Here’s Everything We Learned from the “Riverdale” Cast’s Paley Live Panel


The cast of “Riverdale” stepped out on Thursday night for a fun night at the Paley Center in Los Angeles.

KJ Apa, Cole Sprouse, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Casey Cott, Marisol Nichols, Madelaine Petsch, Ashleigh Murray, Mӓdchen Amick, and Luke Perry were joined by executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schechter & Jon Goldwater for the panel. After the audience was treated to last night’s episode, the cast and producers answered a bunch of questions and here’s some of the highlights.

How did the idea for “Riverdale” come from? Executive Producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said, “Originally it started out as a more traditional coming of age show and when I had our first meeting with Greg Berlanti, we started talking and he said I love this and these characters and coming of age aspect but I think you need a dead body. I thought he was kidding. He said I think you literally need a dead body, you’re going to want a hook and genre element and something that helps the show cut through the white noise that’s out there. I resisted at first then maybe 6 months after that meeting I went back and said I have a great idea, we need a dead body. Once we landed on that element, the show crystallized creatively.

On a possible Josie & The Pussycats spinoff: Jon said “We better, we got to!” Ashleigh said, “Well, selfishly…I’d love to but I would love to be thrown around in Riverdale a lot more before she takes off and hopefully does her own thing.”

On playing all the sides of Betty: “I mean amazing. It’s kind of all you could really hope for is to play a character that evolves and that you can show so many different sides of them. My favorite thing about playing Betty is that she’s constantly changing,” Lili shared. “We’re playing her as a real modern teenage girl and that doesn’t have a finish line…it’s kind of a never ending process to create this girl and diving even deeper into more emotional things, dark Betty kind of comes back in season 2.”

On creating Cheryl Blossom: “For me it was all about creating the anger and the hurt and the place where all the lashing out comes from and building the walls she’s got towards everybody and finding out the reasons why she has those walls,” Madelaine said. “Developing her with a way of understanding why she’s like that and not judgement and not sympathetic but understanding and from there it was kind of easy because you built this facade as to why she’s so hard to everyone else, it’s because she’s never been loved, she’s never had love before. It’s a beautifully tragic story to tell and I feel really blessed to do it. She’s the villain but she has more to her than that.”

On doing the musical scenes: KJ Apa shared, “I play the guitar, singing for me, I feel really uncomfortable when I’m singing. When I learned that I had to sing on the show it made me really nervous and I knew that I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone. I really grew from it. If I have a guitar in my hand I feel like I can do anything.”

On Betty & Veronica’s dynamic: Roberto spilled, “One of the things when we started working on the show, they really wanted the show to not be a lot of bitching between Betty and Veronica. They really wanted the girls to be friends.”

On playing Jughead and his relationship with FP: “He’s a character that lives in the nostalgia of a once pure Riverdale. He sees his family relationships and Betty as a relationship as sort of this more pure version of something that’s now been tainted. He has this nostalgia which sort of is conflicting when he’s deciding if someone is going to wrong him or not. He’s kind of like a beaten dog,” Cole said. “Episode 12 is a super super heavy Jughead FP episode. That’s one of the main dilemmas, how he views Riverdale, how he views his family in relation to a sort of rapidly rotting version of the town itself and whether he can maintain a higher morality within it.”

On season 2: Roberto said, “There will for sure always be a body count, a genre element, there will always be darkness and noir and a mystery element…I think we’re kind of wading into darker territory.” Sarah added, “There will be more Casey, more of everyone. The death of Jason Blossom sent Riverdale into a bit of a tailspin and now it’s a dumpster fire. It’s a continuation of the themes of season 1.” Cole also spilled that Jughead finally gets his dog Hot Dog and Robert said that’s the biggest fight he’s ever had with an actor from the show…a fight over Hot Dog.

Cole on if there’s a character he identifies with more than his own: “I really feel like I identify with FP and that’s because as the season has gone on, the way we’ve been explaining tragedy and justification for wrongdoing is coming from a place that’s real and struggling so Jughead is coming from this sort of economically depraved place where he and his family have been going through hardships so the choices that ultimately FP makes are ones that are grounded in a justification for Jughead’s lifestyle, a psychology that comes from things Jughead could probably understand as well, so yeah probably FP.”

If you missed the panel, you can watch the replay below as well as check out some pictures. Stay tuned for our exclusive interviews with the cast.


Photos: Imeh Bryant / The Paley Center for Media