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Tag: 2017: Interviews

Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes on Their New Life in the Spotlight

Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes, the Betty and Veronica of the breakout CW show Riverdale, are still getting used to the spotlight, but so far, they’re taking it in stride. Unlike the characters of the Archie Comics, off which the series is loosely based, their Betty and Veronica are friends — no frenemy stuff — and it’s the same with Reinhart and Mendes in real life. They have the kind of easy relationship that lets tension out of a room, and on set at their photo shoot at a roller rink in Glendale, California, they’re laughing at inside jokes and naming each other’s childhood celebrity crush (Reinhart’s was Leonardo DiCaprio) as though they’ve been friends forever. It’s clear they love being a duo, partly because it makes the adjustment to being known, from having been complete unknowns just a few months ago, a little easier to bear.

Now 20, Reinhart started self-taping auditions when she was 12 and living in Cleveland, Ohio. At 18, she moved to Los Angeles but faced a setback after five months. “I fell very hard into a deep depression,” she says. “I went home and built up my strength. When I came back out here, I was 19 and booked Riverdale shortly after.” Mendes, meanwhile, went to a performing arts high school in Miami, then studied acting at New York University. She auditioned for a year after graduating but “didn’t really get any bites.” Her first callback, at 22, came when she tried out for Riverdale.

They’re learning to navigate fame as they go, and it helps that they have old hands like Cole Sprouse, Mädchen Amick, and Skeet Ulrich (Mendes’s on-set crush, who she calls “baddy daddy”) around to give them advice. They’re already pros at fielding questions about fan theories; asked whether they’d be down to play zombies, should the series go that route as speculated, they answer coyly, “If it was a sexy zombie, I guess…” They’re hoping for veteran status in the long-term but they gave a glimpse into what it’s like to be two of the coolest new breakout stars of the moment.

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Lili Reinhart Opens Up About Depression, Playing Betty Cooper, and More

From a young age, Riverdale star Lili Reinhart was determined to be a working actress, even if it meant recruiting someone else to help make that dream come true. “I was 14 years old, and my mom would drive me from our home in Cleveland to New York City for auditions,” she recalls. “My mom was a trooper.”

But when your kid is getting booked on shows like Law & Order: SVU (“My first TV role!”), you know it’s not a fluke. “I was an entertainer since I was born,” the 20-year-old remembers. “I would come up with these dances for my family and perform plays and make videos by myself with our home video camera. My parents just had faith in me, and thank God they did. They weren’t stage parents in the slightest. I’m just lucky they believed in me enough to help me pursue. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Reinhart’s parents also supported their daughter when she went through a difficult time and sought professional help. “It came to a point where I told my parents I wanted to see a therapist and a psychiatrist and see if there was medication I could [go on],” she tells us. “I was very proactive. It makes me feel stronger to be able to say that I was able to seek help when I knew that I needed it and not just suffer in silence.”

It’s those qualities that make Reinhart proud to play Betty Cooper on the CW series—which was recently renewed for a second season: “She’s a passionate, strong woman who loves her family and friends, but she is also battling her demons, which I think is beautiful to watch.” Something else that’s pretty empowering? Watching Reinhart navigate her newfound fame and using her platform to speak up about mental health. Read on for more. (But warning: There are spoilers ahead if you aren’t caught up on Riverdale.)

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‘Riverdale’ Star Lili Reinhart Dishes

***SPOILER WARNING*** Read at your own risk if you haven’t yet watched Riverdale episode 1.06.

The CW’s “Riverdale” may have focused on the skeletons inside of the Pussycat’s closet on Thursday, but the real shocker of the night involved Jughead, Betty and her sister Polly.

TooFab’s Madison Brodsky talked to Lili Reinhart who plays the beloved Betty Cooper about that kissing scene with Cole Sprouse and who she thought killed Jason Blossom.

What was your inspiration bringing the beloved character Betty to the small screen?
“I came just from my collaboration with Roberto our executive producer and writer and we just tried to create a real person based off this comic book 2-dimensional character. We just wanted to maker her a real girl. We took her characteristics from the comics and how she was kind and forgiving and very loving and the happy girl next door, but we added more to her than just what was on the page.”

The episodes are starting to hint that Betty might have mental issues like the rest of her family. Are we going to see a Betty explosion?
“I think you saw the most of Betty’s boiling over point in episode three, but she does have mental health issues in the sense that she has a lot of built up anxiety with everything going on with her sister and her parents keep telling her she is crazy, which makes her think that she might be crazy too and she’s going off the rails a little bit. Betty is trying to keep it together the best she can though.”

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Lili Reinhart Gets Real About Betty’s Soulmate

On paper, Betty Cooper is a dream girl. She’s the sugar to Veronica Lodge’s spice. In the original Archie comics, she’s presented as the perfect girl next door, as sweet as apple pie and as interesting as vanilla ice cream. In prolific comics writer Mark Waid’s current Archie run, Betty is a pretty tomboy with big dreams who’s still hopelessly hung up on her best friend and ex, Archie Andrews. But The CW’s Riverdale gives us a version of Betty we haven’t seen before, one with depth and a whole lot of darkness.

Last week on the show, Betty (Lili Reinhart) went “full dark, no stars” on football player Chuck Clayton, nearly drowning him in a hot tub after losing her grip on reality. Of course, this isn’t the first time Riverdale has unleashed Dark Betty; she also snapped in Episode 2, when she threatened to kill Cheryl Blossom for making fun of her sister, Polly, who’s currently being treated in a mental hospital. The cracks in Betty’s perfect facade are worsening by the week, and the profundity of her misery is becoming clearer. This is not the Betty Cooper of yesteryear.

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