Laura White, 18, lives in Langley, British Columbia. The CW show Riverdale films near her house in Canada, and she was lucky enough to meet (and snap a photo with!) Cole Sprouse. Laura exclusively opened up to J-14 about how it all went down and what it's like to have a show film right next to your house.
At the park that I live by, they do a lot of filming. Shows like Supernatural or Once Upon a Time are all kind of filmed in the same place. Whenever they're filming, usually they have to use fake gunshots or atmospheric fog or whatever, so they send out something a couple weeks in advance, [telling us] days that they're going to have crews and stuff. Just so everyone knows to watch out for that. They don't put the name of what's going to be filmed so they can avoid everyone showing up when they're filming — but when they were filming for previous episodes of Riverdale, it was the same film company that sent out the notifications.
There was no one there the first day I went, which is how I got the picture. Then, one guy stopped me and asked me if I was crew or anything. He’s the one who got me the photo with Cole. I was just like, “Oh, nope. I live next door. I just wanted to see if I could get a photo with one of the actors." Cole happened to be ten feet away, so we went and got him and talked for a couple of minutes. I got a photo, but then it looked like he was busy, so I left.
I’ve been a fan of the Archie comics since I was a kid, so it was cool. Obviously, I posted the photo on my Snapchat Story and Instagram and all my friends commented like, “Oh my god, you’re so lucky.” Cole's the only one I got a picture with. I saw a lot of the other actors from the show, but because this is one of the less popular film locations, the actors were all pretty busy. They weren’t looking out for fans.
When they film at Gabby’s, a pub in Langley, they have a lot more fans there because it’s downtown and everyone knows about it. That’s where they film scenes at The White Worm, the place where the Southside Serpents hang out.
We’ve only lived in this house five years, but we did know they do a lot of filming in the park next door. That was one of the things they told us when we moved in. The location scout for Riverdale was going to film one of the scenes in my house, but they didn’t actually end up doing it because the timing and the location worked out better in a different place.
The scene in the park where Kevin goes to hook up with guys, that’s in a different section of the park, down where the bridge is and stuff. In the first season when they’re out looking for Polly, that’s also filmed in the same park. Of course, no one knew the show was coming out when they were filming the first season, so when I saw the scene when they were looking for Polly in the forest, I was like, “Yeah! I know that place. I live there!”
The crew does use a couple of filters and stuff to make the leaves look brighter. They had this crane up with a blue light on it to make the bars of moonlight come through the trees, and they had a giant inflatable tube with holes cut in it where all the fog kind of comes out. There was so much fog in the park when they were filming certain scenes. I was actually talking to one of the fans who has been on set before as an extra. She said that, compared to other shows, they get a lot done in one day. She said on the set of Once Upon a Time, they’ll have an entire day and they’ll film one scene. But they’ll go through four of five scenes when they film Riverdale. So the crew was there from really early and they were filming from like 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. I just got lucky because they happened to be filming by my house.
As told to Brie Hiramine. This interview has been edited and condensed.
Watch: See How the Riverdale Cast Compares to the Archie Comics