'Riverdale': Chad Michael Murray on How Studying Serial Killers Prepared Him for His Cult Leader Role

On tonight's Riverdale, Betty faced off with Edgar Evernever the charismatic leader of The CW show's equally charismatic and mysterious cult, The Farm. Seeking answers about how the cult gets their hold over its members, Edgar is truly the only source she can go to. However, the reality is that Edgar isn't just charismatic, he's something of an enigma, with a shadowy personal history and the ability to win almost anyone to his side. For actor Chad Michael Murray, he had to turn to the stories of real-life cult leaders and serial killers to prepare for the role.

In an interview with TV Line, Murray -- who is best known to fans of The CW for his role on One Tree Hill -- explained that getting into the head of the cult leader was difficult, largely because understanding cult leaders in the real world is so challenging.

"There's this big giant question mark that always hangs over their head... It's what we don't know about them that's what I think is fascinating," Murray said.

Murray had to go a bit further than just looking into cult leaders, though. One of the things that the actor said he determined about Edgar is that the character "must have the most unbelievable gift of gab, he must have a charm and charisma that is second to none, in order for so many people to hang on every word." To better understand that, Murray explained that he studied serial killers like Ted Bundy and Charles Manson.

"How would you get people to drink the Kool-Aid?" Murray said. "You must have a very, very vast belief system, and a very compelling way to tell that story, and a very intricate charm to manipulate each and every person in a different way. You must be a great people reader."

That certainly seems to be the case on Riverdale. Edgar and The Farm have steadily drawn more and more members of the town in, and not just Betty's mother and sister. Cheryl Blossom, Kevin Keller, and even Toni Topaz have all become part of the cult, though in Toni's case there's more to that than meets the eye. And while Betty is convinced that the cult has an agenda, Murray says that agenda will be revealed sooner than you think.

"Edgar and The Farm, they do have an agenda, and that agenda will be uncovered quite soon," Murray said.


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

What do you think The Farm's agenda really is? Let us know in the comments below.