Betty Cooper may be 1/3 of an iconic love triangle, but she's also way more than that! Ever since the original comic, Betty has been a good friend and has a kind heart. Luckily for us, Lili Reinhart makes all that possible in the hit TV show Riverdale. But behind underneath that ponytail, who's the real Betty Cooper. Let's find out!
So, what's Betty Cooper like in the Archie comics?
Full name Elizabeth Cooper, Betty is a classic girl next door. She'd be the Juliet, the Gabriela Montez, or the Cinderella to Archie's Romeo, Troy Bolton, or Prince Charming if only he got his act together. Most of Betty's storylines in the original Archie comics was her frustration at loving Archie, yet being strung along while he couldn't make up his mind. It's basically the first episode of Riverdale pulled along into hundreds of comic books.
The other third of the triangle, Veronica, is still Betty's best friend. How they manage to stay friends is anyone's guess, but it probably has something to do with Betty's self-sacrificing kindness. Betty and Veronica even have their own spin-off comics named after them. They're the BFF duo we've always been waiting for.
Betty is an avid writer, on top of all the other things she's amazing at. When she's not kicking butt at school or volunteering, she can be found writing in her diary, telling wonderful stories. It's kind of like her Riverdale boyfriend, Jughead!
Jughead and Betty don't date in the comics, like they do on Riverdale. RIP Bughead.
Speaking of Juggie, Betty and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) have never been together in the comics. The characters have such intense chemistry on Riverdale that it's kind of hard to believe this is the first time they've dated. They're both writers, intellectuals, and incredible friends to Veronica and Archie. Maybe they were star-crossed lovers everyone thought Archie and Betty were!
What about Betty and Veronica on Riverdale? They have never been closer, on- or off-screen.
Along with her relationship with Jughead, Betty Cooper gets a renewed friendship with Veronica. Instead of wasting time pining over the same oblivious boy-next-door, Betty and Veronica spend their time wisely in Riverdale. That is, they hang out, stand by each other, and solve huge mysteries.
Lili told us about her friendship with Camila, "Camila and I instantly got along but obviously like any friendship it took time to build a bond and get really close to one another. She and I are very different people, but in a lot of ways it makes us feel more connected in the sense that we can learn from each other. Friends push each other to leave their comfort zones, and Camila has definitely encouraged me to come out of my shell in social situations. She's a social butterfly and I'm more introverted. It's a good balance."
It's so empowering to see a female friendship that doesn't let men get in the middle! The love triangle may be a huge plot point for the comics, but this is 2017 and Riverdale has enough drama without it.
Meet Lili Reinhart, the actress who plays Betty in Riverdale.
Lili Reinhart was just a sales associate at Pier 1 Imports (a home decor store) when she first auditioned for the role of Betty Cooper. A few months later, after hearing nothing, she had officially moved to LA. Her agent told her that they were still looking for a Betty, so she went in. The rest is history.
Lili has been very open about her struggles with depression. In fact, she was contemplating quitting acting when Riverdale fell on her lap.
Riverdale came into my life when I was going through the worst depression I had ever experienced. And in the end it completely saved me.— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) May 13, 2017
What is Betty like on Riverdale? And...what about Dark Betty?
While she maintains her do-it-all attitude and friendliness a few things about Betty are majorly different in Riverdale. Of course, the show has a slightly darker tone which comes from their realistic portrayals. Someone as positive and studious as Betty couldn't be so bright all the time.
In Riverdale, we get to see Betty experience a whole range of feelings. She gets angry when the football team slut shames her classmates. She breaks down when Archie doesn't return her feelings. And she can be pretty intense when investigating one of Riverdale's many scandals. Then, there's Dark Betty.
In Season 1, Betty dons a black bob wig, lingerie, and heels to prank a football player who made up rude rumors about Veronica. She went so far as to almost drown him with maple syrup. Lili has said, "When it comes to defending Jughead or defending people she really cares about, she kind of turns into a little bit of a badass because she has to be sometimes.” Betty loses a part of herself. This is what makes this fan theory even more believable.
Early in the second season, Betty confronts Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and gets scary. When Cheryl refuses to testify on Jughead's behalf, Betty threatens to leak incriminating footage of Cheryl's father. It's not nearly as intense as torturing a classmate, but it's a little sneak peek of what might be to come. Season 2 is only getting more dramatic. With Black Hood terrorizing the town, tensions are high, especially because he's been harassing her.
In Season 1, the main drama she faced was the mysterious circumstance surrounding her sister, Polly's breakdown. Early on in the season, she loses her crush for Archie Andrews (KJ Apa and gains a best friend in Veronica Lodge, the new girl in town (Camila Mendes).
As they search for the Jason Blossom's murderer, Betty and Jughead grow closer. In episode six, they kiss for the first time! And thus, Bughead was born. Jughead also helps Betty find her lost sister. Polly eventually comes back to Riverdale, which causes a lot of drama between the Blossom and Cooper families. However, Betty manages to keep the peace while still searching for the killer. Once she and the gang manage that, it's onto the next thing.
Season 2 is all about Black Hood. Her relationship with Bughead is tested, but at this point if there's one thing we do know, it's that nothing can stop Betty Cooper from getting what she wants. And if you're not caught up on Riverdale yet, what are you waiting for?
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This story was originally published on December 6, 2017.