By now, it feels like just about everyone is obsessed with Riverdale and the show’s leading man, Archie Andrews himself, KJ Apa. The 21-year-old actor has stolen hearts playing the redhead with a heart of gold, but it’s still surprising to some that he not only perfectly covers up his New Zealand accent when he’s playing Archie, but that red is not his natural hair color.
KJ is, in fact, a brunette and has been dying his dark brown hair and eyebrows to bring Archie to life for quite some time now. As you would imagine, it is quite the process to get his locks the right shade.
“It was, honestly, scary at the start, because they had to dye it once a week and I’m shooting for six months,” he told Empire about his reaction to seeing his natural brown locks dyed red for the first time. “They had to bleach it. I’m probably going to be bald by the end of the series.”
And it got rather intense, too.
“It’s pretty gnarly, man. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but obviously I’ve got to do it because the roots keep coming up and my hair grows really fast. So, two weeks max I can go shooting, and then I have to get it dyed again. I’m sitting there for at least two-and-a-half hours, so I’m on my iPad and I read some scripts and stuff. I keep myself entertained,” he said to Vulture. “It was really painful the first and the second time I got it done because they do my eyebrows as well. They ended up bleaching my eyebrows, and I had two holes — they burnt into my skin. I was like, ‘Oh, my, we’ve got to sort this out.'”
OMG, imagine if his eyebrows legit all just fell out though?
That is just not OK and as he told GQ Australia now, his eyebrows are no longer dyed since they were starting to legit fall out. So we’ll be seeing Archie with flaming red hair and KJ’s actually brow color of dark brown. So more like this:
Slight difference but anything to save those brows! As for his voice? Luckily, KJ didn’t find his American accent too hard to put on. It was much easier to get adjusted to than his new hair color.
“I just can kind of do it, I guess,” he shared to Empire. “I used to talk to myself as a kid; I was one of those weird little kids, but it was always in an American accent. Maybe that’s why?”
He works hard to play Archie, that’s for sure. And we all appreciate the effort, KJ.
This post was originally published on Jan. 4, 2017 and has since been updated.
Additional reporting by Kristine Kowalski.