The actors on “Riverdale” aren’t the only group of young performers to experience overnight success and adoration from legions of fans (the quintet of stars have a combined total of just under 25 million followers on Twitter and Instagram). If only there was someone in the show’s cast who could advise them on all the trappings of stardom? Oh, wait, there is! “Luke [Perry] and I are really close,” KJ Apa (Archie) says of his TV dad. “He’s done the whole thing on a completely different level. His show [“Beverly Hills 90210”] was the biggest thing in his time. He’ll give us advice on shooting things and what to say in interviews.” Lili Reinhart (Betty) says: “Madchen Amick, who plays my mom, is like a second mom to all of us. We’re lucky to have seasoned actors to do this with. Without them, we’d be lost and we wouldn’t even know it.” One cast member who doesn’t share his experiences is Cole Sprouse (“The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”), who plays Jughead. “Honestly, I don’t think my previous professional experience gives me the perspective I have,” Sprouse says. “It’s the way we were raised [that matters].”
Cast members opted to take different approaches on how to spend their hiatuses. Sprouse pursued his other passion (photography) and attempted to raise funds for an independent movie. Reinhart shot the noir film “Galveston” while Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl) took on a role in “Polaroid,” a thriller. “The whole goal is to find roles that show variety,” Petsch says. “My character in ‘Polaroid’ is very soft, reserved, and sensitive.” Neither Camila Mendes (Veronica) nor Apa took on major projects between seasons one and two. “I don’t really have a plan,” Apa says. “If a really cool project comes along, I’d do it.”
At Comic-Con last month, the actors received an even greater response from “Riverdale” fans than they did a year ago. “A young girl, who was crying, came up to me this year and she wanted to meet me,” Mendes says. “It’s insane that I could generate a reaction like that. It makes me want to strive to be the best version of myself.”
Shooting in Vancouver away from the Hollywood scene keeps the cast even more tight-knit, allowing them to focus on the work, which is a good thing since season two of “Riverdale” promises to be even darker. “I couldn’t even imagine going out to an event after a 15-hour day on set,” Petsch says.
The series could run for years, but Apa says he’s not worried about becoming typecast, especially since he dyes his hair to become the Riverdale redhead. “I’m at a salon for 90 minutes every two weeks,” the actor says. “I don’t know how women do it.”