When Riverdale comes to your screens in just over a month, audiences will be talking quite a bit about Cheryl Blossom, a character who's not nearly as recognizable as Archie Andrews, Jughead Jones, or Josie and the Pussycats from previous takes on the Archie Comics mythology...but who's kind of a "stealth lead" in Riverdale.
During a recent interview, we asked actress Madelaine Petsch, who plays the character, what it was like to be playing such a big role, but to have most people know basically nothing about her role.
“I come into it almost expecting people to understand what’s going on with the show, and then I have to explain to them, ‘No, I know Cheryl Blossom’s not really that relevant in the comics, but I swear I’m in the show!'” Petsch joked. “It’s definitely been a new experience. Of course these are iconic characters, but with [decreased expectations] comes a little less pressure, and then we get to WOW people.”
Petsch was one of a handful of actors whose character hadn't yet appeared in the comics at the time of their casting, and while Cheryl Blossom is being heavily featured in the current, third story arc in Archie, she said it seems like Riverdale might have influenced the comics a little bit.
“It’s kind of crazy to see what she looked like a couple of months before and what she looks like now,” Petsch said. “I feel like she looks a little bit more like me. It’s definitely bizarre being comic book characters come to life. For me, I’m the spitting image of Cheryl so it’s definitely a very fun but also a very pressure-filled role to take.”
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Riverdale stars KJ Apa as Archie, Cole Sprouse as Jughead, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camilla Mendes as Veronica Lodge, and Luke Perry as Archie's father Fred Andrews, among others. The series' showrunner is Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer and the writer of Afterlife With Archie, the publisher's wildly popular zombie series.