Her break-out role may be on TV’s hottest primetime drama, one season in and winning Teen Choice Awards’ ‘Breakout Star’ playing a girl next door in a comic-turned-script from the 1940’s, but those are just the accolades for The CW’s Riverdale star Lili Reinhart to make it to the red carpet. On the brink of the Season 2 premiere, fans are anxious to know where her character, Betty Cooper, will pick up. Oh the suspense of a budding relationship, tenuous family matters and of course, unsolved mysteries!
The upcoming season has been an intense filming schedule. As we speak, the cast is shooting episode 8 and the nights have been long but everyone is enthusiastic because the premiere is closing in. “Everybody is really excited and anxious for us to premiere and for people to start seeing what we’ve been working on for the past few months because we’ve really been putting our blood, sweat and tears into this.” Reinhart confesses Season 2 is stepping up it’s game, “the storylines are darker and deeper and harder on us as actors, we’re really pushing ourselves.” Despite being ahead of the rest of us, the cast is in just as much suspense as we are because the scripts come last minute. “Our showrunner, Roberta, likes to keep things private for as long as possible, not give anything away to us actors.” But when the scripts do come in, Reinhart drops everything to find out what’s coming next, "I’m just as invested in my show as fans are!”
Hailing from Cleveland, OH, Reinhart is no typical 21-year-old and her grace is poignant both on and off camera. While Riverdale may be wrapped up in a murder mystery, Betty is a light, brought to life by Reinhart’s multi-faceted personality and talents. “As much as you try to make Betty a realistic character, her circumstances are so unique and otherworldly because it’s a murder in a small town.” Reinhart explores the depths of her character because Betty isn’t just a stereotype, she’s complex with layers that fit the drama but can also be lighthearted, offering endearing opportunities like her “weird and crazy facial expressions that people always point out,” Reinhart jokes, “I’m lucky I get to show my colors with Betty as well.”
As expected, Betty’s relationship with Jughead will be tenuous, as we saw him putting on the Southside Serpent jacket at the end of Season 1. Their newfound love for eachother is strong, however, because it came together “super organically, which is really beautiful for both of them.” Reinhart refers to their relationship as a Romeo and Juliet situation. "It feels like in Season 2, every force in the universe wants to pull them apart from each other, just the nature of them going to different schools," she says. "Being on the northside and southside, it seems like all of these forces don’t want them to work but they’re fighters for each other and that’s something that I admire about their relationship.” Sure, things will get more heated sexually but that’s less on Betty and Jughead. Their relationship is “much deeper than that, which I think is much more interesting, it lets you become a lot more invested. It’s a good, healthy representation of a young relationship.”
While Betty herself is coming into her own, “standing her ground, standing up to her mother, fighting for her relationship,” Reinhart explains that finding balance between work and life is an ongoing process. She’s just gotten off the phone with her mother and found herself apologizing for not being more present because she’s wrapped up in work. “There needs to be a barrier sometimes, when I can talk to my friends from home and my family about life outside of this Riverdale bubble that I live in.” Decompressing usually involves Netflix and friends and planning pumpkin carving parties, "I have learned to just cherish being with my friends and being out of my work environment.”
"You learn to appreciate moments when you can just be…you."
Photography by Robby Mueller
Styling by Syndey Lopez
Makeup by Adam Breuchaud
Hair by Charles Dujic
Written by Britt Witt