Cole Sprouse on Why Jughead Is So Determined to Carry On FP's 'Riverdale' Legacy

In the first season of The CW's hit Archie Comics adaptation Riverdale, one of the biggest [...]

riverdale jughead serpents

In the first season of The CW's hit Archie Comics adaptation Riverdale, one of the biggest surprises for longtime readers of the comics was just how much of the story was shadowed by an unspoken history between Riverdale's parents. During a recent interview on the set (well, actually, on the set of Supergirl, but who's counting?), series star Cole Sprouse explained that, in-story, his character Jughead Jones feels the pressure to live up to his dad's best intentions.

F.P. Jones, a member of the South Side Serpents who had a hand in covering up the murder of Jason Blossom, nevertheless has a gentleness to him that has made the character (played by Skeet Ulrich) a fan-favorite. He is also, as it turns out, the person who has kept the Serpents in the minors in terms of criminal activity and prevented things on the South Side from deteriorating into a full-on gang war. Without him, things are falling apart and Jughead has taken it upon himself to step up.

"I think, in many ways, the kids in the town are all reflections of their parents and are kind of these ghost-like images of their parents," Sprouse told reporters. "Even when we start to learn the parents' story in Season 1, we see that someone like FP made some mistakes that Jughead is either stumbling into blindly or trying to acknowledge, and I think Jughead has a tremendous yearning for the approval of his father, who was probably not there too much when he was a kid. He's a kid whose mom is not around. He's a kid who takes his childhood friendships super, super seriously and is all about the kind of purity and moral rightness of whatever person is making the bad decisions that they're making, and I think he sees the potential for greatness in his father and he sees the potential for greatness in himself and he's slowly but surely realizing that there are a lot of different shades to good and bad and that his father is definitely sitting right around the middle of that."

While Jughead had to move from Riverdale to the South Side after Fred Andrews was unable to adopt him (apparently there was a DUI in Fred's past), Sprouse still holds Archie's dad up as the gold standard.

"In that way, we have Luke Perry's character, who's very morally righteous, and Archie is a spectre of that moral righteousness as well, sort of a lawful good," Sprouse explained. "And then we have Jughead sort of sitting on that spectrum, trying to figure out what part of that spectrum he sits on and if he leans either way and it's definitely a shade of his father -- and if his father can end up influencing him towards either direction, that's yet to be said."

Riverdale airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.