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Exclusive: Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes Are the Faces of #BongoBFFs, So We Asked Them All About Their Real-Life Friendship

Bongo

Riverdale fans know Betty and Veronica are the best of friends on the show and IRL, the girls who bring these characters to life are just as close. So when it came time for the iconic fashion brand Bongo to find a pair of fabulous ladies to star in their back-to-school campaign called #BongoBFFs, of course Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes came to mind. The girls shot the fall road trip campaign together in the desert of California and while the duo was on set, they answered some of J-14's burning questions about friendship, their characters we have all come to know and love and what being a part of the Bongo family means to them. Oh, and did we mention their photos are legit so stunning together? Serious case of BFF goals.

On how their friendship has grown:

Camila: Our friendship wasn't instant. We both come from such different backgrounds that I think it took us a while to find some common ground. But once the walls came down and our inner goofballs began to reveal themselves, we were unstoppable, and now it's almost like we speak our own language. I've learned from Lili that the true value of a friend lies within their ability to listen. A good listener goes a long way.

Lili: 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. 

On the importance of having positive female friendships be portrayed on TV and what's ahead for Betty and Veronica:

Camila: At an early age, somehow we're programmed to view other females as threats, and now more than ever, with the overwhelming influence of social media, young women are even more compelled to compare themselves to each other. It's important to show them that our differences in appearance and personality should be celebrated, not criticized. Betty and Veronica are clearly very different characters, but their differences are what make them such a strong pair, and we want young women to feel inspired by that type of friendship. Unfortunately, we've only just begun shooting, and we don't know much of what's in store for B & V, but I assure you, that duo isn't going anywhere. 

Lili: I think growing up, the female friendships that I saw on television were portrayed as catty and vicious. It was like a constant battle between two women fighting back-and-forth over a guy or gossiping about each other. Betty and Veronica are both very supportive of one another on our show, which has been important to us from the very beginning. Before we even started filming Season One we knew that we wanted these girls to be best friends and to always there for each other. It wasn't going to be fake. We wanted to show the love and support that they have to give. An earnest friendship. In season two, both of these girls are going through very different situations in their lives and they're going to help each other the best they can by just being there and listening — being a shoulder to cry on if need-be. 

On how their friendship has been impacted by the success of Riverdale:

Camila: Our friendship has only gotten stronger since the show's release. Everything is so new for the both of us, and we're so lucky to be able to experience the chaos together. It definitely makes it a lot easier for us to cope with the changes. 

Lili: Camila and I are so happy that we have been able to go through this life-changing experience together. It's absolutely brought us closer together and I feel very fortunate to be able to go through this with someone who I trust and love and care deeply about. It makes me happy to see that people support our friendship and they know that we really are friends and there's no weird, secret behind the scenes rivalry going on. It's cool to me that people can see our real life chemistry translate through our Betty and Veronica scenes. 

On if their actual high school selves would be friends with their characters:

Camila: In high school, I was friends with everybody. I had my core group of friends, but I could flow through different social groups pretty easily. I'd definitely be friends with Veronica, I could see her being the best partner in crime.

Lili: High school was difficult for me because I was in the thick of dealing with my depression and anxiety. I never had had a large group of friends so I often felt a little out of place and like I was in a different mindset from everyone else around me because I was so focused on my acting career. I definitely would be friends with Betty if I went to high school with her, she's friends with everyone and she's so kind and passionate. 

On what would happen if they went on a road trip along with Betty and Veronica:

Camila: I imagine we'd go somewhere in northern California. Betty would be the driver, Veronica would be copilot and somehow get us lost. I'd be in charge of music, and Lili would be in charge of snacks.

Lili: For some reason, Palm Springs was the first place to pop into my head. There's a Betty and Veronica comic where they actually take a road trip to Palm Springs for their spring break. I think it would involve a lot of lounging by the pool, watching movies all night in our hotel room, and I would be looking for the best local ice cream shop. 

On the best part about being a Bongo girl:

Camila: It's funny because both of my idols growing up were Bongo girls: Rachel Bilson and Vanessa Hudgens. So, this is all very nostalgic for me...I'm having a "full circle" moment.

Lili: I remember growing up and seeing Vanessa Hudgens’ Bongo campaign in magazines. I think I probably put a few of her posters on my wall to be honest. I wore Bongo growing up, as did my older sister-- I would get her hand-me-downs as well as my own new pieces when I went shopping. It's crazy to think that I’m now a Bongo girl and my younger sister could flip through a magazine and see my campaign. I'm lucky to be supporting a brand that I grew up with and feel comfortable in.

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