The Real Reason Freddie Prinze Jr. Stopped Acting

In the '90s, Freddie Prinze Jr.'s face was everywhere — from starring in rom-coms like She's All That and horror movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer — and fans couldn't get enough of the teenage heartthrob.

The actor went on to star in Scooby-Doo in 2002 and the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, opposite his now-wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, in 2004. The Hollywood stars actually met while on the set of I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997 but didn't officially start dating until 2000. Gellar and Prinze Jr. got engaged in 2001 and tied the knot one year later, per People.

Despite knowing each other for years, Gellar revealed how they took their relationship to the next level. "20 years ago this week, my friend @realfreddieprinze and I were supposed to have dinner with a mutual friend from out of town. That friend missed her flight, but we decided to still meet and catch up," Gellar captioned a side by side photo of the couple now and then on Instagram in January 2020. 

"Now 20 years together, 17 plus married and two kids, we still go to that restaurant for dinner," Gellar continued. "So thank you @sloaney77 for not showing up for dinner."

While Gellar is still involved in the entertainment business, Prinze Jr. has taken a break from the spotlight. "I've really stepped away from the acting. I don't really do that anymore," he told CBS News in 2017. So, why is that? Keep reading to find out.

Freddie Prinze Jr.'s other passion

Even though Freddie Prinze Jr. made a name for himself in Hollywood, he later realized he wanted to take up another hobby of his: cooking. "I wasn't that interested in sports as a kid, so instead of being out on the field, I worked alongside my mom in the kitchen perfecting her recipes," Prinze Jr. told The Kitchn in 2019. "My life lessons essentially took place in front of the stove."

After Prinze Jr. graduated high school, his mom actually "forced" him to attend cooking school just in case acting didn't pan out. Prinze Jr. was about to start at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Calif., but instead, he got his first job in the entertainment business. "But I never stopped loving good food or cooking," he told The Kitchn.

In 2016, Prinze Jr. released his first cookbook, Back to the Kitchen, which focused on making meals with fewer ingredients and cooking meals with his family — something he cherishes. "I use my love of cooking as a way to bond with my kids and bring them into the fold," he told The Kitchn. "We already have made so many memories together in the kitchen, and I know I'm giving my kids tools they'll use for life, and for when they ultimately have their own families."

Freddie Prinze Jr. 'wanted to be a stay-at-home dad'

Another reason why Freddie Prinze Jr. wanted to escape the Hollywood scene? Well, he longed to be around his kids, Charlotte and Rocky, whom he shares with his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar. "I wanted to be a stay-at-home dad," he confessed to GQ Magazine in 2016. "I wanted to cook breakfast and dinner for my kids every day."

In fact, Prinze Jr. recalls the exact moment he wanted to stop acting altogether. "I took my kid to jiu jitsu five days in a row," he explained to GQ Magazine. "It was like summer break. I literally was just like, 'This is like the greatest week of my life. I just watched my girl choke out a 7-year-old boy!'"

While Prinze Jr. still dabbles in acting here and there, he knew he was kind of over it, especially after he starred in his own sitcom, Freddie, from 2005 to 2006. Despite the series only airing for one season, Prinze Jr. honored his late father, Freddie Prinze Sr., in a special way by ending each episode with his dad's logo and voice. "Once I heard my dad's voice say, 'Looking good!' I felt like I accomplished everything that I went to L.A. to accomplish," he said. 

How Freddie Prinze Jr. keeps busy these days

Don't worry, Freddie Prinze Jr. isn't sitting at home twiddling his thumbs. In fact, it's quite the opposite! Prinze Jr. is actually a huge fan of video games and Star Wars. So much so, the actor voiced Kanan Jarrus — "He's like Han Solo, but with the Force," he told GQ Magazine — on Disney XD from 2014 to 2018. "I loved it. You have to commit 100 percent," he told Collider in 2018.

In 2017, Prinze Jr., who is a "big gamer," opened up to People about how he hopes to have the opportunity to combine two of his passions: cooking and video games. " ... I always wanted to do a cookbook for gamers, like a healthy cookbook for my fellow gamers' lives because too many of them don't cook because they don't have time for it."

In addition to his love for video games, Prinze Jr. started watching wrestling when he was "really young," and years later, he actually ended up writing and producing for WWE. "I knew more about wrestling than any actor, that's for sure," he told GQ Magazine in 2016.

And that's not all! The She's All That alum has a podcast with Josh Wolf called "Prinze and the Wolf," where the two talk about everything from pop culture to MMA to cooking. "I've always had a soft spot for stand-up comedians," Prinze Jr. told CBS News. "Josh and I did his 'Fairly Normal' podcast and when it was over, I knew it [was right]. We clicked so well."

Will Freddie Prinze Jr. return to Hollywood again?

Fortunately, it seems like Freddie Prinze Jr. isn't giving up on acting just yet. In 2020, the Hollywood star signed on to play Travis, the ex-husband of Punky Brewster, in the Punky Brewster reboot, which will air on NBC's streaming service, Peacock, per The Hollywood Reporter. "Welcome @RealFPJr to our #punkybrewster family & @UCP So excited to have you. #punkypower," Soleil Moon Frye — who will reprise her role as Punky in the new series — tweeted following the exciting news.

That being said, if you think Prinze Jr. will take part in any of reboots of his own, (cough, She's All That, cough) it seems as though that ship has sailed. "I'm definitely done with that part of my career," he told Hello Giggles in 2017. "I've heard about a reboot to She's All That. If they make it, it wouldn't be with me, and it's nothing against them."

Prinze Jr. has a legit reason as to why he would sit out on the potential remake: "I am a full time father. I live in Los Angeles, and my work has me here," he noted. "I won't leave my family."

Well, we certainly can't fault him for that!