'Boy Meets World' star and porn actress Maitland Ward says typecasts forced her out of 'mainstream' Hollywood

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EXCLUSIVE: The legend of Maitland Ward is one that will carry with it a theme of “nonconformity” and the ability to never be “pigeonholed.”

Fans of Ward, 44, will remember the bubbly redhead as Rachel McGuire in the popular coming-of-age ABC sitcom “Boy Meets World,” but it was in large part due to the fact that the actress was being typecast in Hollywood as simply a comedy performer, thanks to her roles in films such as “White Chicks,” that led Ward to ultimately make the decision to leave behind the world of laugh tracks for the fascinations of adult filmmaking – and it was here that Ward found her calling.

“This has always been a dream of mine. I just absolutely do my best under pressure and doing like all of the things that I love. I never want to focus on one thing,” Ward told Fox News of exiting Tinseltown. 

“I love to do so many different things at once, like writing and cosplay and mainstream acting and porn, and it’s always been my intention to go back and forth between worlds, so it’s just amazing that the world is allowing me to do that because, in the beginning, people would say, ‘You can’t do that. Nobody’s going to allow you to do that. Nobody’s going to take you seriously in the mainstream if you do porn, nobody’s going to want to hear your story.’ And I just kept going,” she said.

Actress Maitland Ward says he was typecast in Hollywood after ‘Boy Meets World’ role.
(Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Now, the award-winning adult actress, who embarked on her porn career in 2019 nearly two decades after the end of “Boy Meets World,” is penning a memoir about her life post-primetime, titled “My Escape From Hollywood: Why I Left to Become a Porn Star,” which will hit shelves through Simon & Schuster in 2022.

Furthermore, Ward recently wrapped filming on a pilot episode of “The Big Time” – a comedy series centered on a “world-famous adult superstar” – which will mark a return to the small screen for Ward.

She spoke to Fox News about carving her own career path in Hollywood and the adult film industry as well as dished on her upcoming show and book. 

Fox News: Where did you find the passion to try your hand at something completely out of left field but something that was so interesting to you?

Ward: You know, it’s interesting. When I was younger I would have never foreseen this. Like, I was shy and I was not comfortable in my sexuality or body or anything like that really early on. I really grew into it, and it took me stepping away from the mainstream. 

I moved to New York for a while, and I studied, and really it came from my love of erotic writing. And I started exploring that way, and then I was like, I’m just so interested in all of this. So I started studying that and doing it. But I never thought at the time when I was writing, like 10 years ago – I never thought it would actually be an adult career that I was doing. I thought maybe I would write erotic novels and things like that, because I was really interested in it, or erotic-themed films. 

Matthew Lawrence and Maitland Ward in an episode of ‘Boy Meets World’ in 1998. 
(Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

But it was such an authentic process for me. I started on social media, and I would do sexier stuff and more erotic scenes that were not pornography, it was just very sexy and comic book characters, because I love that whole thing and I’m a huge cosplay person, and I never thought that would be a career option either, but my fans kept coming out to the conventions and online and following me and wanting more – and so they gave me that confidence, and that also came with the erotic writing and filmmaking. 

Then I started producing content on my own. Really, it was just very sexy, Playboy-esque type content for [the platform] Patreon. And then it just grew, and it really did stem from the writing. I wanted to do things that I couldn’t probably do in real life, and just by fate I happened into a network where I could have full scripted films that have all of the hot, crazy sex in it that I wanted, because that’s always what I wanted to put together. So it really just fell into place for me that it had the whole erotic scripts and everything that I wanted to do, and then it had all the hot sex. And I think people really identified with that. In the beginning, that wasn’t my plan, but it was such an authentic journey for me that my fans were so with me the entire way. 

But you know what? I wouldn’t have the book and the series and everything like that unless I did have porn. Hollywood wouldn’t have taken me seriously in any other direction. So it’s funny that now porn people actually see me and are taking me much more seriously than they did before when I was just the girl from ‘Boy Meets World.’

Fox News: Is it a strange dichotomy that Hollywood wouldn’t accept you until you became so successful in adult entertainment and through all of the awards you’ve earned?

Ward: Yeah, it’s totally weird, because if I would have said before I went in – which I really didn’t care what other people thought of whatever I was doing along the way – so I was like, this is what I want to do. If you like it, fine. If you don’t, get out of my way, but so many people liked it. 

Former ‘Boy Meets World’ actress Maitland Ward is a frequent cosplayer.
(Maitland Ward)

But if I would have been so concerned and asked people, ‘Do you think I should do this — would mainstream hate me?’ They would have told me, ‘You will be ruined. You will never be seen by the mainstream again – they will ostracize you.’ But it’s kind of a testament to how the world is changing, too, and how minds and are changing, especially among the younger generations.

But it’s so interesting too, when I won my first AVN [Adult Video News] awards for it, it was just such an amazing thing, because I won for my acting, but then I also won for my sex scenes. So it was like being validated on both levels … So to be awarded for both, it’s so rare. And, then to have Hollywood say, ‘Oh, that’s where she’s been’ – see we recognize you now in a substantial way or in a way that you’ve changed the perception of yourself and also in the adult industry.

Fox News: What can fans expect from your new series, “The Big Time,” and from your forthcoming memoir, “My Escape from Hollywood: Why I Left to Become a Porn Star,” in 2022?

Ward: I’ve been filming this pilot, and it’s amazing the respect that people have for my work in adults and stuff, like mainstream professionals. And you’re right, it’s just such a weird original kind of thing, and that’s a lot of what I’m going to write about in the book – just how things have shifted. And also, my book is going to be very relatable and conversational about how porn is really not this taboo thing, and it’s something everyone can understand. It’s kind of like ‘Sex and the City’ meets ‘Breaking Bad,’ I guess. [Laughs]. But I can talk about all of this stuff in a very relatable, positive way.

Actress Maitland Ward told Fox News she was considered just a comedy actress in Hollywood, which led her to try adult filmmaking. 
(Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage)

Fox News: It seems “The Big Time” – being a comedy show – will allow people to take in the world and the business of the adult entertainment industry without actually having to watch it. 

Ward: You know what? That exactly hits it on the head. And that’s one of the things that I was so attracted to when I read the script, because at first, I was thinking, ‘Is it going to be like the usual taboo stuff where they act in the usual stereotypes and all of that?’ But it was such a heartwarming script, and they brought me in to really bring a sense of authenticity to the whole thing. So we went through it all and rewrote things just to make it so it’s super authentic. 

But yeah, you’re right. The characters are lovable, and it’s heartwarming, and it has sexy parts, and it has real characters who have real stories, and it’s light and fun. So you’re right. That actually hits it on the head exactly. If people want to see what the porn world is about, they can watch it and they don’t have to watch porn, but they can see that it’s relatable, it’s normal. [Laughs]. 

… It’s so true what’s happening in mainstream media. They make it like, ‘Oh, as long as it’s behind this closed door and not out in the open because sex is so taboo.’ But as you said, the younger people and younger generations who have grown up with internet porn, they’ve had this all their life – it wasn’t like in the old days of guys paying a little money to get into a theater or finding your dad’s videocassettes or magazine stash. It was just much more of a scandalous thing for you to do. The younger generations coming up are just so much more open with their sexuality in all ways of who they are and what they love, what they’re attracted to.

Actress Maitland is penning a tell-all memoir about her life after ‘Boy Meets World’ as a porn star. 
(Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Fox News: What was the moment when you knew being an adult performer — and all of the aspects that come with it – was something that could be lucrative for you?

Ward: For the cosplay – I had been going to Comic-Con, and I’m getting a following and attention and stuff. But I remember one time somebody at Comic-Con came up to me and said, ‘Oh, my God, you’re Maitland.’ And I said, yes. And they’re like, ‘I love you on Snapchat.’ This was years ago, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute – this person isn’t saying, I love you on ‘Boy Meets World’ or ‘White Chicks’ or whatever.’ It was like, ‘I watch you on Snapchat all the time.’ And I had a huge Snapchat for a while. That’s kind of how I got into doing my content, because I kept getting pictures kicked off of there. I would do more of my sexier stuff – and they allowed you for a while – but then they started clamping down kind of. So then I got into it. But I remember at the time I was like, wow, somebody is like, ‘I watched you on that.’ And then it was more like, ‘I’m following you on social media.’ 

So they’re following me for wholly different purposes and people being interested in wanting to buy content of me in superhero outfits and all my cosplay, that was a surprise that I could actually have a whole other career in something that I was a nerd and I love doing. I didn’t even think people are actually interested in watching this and buying this and seeing me in all these cosplay situations, because that just feels like fun dress-up to me. And it was just great. And then for the porn, I did explore at first – like I did stuff with girls at first, and I just kept branching and tiptoeing into different things.

Fox News: Have you received positive affirmation about your adult work from any of your former costars?

Maitland Ward accepts the award for best-supporting actress during the 2020 Adult Video News Awards. 
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ward: It’s funny, Trina [McGee] I talk to her. She’s been absolutely amazing about it. Like, she’s really been so supportive and positive. And I ran to Will [Friedle] one time at a Comic-Con, and he was like, ‘Are you really happy in your life?’ And I was like, ‘Yes.’ And he’s like, ‘That’s all I care about.’ So it was really nice, and we had a wonderful hug and a little reunion. So, yeah — I haven’t gotten any negative energy really from anybody. So yeah, it just depends on what level of comfortability they are with expressing it outwardly.

Fox News: So who’s going to write the foreword to your book?

Ward: Oh, that’s a great question. I know Kayden [Cross] from ‘Deeper’ really wants to do that. So I think she might write that foreword for me. She has a lot of interesting thoughts on it.

Fox News: Will you be narrating the audiobook?

Ward: Yes! Yes! I cannot wait for that! That will be so much fun. That was one of the original things – we were like, yes, I have to do the audiobook. That will be so exciting.

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