This '90s Teen Idol Couple Are Making a Movie About Their Failed Romance
Danielle Fishel and Lance Bass dated a few years before the NSYNC member came out.
During the time that they were together, Lance Bass and Danielle Fishel seemed like the perfect '90s teen idol couple. He was in one of the hottest boy bands around. She starred on a long-running TV show popular with kids and adolescents. But despite how well they fit on paper, the NSYNC singer and the Boy Meets World star didn't work out. Today, it's obvious that they couldn't be happy together because Bass is gay, but at the time, they were still two young people dealing with finding themselves and handling heartbreak.
Bass recently joined Fishel on her Boy Meets World re-watch podcast, Pod Meets World, to talk about their former relationship and how they were feeling at the time. And, they shared on the podcast, the two friends are working together to make their now-platonic love story into a movie. Read on to find out what they had to say about dating long distance, going to prom together, their breakup, and how it's all inspiring their new movie.
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Fishel and Bass met when his band was on Boy Meets World.
Fishel met Bass when NSYNC was part of a live Boy Meets World special. Bass shared on the podcast that he had a crush on Fishel and was focused on getting her phone number. She revealed that she was also secretly hoping he would ask. Eventually, he had his bandmate Justin Timberlake ask Fishel for her number on his behalf.
"Sure enough, a couple days later, I had a missed call and a voicemail from Lance," Fishel said. "And it was Lance, but Justin also screaming in the background about how nervous Lance was to be calling me." Bass added, "It took us an hour to write what I was going to say on your voicemail."
They started dating.
After their meeting, Fishel and Bass started talking on the phone regularly and dating long distance. She would join him on tour when she could and traveled to meet his family. Bass, who is two years older than Fishel, joined her for her high school prom in 1999.
Fishel thought she and Bass would be in it for the long haul. "I thought I was going to marry Lance. I had envisioned our future," she explained. "It turns out I'm not Lance's type."
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They broke up soon after that prom.
Going to prom with Fishel helped Bass to realize that they couldn't stay together, and the former couple's prom night is the inspiration for the movie they're working on. The singer broke up with the TV star two weeks after the event and blamed it on the distance.
"I think so many people can relate to that story. So many people in the LGBT community, their prom night was the night they were like, 'Oh, wait a minute. This can't happen anymore,'" Bass said. "This was the catalyst for me that made me start to accept myself, which took a long time after that, but that was definitely the first little straw that broke."
Fishel explained of prom, "Lance and I had a hotel room booked, and I had a vision for what that night was going to be, and Lance was very nervous about what my vision for that night was going to be. That is really the night Lance talks about as being a thing where he felt like he was hurting me by not being honest to himself or anyone else about what was going on in his life. So, it was kind of the impetus for him to say, 'I'm going to end our relationship.'"
They want to turn their story into a film.
Bass and Fishel remained close friends and now they're making a movie "about our love story and about our prom experience," Fishel said. She added that the movie is being written by comedian Lauren Lapkus (Good Girls, Jurassic World) and actor/writer Mary Holland (Happiest Season, Senior Year).
Fishel was one of the first people Bass came out to.
In 2020, Fishel appeared on Bass' podcast, The Daily Popcast, and they talked about dating, going to prom, and Bass sharing his identity with her. The singer came out publicly in 2006.
"I had heard rumors that you were gay before you ever told me yourself," Fishel said (via E! News). "And all I felt at the time, was this feeling of, 'I hope that he isn't not telling me because he thinks that I won't accept him.' Like, I had this feeling of, 'Gosh he hasn't told me that. And I would be so loving and I hope that he knows that.'"
Bass came out to Fishel at a Halloween party he threw. "I always knew you would completely accept me," he said. "But you know, for someone being that young and going through that and being so closeted and not telling one person. It's just embarrassing. You don't want people to know because you're just so embarrassed about being gay at that point. It was a different time, you know."