Working on Riverdale may not be as glamorous as fans think! The show first premiered in January 2017, and since then, the cast has opened up about dealing with the fame and limitations that come from starring on such a successful series.
During a February 2021 profile for Interview magazine, KJ Apa compared the show to feeling “like I’m in jail a lot of the time.” At the time, his movie Songbird had just been released, which KJ said made him feel “free.”
“There are so many restrictions on what I can and can’t do. With this character, it was like, ‘Wow, this is what it’s like to really express myself in a natural way.’ I wasn’t covered in makeup or hair products. I had long hair and a beard,” the New Zealand native explained. “There’s been so much pressure in playing Archie. I’m so grateful for the show and its success, but at the same time, there’s a lot of baggage that comes with that success.”
Months after his interview went viral, KJ clarified his comments, explaining, “That’s not really how I see it.”
“I can understand why the fans are mad because they want to be watching a show where the actors playing those characters are invested in the work,” the A Dog’s Purpose actor told NME in October 2021. “And we are all so invested in the work, because otherwise why would we be on the show? We all love the show and the characters we’re playing.”
After making the comments comparing Riverdale to “jail,” KJ said that he spoke with the show’s creator and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Neither Roberto nor the CW publicly acknowledge the comments.
“We’re on a huge machine of a show — with a huge global reach and a huge fanbase — and it’s a show where we don’t get to … our voices aren’t heard as much as other creative people who are involved. You know, like our showrunners and writers,” he told NME further. “As actors, we very much have a job to do, and that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s enjoyable and we’re grateful and that we love to do it. It’s just … not like being involved in other projects where maybe we have more of a voice in the creativity.”
KJ’s not the only one who’s spoken out about the show. Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse and Vanessa Morgan have all slammed, thrown shade and even poked fun at Riverdale over the years. Scroll through our gallery to see what they’ve said.
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