In 2017, Riverdale became CW’s hottest new show. Riverdale is currently on its fifth season and has received positive reviews from the start. From season to season, the actors on the show have worked hard to produce an amazing show for their fans. However, sometimes being an actor can be a difficult experience according to the show’s beloved cast. So, what is going on behind the scenes of Riverdale?
KJ Apa was cast as Archie Andrews after a four-month search. He was only 18 and fresh out of New Zealand when he was put into the world of American TV. In one of his most recent acting experiences besides Riverdale, Songbird, KJ was almost unrecognizable. Instead of the bright red hair, he dyes for the show, he was in his natural brown messy hair in Songbird. “… I remember thinking the movie was either going to be really good or really bad, because of the condition of the world and how we were forced to shoot during COVID. …I was like, “Fuck it. Let’s try.” This role came at the perfect time because it reminded KJ he was so much more than just one character. He went on to explain to Interview Magazine, he sometimes felt like he was in “jail” when shooting Riverdale. This role let KJ “express” himself “in a natural way.” Additionally, he had to learn now that as a famous actor he would be in the public’s eye from now on and would constantly be judged.
KJ Apa is not the only Riverdale star to come out about how hard being on the show can be. Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, explained how difficult the pandemic has been on filming. Season four had been put on pause when the pandemic hit. Lili commented to Nylon Magazine, “I genuinely feel like a prisoner, going back to work, because I cannot leave Canada. That doesn’t feel good…you can’t go home for Thanksgiving, can’t visit your family. No one can come visit you unless they quarantine for two weeks.” But Lili does realize how lucky she is, and she knows she just needs “to keep going” even during the hard times.
Last year, Vanessa Morgan, who plays Toni Topaz, talked about how she was tired of “being used as a sidekick” compared to all her other co-stars on the show. She went on to explain she was the only main character that was a person of color and was the least paid out of her whole cast. She tweeted, “Tired of how black people are portrayed in the media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people. Tired of us also being used as sidekick nondimensional characters to our white leads.” Her character is used as a “token biracial bisexual” according to Vanessa. This tweet allowed for Asha brown, another actress that used to be on Riverdale to tweet, “Don’t even get me started with how Riverdale treated the Pussycats. We had so much more to contribute than standing in the background and adding sass to a storyline. I stand with you @VanessaMorgan.” At the start of season five, fans have noticed Vanessa’s character has taken more of a lead role in the storyline thus there is hope that the Riverdale writers and producers have heard her complaints.
Being an actor/actress in Hollywood seems very glamorous but as the Riverdale cast has confirmed it can be challenging and difficult. Interviews and tweets like these remind fans, they do not always know what is going on behind the scenes of their favorite shows.