We can hardly contain our excitement for the upcoming season of “Riverdale” which will premiere on October 6th on The CW and there is a lot to expect from the upcoming season. While at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 we caught up with the cast to discuss the upcoming season and more and also learned quite a few juicy details from the show massive Hall H panel, as well.
We know that we will be getting another flashback episode, surely another musical episode, a time jump, Shannen Doherty guest-starring and finally, finally a Halloween episode! We learned that the tragic passing of actor Luke Perry, who played Archie’s father Fred Andrews on the show will be addressed in the season four premiere episode and in addition to Shannen Doherty making a guest appearance, “Dawson’s Creek” alum Kerr Smith will be taking on the role of principal and be introduced in episode two.
When speaking with “Riverdale” executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa we were curious to know what the biggest thing to expect from season four would be to which he tells us, “the biggest shift from season three to season four will be the kids exploring their senior year, so we know that after this year we are going to say goodbye to high school, so we are doing as much high school stuff as we can go back to season one kind of the archetypes and icons that we deconstructed, Archie’s going to be back on the football team, Cheryl’s going to be back with the Vixens, Betty’s going to be back on the newspaper staff, Veronica is going to be back causing drama, so the big thing is that this may be the last time that this group of people will be together at the same time at the same school, or even together as friends.”
When asked to expand on the finale within a finale that ended season three, Aguirre-Sacasa tells us, “There are always one, two or three mysteries that are percolating along and the flash-forward that you saw at the very end of the finale is something that will be building up to as the season takes place. Every episode we are going to do a flashforward that gives you another little piece of that story and then at the mid-point of the season we are going to do that night and then we are going to play out the ramifications and consequences over the second half of the season.”
Speaking about whether or not they build toward the mystery or the characters, Aguirre-Sacasa reveals, “Last season we did the Gargoyle King which took over the season and was a really good villain, this year we are telling more character-based stories. Season one there was a mystery to solve, which was who killed Jason Blossom, but there wasn’t a serial killer, because once you put a serial killer in the show then you are constantly running away from the serial killer, so we are telling kind of a slower burn mystery that will allow us to tell character stories as well.”
Of course, we adore the musical and flashback episodes, Aguirre-Sacasa comments, “I think people look forward to the musical. We did a great job with “Carrie”, so when we were thinking about the musical episode we knew it had to be just as good as “Carrie” and then we did “Heathers” and I really loved it, so it’s always about finding the right musical that fits in with the stories we’re telling, but we’d love to and I think we will! With the flashback this coming season, we are talking about a very different type of flashback which would be even more of a period piece then we did this year and we could go to the ’40s or ’50s.”
The friendships between the characters are very important in “Riverdale”, Aguirre-Sacasa reveals, “One of the things that people really loved about the finale last year was that it was the four of them in the challenge together and usually whatever the mystery is fall on one or two of the kids, but not the other one, so you got one or two connected to the mystery and the other two are doing their own things. This year, that flashforward involves all of our kids so I think it will be more of a friendship story, but also episode two is a really big Archie and Reggie story, as well as, a Kevin and Betty story, so there will be more friendships and more of them together. Both of Veronica’s parents are in jail, so she’s always having sleepovers at her house, so I think we will be doing a lot of that stuff.”
Aguirre-Sacasa also let us know that we have not seen the last of Penelope, as she was able to escape and will surely be back to “torment the kids” in a new way. There will also be some hints about “Katy Keene” dropped throughout the season, as that will be the new spin-off series from the Archie Comics universe which will set about five years in the future in New York City. We will also be seeing a lot more of the character Mad Dog and have learned that his real name is “Monroe More”!
Actor KJ Apa who plays Archie Andrews in “Riverdale” told us that, “We are going to go back to the theme of season one with a lot of high school stuff and I think we are going to be embracing our senior year. We will also see a lot of the nitty-gritty relationship stuff between the core four, as that is going to be a focus.”
When speaking to us about how he has been able to explore the many facets of Archie’s personality, Apa tells us with a laugh, “It’s been exhausting! No, honestly, it’s been great, as I’m constantly learning new things about Archie and I think these different situations that Ronnie [Veronica] has put him in and the way he reacts to stuff, I’m constantly learning from him. It would be nice for him to catch a break at some point, but I feel like that is not going to happen!”
Apa also mentions that he is happy to have Archie back on the football field more this season saying, “I think we have done all the boxing we are going to do, as we did a ton of the boxing stuff last season, but I think a bit of both would be nice. I love football too so it will be great for Archie to jump back into that!”
Speaking about Archies’ plans for college or at least after high school, Apa says, “I’m not sure, but I’m sure he has some things up his sleeve. It’s not really my decision to make.” Apa also reveals that due to the passing of Fred, we will be seeing Archie and his mother getting a lot closer and we will explore Archie’s relationship with Mary throughout the season.
Apa tells us that while the actors get almost no input into the storylines if he had his way, “we would have a cross-over episode with “Sabrina” and she does a spell on me which takes all my scars away! Then I don’t have to spend three hours in make-up during the show. Remember, I got attacked by a bear … didn’t even get to see the bear …it was good though!” While discussing Archie’s psyche, Apa reveals that he’s thought a lot about it, he says, “He’s such a good person. He is always looking out for everyone. He would seriously take a bullet for anyone and I think he gets that a lot from his old man. He was brought up mostly by his dad and they spent a lot of time together so I think Archie is forever trying to be as good as a man as Fred was because Fred has those exact same traits. We see a lot of that in the first episode of the upcoming season where different characters reflect on their experiences with Fred. When you watch that episode you will see why Archie is that way, as Fred has been that way his whole life.”
Speaking with us about her character’s journey Madelaine Petsch reveals that Cheryl has been the only character that has been “a Serpent, A Poison, A Pussycat, and a Vixen” and she loves that versatility. Petsch goes on to tell us that she would like to see Cheryl “focus on her mental health, which is obviously at a very bad place, and to focus on her relationship, getting into a good college, and figuring out who Cheryl is, do I think she’ll do those things … I’m not sure, but I hope she does!”
We asked Petsch what it has been like to peel back the layers of her character and explore Cheryl and if there was anything she found she learned about herself as an actress to which she tells us, “Everyday is a challenge with Cheryl and I think that’s why I don’t think I could ever get bored of playing her and I don’t think that’s very common in TV. When you are doing four, five, six, seven years of a character it becomes a lot of monotony and I don’t think it’s every monotonous with Cheryl and I think that’s what surprises me the most about her is I really thought that if I ever got to be on a show for four years how do you keep that character alive and interesting and she already is alive and interesting and that is very enjoyable.”
Commenting on Cheryl keeping Jason’s body, Petsch reveals, “She’s keeping the secret from Toni and I don’t imagine that’s going to go over well and I hope that Toni will be very concerned about her mental health. Edgar reopened this wound for Cheryl and I think a lot of fans were like, “Oh, my God, Cheryl’s bat sh*t now’ … no … that wound is reopened for her and it has been just awful for her! Her dad killed her brother, her mom tried to kill all of her friends and she’s got this terrible life and the only person who really loved her was her brother so when she had the wound reopened she didn’t know how to fix it, so she just took the body home with her. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to people, and I’m not saying I would do that, but I’m am saying it’s really actually sad and heartbreaking that she’s doing that and I’m not sure how it’s going to go with her relationship, but hopefully it will create some waves which are what happens when things like that happen in real life.” She adds with a laugh, “The body would definitely be decomposed by now!”
Petsch also reveals that while she is not sure if we will see more Betty and Cheryl this season we will be seeing some “Veronica and Cheryl” which certainly piques our curiosity!
Catching up with Lili Reinhart we spoke about the ways in which “Riverdale” enjoys leaving their seasons on a cliffhanger. Reinhart reveals, “It’s always super exciting to get a script. I always read it right away and with this season, it’s like where do we go from here? The last season finale was so intense and set up the mystery for season four, so I guess we’ll see … it’s kind of this huge mystery … this big question mark alongside them being in senior year, so I feel like there is going to be a lot of balance between them being normal kids and them being in Riverdale and Riverdale being Riverdale and everything that comes along with being in Riverdale.”
Speaking about the revelation of both Betty and Jughead’s brother Charles and it’s effect on the relationship, Reinhart says, ” You see Betty and Charles spending time together and Charles is working with the FBI trying to track down Edgar and finding out Alice was working with him, so Betty actually goes to the FBI office to help Charles and tries to do the best that she can with her being a teenager and in high school to assist the FBI. You know maybe not so much, but using her resources around her to try to help get her mom back because that is her first priority.”
Talking about what she enjoys the most about the many layers of Betty’s character, especially “dark” Betty, Reinhart explains, “I think I’m incredibly lucky to play a character who has gone through so much. I know everyone has been like, ‘Oh, god, give Betty a break!’ but honestly that’s what makes it so fun for me because I think it would be quite boring to play a character that didn’t struggle or have anything going on in her life, so to me, I’m very grateful, clearly your heart goes out to Betty because she’s gone through so much, but it’s also so nice for me as an actor to play someone who has so much on their plate and has such high stakes in her life and has so much ambition. It makes her that much more interesting and much more dimensional, it’s amazing to play and challenging as well. It makes coming to work easy. I enjoy playing her because she still has more sides to explore.”
When asked if we are going to see more “B & V” this season, Reinhart says, “I really hope so! “B & V” are my favorites, so that’s something that I’m really pushing for!” Reinhart also comments on the struggles with Betty and Jughead’s relationship with him going away to prep school saying, “it’s going to create some distance between them, like physical distance. I think they are going to try their best to stay emotionally connected, but I think … maybe … they might be pulled in some other directions. I really don’t know. As of the beginning of season four, they are going strong and very supportive of each other.”
Speaking with Veronic Lodge herself actress Camila Mendes we asked her which musical she would like to see the series tackle to which she revealed, “Definitely “Sweeney Todd” because I love that musical so much and I think it would fit perfectly in this world. Couldn’t you just see Jughead playing the demon barber of Fleet Street? Maybe Betty or Cheryl as Joanna, but I’m not sure where Veronica would fit in this world, but I don’t care … I just want them to do “Sweeney Todd”!”
Talking to us about another flashback episode, Mendes teases, “They are definitely talking about it being another period episode. I think the 1940s would be really fun because that’s what Riverdale and the Archie comics feels like, it has that vibe.” When discussing her relationship with Hiram in the coming season, Mendes comments, “Obviously Veronica is the one that put Hiram in jail and she is lamenting on the fact and rather proud of herself going into season four, however Hiram is definitely one for vengeance and he is after her and trying to make her life a living hell. I can’t say exactly what he’s doing but he is causing trouble in her life which is going to be an obstacle when it comes to getting into college and all of that.”
We asked Mendes if there is anything she is still surprised to learn about herself as an actress after spending four seasons with Veronica as a character to which she replies, “100%! I’m constantly learning. I think this show makes us better actors, it’s probably the most challenging set and most challenging material. I think doing material like this is very on the nose, kitchy fun, it’s very choreographed and very stylized, you almost have to be very fearless and confidant and sell maybe a line that’s like the most ridiculous line you’ve ever read in your life, but you have to say it with complete conviction, so it’s made me stronger and more adaptable. Now when I go to other sets that maybe have a more realistic tone it’s like a walk in the park to what I have to deal with on Riverdale, so Riverdale has really made me a stronger actor.”
Speaking about her characters’ relationships, not just romantically, Mendes says, “I was just talking to Lili [Reinhart] about this and we both miss Betty and Veronica together so much! I think because season four has that senior year aspect to it we will see a lot more of the entire gang getting together, solving mysteries together and interacting more together. More dynamics between characters feels like the focus for this season, so I’d be really surprised if we didn’t see more of Betty and Veronica. I miss that friendship!”
We are always surprised by the twists and turns of Riverdale and those moments of ‘I can’t believe they did that!” Mendes comments, “I think we become desensitized to it. There’s nothing that can’t happen in Riverdale. I think they only time I would be like ‘What?’ is if legit magic happened. Although when I read that Cheryl was talking to her corpse brother, that made me go ‘are you kidding me, Riverdale?’ because that seems a little crazy.”
Lastly, we caught up with Jughead, himself, actor Cole Sprouse who commented on what it was like working on Riverdale by saying, “it’s our job as actors to take these outlandish narratives and make them feel honest and real. That’s the fun of the job. You get to go on a raid one episode and then you get to watch your mother have a ninja battle the next episode. It’s fun and it’s make-believe, so it reminds me of playing outside when I was a kid and having those fake wooden swords and running through the streets, it’s a pleasure for me to do it and I think that’s what keeps you awake.”
We asked Sprouse what it has been like to witness the fandom for “Riverdale” continue to grow over the years looking back from his first experience at San Diego Comic-Con till now. He replies, “It’s incredible! It’s dangerously validating! It’s nice because we shoot up in Vancouver and we don’t often get to see the fanaticism for the show in real-time and I think when you come here and you see the volume of people that are dressed as your character or they are filling Hall H, it’s amazing and it’s truly incredible. They are the reason we’re here and I think “Riverdale” has an interesting little foothold in the comic convention circuit because we come from a legacy of 75 years worth of comics which served as a perfect little petri dish for this environment. It gave us a huge leg up and a huge advantage especially in arenas like this and I’m grateful.”
Sprouse also reveals that he is looking forward to doing another period piece and would “love to see a “Mad Men” meets “Riverdale” in that time period. I think that would be really enjoyable. It would be fun to act and play that kind of classic well-pronounced voice-acting that they were doing. Any chance we get to do that kind of stuff is fun and fresh and would be a good time.”
Sprouse tells us that he feels that Roberto and the other writers have “done a fantastic job at playing around with genre every season, so every season has been a little bit different feel and a vibe, so I feel that this season is going to be very much a return to season one form. The characters feel way more season one and Jughead is very much season one Jughead … way more focused on being a writer and then his injection into this weird “Gossip Girl” prep school is going to be a lot of fun to play with.”
When talking about the introduction of Charles and how that will affect Betty and Jughead’s relationship, Sprouse reveals, “I don’t think it will have much of an effect on their relationship. Betty’s storyline is way more intertwined with Charles than Jughead’s. I’m interested to see how Jughead and Charles interact, but as of now, I don’t know!”
“Riverdale” executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa joined series stars Mädchen Amick, Marisol Nichols, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, and Molly Ringwald at New York Comic Con to give fans a first look at all-new, never-before-seen footage of the upcoming season. In this new trailer, Archie receives a phone call that changes his life forever, and the gang navigates a senior year filled with family secrets, scandals, a new school, and complicated relationships.
Season four of RIVERDALE premieres Wednesday, October 9, at 8/7c on The CW. #WBNYCC (© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.)