Before they were known as Riverdale stars, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse and the rest of the cast had some lesser known acting roles that you may not have known about! Although it may be hard to picture these celebs as any other characters, some of these stars were actually in a lot of TV shows and movies before getting their big break on the fan-favorite CW show. As it turned out, Camila’s role as Veronica Lodge was her first professional acting gig, ever!

“It’s a dream — I never expected as an actress studying theater at NYU that my first gig would be so transformative,” the actress told Health magazine in March 2021. “Then, there’s the other side of it. When you have such a massive fan base, there are haters that come along with it. But that has actually been a good learning experience, too. It forces you to accept and get comfortable with the fact that not everyone is going to like you— and that’s OK. That’s a very valuable lesson to have learned early in my career.”

Of course, on the other hand, Cole was a Disney Channel superstar before taking on Jughead Jones. He took a brief break from the spotlight before retuning to the TV world. He went to college at New York University and graduated in 2015 after studying Geographical Information Systems and Satellite Imaging.

“It’s fulfilling, and I think that’s the only currency I am looking for right now,” Cole told Elle in April 2017 after returning to the role. “As long as it stays fulfilling, I will continue doing it, but the second it stops being fulfilling I’ll leave.”

Before nabbing the role, Cole told Variety in August 2019 that he was “bagging artifacts.”

“I got a call from my manager, who begged me to come back and audition for pilot season,” he shared. “And I gave her my word that if I did book something, I’d see it through. I booked Riverdale, and it ended up tugging me back.”

To celebrate the successful career’s of Riverdale‘s biggest stars, J-14 decided to take a major walk down memory lane and relive the Core Four’s debut acting roles. But they’re not the only actors whose careers started way before Riverdale. Aside from KJ, Camila, Lili and Cole, Madeleine Petsch, Casey Cott, Charles Melton, Vanessa Morgan, Drew Ray Tanner, Jordan Connor, Marisol Nichols, Luke Perry, Molly Ringwald, Mädchen Amick, Skeet Ulrich and Shannon Purser were cast in some pretty famous TV shows and movies.

Scroll through our gallery to see photos of the entire Riverdale cast in their first-ever onscreen roles. 

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