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Keri Russell: Girls Cut from ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ for Appearing ‘Sexually Active’

Keri Russell has made a revealing confession about her time on The Mickey Mouse Club. The 48-year-old actress and former Mouseketeer discussed why she was let go from the show at 17, while some of her male counterparts remained on for a few more years.

During an appearance on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Dinner’s on Me podcast, Ferguson asked Russell if there was a specific age when young actors were typically dismissed from the MMC. Russell responded candidly, suggesting that the criteria seemed to be more about appearance and perceived sexual activity than age alone.

“It’s usually like girls who look like they were sexually active,” she replied. “Which, probably, I was one of the first. They’re like, ‘She’s out! She is out! That one is gone.'” She explained that this appearance of sexual maturation appeared to be the deciding factor in her dismissal.

Russell, who starred on the All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1991 to 1994, admitted during the podcast that she was sexually active with a male co-star who was allowed to remain on the show for a few more years.

“The boys stayed ’til they were, like, 19,” she said, emphasizing the double standard she noticed. “I was like, ‘By the way, I’ve had sex with that person so I know that they’ve had sex.'” She chose not to name the co-star, although it’s known she dated fellow Mouseketeer Tony Lucca during that period. Both Lucca and J.C. Chasez stayed on the show until they were 19, departing in 1995.

With a hint of humor, Russell remarked, “Pregnant Mouseketeers aren’t on the roster!”

Ferguson expressed surprise at Russell’s career path following her start as a child star, a sentiment she echoed. “It is weird that I was on that,” she admitted, reflecting on the transition from child star to established actress.

Russell noted the pressures of child acting, often marked by an accelerated adulthood because of the adult-dominated environments. “I think what’s really the creepiest part of kid acting is usually it’s one or two kids with all adults, and so that really accelerates the adult-ification of everything,” she mused. However, she appreciated that her experience on The Mickey Mouse Club was different due to the presence of 19 other child stars. “The adults were invisible to me,” she added, considering this dynamic helpful in her development.

Currently, Russell stars in Netflix’s The Diplomat, which has been renewed for a second season. The actress continues to captivate audiences with her versatile talent, transitioning seamlessly from her early days as a Mouseketeer to her current roles in more mature, complex narratives.

Source: Entertainment Tonight