WonderCon 2017: Riverdale cast on raising the bar for Archie fans, diversity and season finale shockers!
The cast and executive producers of Riverdale crash into the WonderCon to gush over the massive support from their fans and to prepare us for a stunning season finale.
Riverdale, the new adaptation of the Archie comics, has taken the CW by storm. It has impressed critics and audiences alike and the first season will soon come to a close. We had the opportunity to have a discussion with the cast and producers about the season finale, expectations from Archie fans, diversity and the wave of good vibes over social media from the fans.
Now, Mädchen Amick (Alice) is no stranger to thrilling television. Having been a member of the cast of the still widely popular 90’s cult show Twin Peaks, she’s aware of the impact a show can have on an audience. But back then, social media wasn’t a part of the party. And the wave of support for Riverdale from fans online has been incredible. Amick and fellow Riverdale mom Marisol Nichols both share a “love/hate relationship” with Twitter.
Nichols went on to say “I love social media aspect but my daughter is eight. So I can’t explain to her ‘no, hunny momma’s gotta send one more tweet. When I can set aside time I absolutely love it. Because it’s that interaction, that immediate feedback, you get to talk directly to people, I love it.” Amick shared those sentiments and added, “I enjoy social media but the live tweeting is hard because I usually want to sit down and watch it and really pay attention myself as a viewer and so when we’re trying to interact it’s hard. So I’ll pause at a commercial and send a few tweets.”
One of the most positive reactions audiences have had regarding Riverdale is how wonderfully diverse the cast is. The two lovely ladies, Ashleigh Murray and Camila Mendes, that play two besties Josie and Veronica had a few things to say about the subject. Mendes said, ”Diversity isn’t something that was on the page. It was something in the making and the creating and the casting that became a thing, which made me very proud to be a part of it.”
Representation has become more of an important topic now than ever before in Hollywood. Audiences are not just demanding entertainment, but characters of all genders, backgrounds, cultures and body types. It’s not about political statements, it’s about presenting the world as it is.
“We’re not trying to be diverse, we are trying to be progressive. And with that progression we are also very nostalgic. It’s this beautiful merging of the two.” – Camila Mendes
Ashleigh Murray shared her experience on the last stage of casting for Josie: “What was nice is when I was testing for the show there were two other Josie’s that were there with me the first day and all three of us were all women of color and we all looked completely different. Different hair, different body types but we were all a specific type of ethnicity and I liked that. They weren’t trying to say ‘Oh we want Josie to be black’. It just happened that the three girls that made it to the last stage looked the way that they looked and I think what I also really love about the show is that we’re not diverse for diversity’s sake.”
One thing that the whole cast was able to gush about (but not share any secrets about) is a shocking season finale. Every time a member of the cast was asked about reading the finale script we were given deceiving smiles and excited laughter in return. According to KJ Apa (Archie) and on-screen dad Luke Perry (Fred), the finale is going to be quite a shocker. Apa explained, “We got the script and then the day before our last day of shooting, the whole thing changed.” Perry, in turn, talked about the final table read: “We were all sitting at the table reading it, and reading it and we flipped that page and everybody just collectively just went…(GASP)…”
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa expanded on that by promising that “there are lots of secrets that come out in the finale.” As a very big Archie fan himself and Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics, he also took a moment to gush however how… knowledgeable comic book fans are. “I’ve done a lot of different things, I’ve never met a fandom like the Archie fandom. They know everything. They remember panels. There are literally over a billion pages of Archie story and they know everything, and I’m one of them.”
“The best adaptations are when the people that are doing the adaptation really, really love the material. And I cannot imagine anyone that loves Archie as much as Roberto and Jon. Those are the best adaptations, is when they are done by fans.” – Executive Producer Sarah Schechter
The Archie comic books have been around since 1946, the original trio (Archie, Betty and Veronica) made their first appearances in 1941. If your comic book history is a little rusty that is the same year that Captain America #1 was published. Although in these days most people identify comic book heroes with fancy suits, capes and shields, Archie has been there for just as long representing the little guy. The regular guy. Another side of comic books. John Goldwater, both an Executive Producer of Riverdale and current CEO of Archie Comics, also had a lot to say about the fan expectations: “Archie fans always expect a lot. They love the characters and they’ve loved them for decades, so the bar was really high. Everyone has done a phenomenal job. I’m hoping with the very high expectations, we’ve exceeded them.”
Considering the fan reactions so far this season, I’d say he’s right.
You can catch Riverdale on the CW on Thursdays at 9!
Last day of fun at WonderCon 2017, so be sure to join us and follow us Instagram, Twitter, and, Snapchat @hellonerdeek
WonderCon runs from March 31 – April 2, 2017. Tickets are $65 for a Deluxe 3-Day Pass, while Premium and VIP passes have already sold out. Day passes are also available for each of the three days: $30 for 2pm to 11:30pm Friday, $30 for 7am to 11:30pm Saturday, and $18 for 9am to 4:35pm Sunday. For more details, check out the Wondercon official website.