Star says limit for girls on kids show was ‘when they looked sexually active’

Keri Russell has opened up about her time in the Mickey Mouse Club(Picture: Rex)

Keri Russell has reflected on her time on the All-New Mickey Mouse Club, claiming there was a ‘cut off’ for girls taking part.

The Diplomat actress started off her career in the spotlight as part of the star-studded Disney cast in the early 90s, alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling.

She was around 15 years old when she first appeared on screen, in 1991, and remained there for two years.

Unpacking those early days during an appearance on the Dinner’s On Me podcast, host Jesse Tyler Ferguson asked whether there were age restrictions or cut-offs for those taking part.

‘Yeah, it’s usually girls who look like they were sexually active, which probably I was one of the first,’ she laughed. ‘They’re like, “She’s out, that one is gone!”

‘Meanwhile, the boys stayed until they were 19.

Keri was joined by a string of famous faces in the cast – including Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (Picture: Disney)
The actress joked that she was the ‘least talented’ person in the cast (Picture: Rex)

‘I was like, “By the way, I had sex with that person, so I know that they’ve had sex.” For real.’

‘Girls and sexuality… And by the way, me, I [had] like a 12-year-old boy body. There’s nothing really sexy about me, but I think that was what [made Disney] nervous.’

‘Pregnant Mouseketeers aren’t on the roster,’ she quipped, sharing that she left at ’17-ish’.

The hugely popular series premiered on the Disney Channel in 1989 and brought a whole heap of young talent to our screens, as well as incredible special guests.

The variety show – a revival of the 1950s program – aired until 1994, with Matt Morris, Nikki DeLoach and JC Chasez also among the cast.

Keri went on to star in a string of films and TV shows, including Cocaine Bear, We Were Soldiers, Boy Meets World, Married… With Children, Felicity and The Americans.

Looking back on her Disney days, she joked that she was the ‘least talented kid’ taking part in the Mickey Mouse Club at the time.

The series ended in 1994 (Picture: Disney)

However, compared to other child actors and young stars who have struggled in the spotlight, she shared her belief that the shared youth of her fellow cast members was instrumental in them making it out ‘alive’.

She continued: ‘I feel like the only reason we got out alive is… I think the creepiest part of kid acting is usually it’s one or two kids with all adults, and so that really accelerates the adultification of everything.

‘For the Mickey Mouse Club, there were 19 of us. The adults were invisible to me.

‘I think that’s what was unique about being a kid actor at such a young age, I wasn’t completely alone with all the adults, and I think that was helpful.’ has contacted reps for Disney for a comment.

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