Riverdale re-imagines the Archie comics, turning the wholesome world of Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Archie into a dark murder mystery high school drama. Here are 25 facts about the hit show.
25. Danger On Set
After K.J. Apa, who plays Archie, was overworked during a 16 hour shift, he got into a car accident on the drive home. He was unhurt, but his car was totalled. This prompted people to start asking questions about the safety of the crew, especially regarding how much work they were doing. One source even said, “They’re working those kids from morning until night. Someone’s going to die.”
The cast has started to demand better working conditions as a result.
24. The Perfect Town
The bird’s eye shot that is used to show all of the town of Riverdale is the same shot used in Pretty Little Liars, The Carrie Diaries, Gilmore Girls, Hart of Dixie, and The Witches of East End; it’s actually Vancouver, where the show (and many of the above shows) is filmed.
Even though the set is totally fake, in the comics the town of Riverdale is actually based on a real-life place: Hiawatha, Kansas.
In Season 1 of Riverdale, there are a lot of different “75th Anniversary” events going on around town. This is because the show was filmed in 2016, and Archie Comics began in 1941.
21. Child Star
Before landing the part of Jughead, Cole Sprouse was best known for being one of the twin brothers, Cody, in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
20. Real-Life Classmates
Sprouse took a break from acting after The Suite Life on Deck ended to get a degree in archaeology from New York University. Jughead is the first part he has played since college. Camila thodndes, who plays Veronica, went to NYU at the same time was Sprouse. She remembers meeting him at school, but he doesn’t!
19. Key of Imagination
Before auditioning for the part of Jughead, Sprouse was binge-watching The Twilight Zone. This inspired him to read the narrations like Rod Serling. The mood fit very well with the spooky mysterious vibe the creators wanted to give Riverdale.
18. Family History
The Blossom family home is called Thornhill, and the estate has a Latin phrase on the front gate. It says radices currere abyssi, which translates to “roots run deep.”
17. The Queen Bee
Camila Mendes says that she uses the characters Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl and Summer Roberts from The OC as her inspirations while playing Veronica.
16. Vintage Hollywood
The titles of Riverdale episodes are based on movie titles. For example, Episode 2, “A Touch of Evil,” is also a classic film noir by Orson Welles.
Kevin Keller didn’t appear as a character in the Archie comics until 2010. He is the first gay character in the series. In the comics, he was an army brat who moved a lot as a kid. In the TV show, Kevin was born and raised in Riverdale, and his father is the sheriff.
14. Miracles Happen
Ashleigh Murray plays Josie from Josie and the Pussycats. Before landing her role on Riverdale, Murray was struggling to get by: She only had $12 in her bank account when she found out she got the job.
13. Fit for a King
When the Archie Comics first came out in the 1940s, a popular hat for young people was a whoopee cap, which looked like a crown and was made by cutting up a fedora. Jughead wears this hat in the comic, but Riverdale updated it to a gray beanie with crown accents.
12. Not So Ginger
Before playing Archie on Riverdale, K.J. Apa played the role of Ethan in A Dog’s Purpose. He naturally has brown hair, but he dyed it red in order to play Archie.
11. Beauty is Hard
In the scenes where Archie and his friends are eating hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes at Pop’s Diner, Apa has to keep a spit bucket sitting next to him off-camera: he is on a strict no-junk-food diet so he can keep his six pack abs.
In the comics, Ms. Grundy has no improper relationships with her students.
9. Old School
The diner used as Pop’s is the same set that was used for the 2013 horror movie Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe. It was also used in the 2010 movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
8. I See What You Did There
A lot of the scenes of Riverdale High School are filmed at Point Grey Secondary School. This is where actor Seth Rogen went to High School, and at one point, Jughead makes a reference to Seth Rogen in the show.
7. Tough Guys
In the comics, the South Side Serpents aren’t a biker gang, they are a group of bullies who only appear in the Li’l Archie comics.
6. A Fine Cup of Coffee
Before being cast in Riverdale as Betty’s mom, actress Mädchen Amick played Shelly in the iconic murder mystery TV series Twin Peaks.
5. Method Acting
There is a scene in the show where Archie has to punch through ice in order to save someone’s life; K.J. Apa ended up breaking his hand during that scene.
4. The Butler Did It
The creators of the show wanted to be sure that the identity of Jason’s killer wouldn’t leak to the press. They filmed multiple versions of who the killer actually was in order to be sure that no one could reveal the truth.
3. Just Friends
In the comics, Jughead’s character identifies as asexual.
2. Just Stand There and Look Pretty
Trevor Stines plays Jason Blossom, but he doesn’t have a single line!
1. Jughead Is Mean?
Cole Sprouse, the actor who plays Jughead, came under fire when a shocking and controversial video emerged of him actually yelling at and insult a real Vancouver street performer who was asking for money while the crew was filming a scene. Fans didn’t know what to make of it, since Cole seemed like such a kind and lighthearted guy, and since the street performer seemed sincere as well.
The performer later said, “Cole Sprouse slandered me and acted terribly, he should be ashamed. What he and cast did was abusive towards a member of the public.”