about racial justice, writing an article for “Teen Vogue” entitled “Why We Need Diversity on TV.”
Blanchard has also voiced her support for the Me Too movement.
Blanchard is a feminist, saying that “It’s important to me to show young women and girls that it’s okay to be smart and opinionated and passionate about what you believe in”. Blanchard does not subscribe to any specific religion but can see herself practicing Zen Buddhism in the future.
On March 17, 2018, Blanchard came out as queer, tweeting that she had “liked girls since middle school.”
Blanchard’s view of Donald Trump
Blanchard is politically active, speaking out against the presidency of Donald Trump and co-writing a Teen Vogue article with her friend Yara Shahidi entitled “What To Do If You’re Scared About The Wall And Muslim Ban”.
On October 14, 2017, Blanchard abruptly ended an Instagram live chat after receiving negative comments about a post she had written on Twitter which stated that “white people are this season’s Halloween costume.”
Controversy surrounding Rowan Blanchard
Rowan Blanchard, the 14-year-old star of Disney’s Girl Meets World and an outspoken feminist, has been accused by her own followers of selling out after she posted a selfie on Instagram.
As a child actress who promotes feminism and body positivity on social media, Blanchard is no stranger to controversy. But this time around it was her fans that were outraged over what they saw as hypocrisy in one of their favorite celebrities.
The photo featured Blanchard sporting red lipstick with the caption “Lipstick is back bitches.” Fans commented that she looked like a “whore” and that she had betrayed them because she had previously spoken out against makeup shaming.
Others argued back saying how hypocritical it was for feminists to criticize women’s appearances in such harsh terms while also criticizing men for doing so when they make remarks about female celebrities’ bodies or clothing choices.
While others pointed out how problematic it can be when people who espouse feminism also take part in concealing their bodies and/or judging others for wearing makeup or revealing clothes. Blanchard, who was once again the target of body shaming comments, responded to her critics by writing: “I can wear makeup and be a feminist.”
How did Rowan Blanchard rise to fame?
She’s had a pretty interesting career so far. She started off on the ABC sitcom “The Middle” and has since appeared in several movies, including Disney Channel’s “Girl vs. Monster.” But it wasn’t until she starred as Riley Matthews on the hit series “Girl Meets World” that Blanchard became one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars.
After her breakthrough role on GMW, Blanchard went on to expand her acting resume with roles in films like The Goldbergs (2013), Girl Meets World (2014), Barely Lethal (2015), The Glass Castle (2017), The Hate U Give (2018), and Snowpiercer (2020).
She is starring as Alexandra Cavill in Snowpiercer, a famous TV series.
So how did Rowan Blanchard manage to achieve all this success at such an early age? Here are some tips from experts who have worked with other child actors about how the young starlet has managed to keep her cool while landing coveted roles in some of Hollywood’s biggest productions.
She didn’t let overnight fame get to her head. “Rowan is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met,” says acting coach Jordana Joseph, who has worked with Blanchard on several projects. “She has a lot of momentum going for her, but she’s not caught up with it.”
Joseph says that Blanchard handles the drama and red carpet events like someone much older than just 14 years old. “She understands what her goals are, and doesn’t get distracted by the Hollywood glitz and glamour,” Joseph says. “There’s a reason she’s been working steadily since she was 10 years old, and I think her good head on her shoulders is the reason why.”
She doesn’t get caught up in drama. One of Blanchard’s biggest challenges so far has been not becoming wrapped up in the concept of Hollywood drama. “When she was younger, she had to finesse being part of a hit show and still remain true to herself,” Joseph says. “She knows how to navigate life in Hollywood.”
This doesn’t mean, however, that Blanchard’s trying to be someone different than her true self. Her manager Matt Casella of TMI Talent Agency says that Blanchard is just following the mantra she’s adhered to since childhood: “She doesn’t judge and accepts everyone,” Casella says.
So while some stars might cling to their status and only socialize with other stars, Blanchard has friends of all backgrounds. She’s even been spotted on Instagram spending time with her longtime friend Sammi Hanratty, who has more than 1.8 million followers of her own on the social media site.
And this isn’t surprising considering Blanchard’s old-school approach to acting and life in general. “She still has her mother read over scripts before committing to projects,” Casella says.
Blanchard’s friendship cricle
She has good friends. Having good friends is one of the most important things for child actors to survive in Hollywood, Joseph says. “Having strong support systems around you is essential,” she adds.
Blanchard is friends with Rowan’s The Neigborhood co-star Yara Shahidi. She has also been friends with Sabrina Carpenter since they both co-starred in Girl Meets World. She is good friends with her co-stars Peyton Meyer, Corey Fogelmanis and August Maturo.
Along with Hanratty, Blanchard’s other close friend is her Girl Meets World co-star Sabrina Carpenter. “It’s so much easier to stay grounded when you have friends who aren’t in the business,” Joseph says. Casella agrees, adding that Blanchard does her best to keep it real with everyone she meets.
“Rowan has this incredible ability to connect with people no matter what their status is, and be herself around them,” Casella says. “She’s really good friends with people who are very successful, but she also has very close relationships to other young actors who are just getting their start.”
She doesn’t rush into things. Blanchard is often compared to Jennifer Lawrence. However, Joseph sees another actress closer to home that Rowan reminds her of: AnnaSophia Robb. “Rowan has the same sort of precociousness, charm and magnetism that young Ms. Robb does,” Joseph says.
She says it reminds her of when she first met Blanchard’s Girl Meets World co-star Shannon Purser aka Barb from Stranger Things at an audition. “When she left the waiting room, I said to myself ‘wow – that was a powerful presence,'” Joseph says. “Rowan has a similar sort of manner about her,”
That’s because Blanchard doesn’t rush into projects without taking time to think about what she wants from them. “There are other actresses Rowan’s age who are doing things very quickly,” Joseph says. “Rowan takes her time to process the possibilities surrounding potential work. She only works when she feels inspired, and when there’s something there that will challenge her.”
She follows her own path when it comes to acting. It’s no secret that Blanchard is passionate about continuing the Girl Meets World series, and that’s because she’s always been an actress who follows her heart. “Rowan is very aware of what her choices say about her as a young woman and as an artist,” Joseph says.
Casella agrees: “She wants to be able to look back on her life and know she lived with integrity. What’s important to her is being true to herself and the work she does.”
This is something that Blanchard learned from her parents, who are both actors themselves. “Rowan grew up in an environment of authenticity,” Joseph says. “Her family comes first but Rowan also knows how selfless it can be to choose your craft over everything else in life. Rowan is always thinking about what’s right for her, and she knows how much work it takes to be an actor.”
Rowan Blanchard (born August 26, 2001) is an American actress and activist. She is known for her role as Riley Matthews on the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World (2014–2017), for which she won a 2015 Kids’ Choice Award, and appeared in the films Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011) and The Clique (2008).
Life of Rowan Blanchard has a lot to teach us. She’s an American actress and activist who has been involved in the fight for LGBTQ rights since she was just 11 years old. In her new book, “Eloise Darling”, Blanchard tells of how she came out as queer at age 14 and never looked back, despite some pushback from friends and family members.
“I don’t think I would have found my voice without that struggle,” says Rowan about coming out publicly as queer early on in life.
What can you learn from this young woman’s life? How do you feel when people tell you your passion isn’t worth it or not good enough because they’re scared of what society will say?