Camila Mendes on Veronica Reinventing Herself In ‘Riverdale’

Next week, Riverdale makes its big debut on The CW. The series itself is a subversive adaptation of the original comic book series Archie that reimagines the style and tone as well as many elements established in the comics so much that it’s almost unrecognizable as Archie.

Rather than Veronica Lodge being a snooty rich mean girl, the new series reimagines Veronica as a former rich girl who has been left humbled after her father was arrested for embezzlement, causing the family to lose most of what they have. This financial loss has led her and her mother to move to Riverdale to start a new life.

Ahead of the premiere, The CW has dropped a new interview with Mendes where she dishes on the motivations behind Veronica’s goals to better herself at the start of the series:

“Veronica was always up to no good when she was in New York and that’s why I think she’s trying to reinvent herself when she moves to Riverdale — into a good girl.”

One aspect of the comics the series will maintain is the iconic love triangle between Archie (K.J. Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), and Veronica, however. The series won’t dive right into the romance as Betty and Veronica are set to become best friends first, adding a new dimension to the tension that will later follow. Mendes also explained why she thinks Veronica takes to Betty at first:

“She see’s that Betty — deep down — is probably a really strong woman but is being suppressed by her mother and all these other external factors and she recognizes that and wants to bring that side out of her. She really is trying to be a good friend. She doesn’t want to mess things up with Betty at all but it’s very new for her so, she struggles.”

Check out the interview below where she also teases the inevitable love triangle and plot twists to come.

Riverdale premieres January 29, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Cole Sprouse, Ashleigh Murray, Casey Cott, Shannon Purser, Luke Perry, and Molly Ringwald. Here’s the official synopsis:

As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom — and nothing feels the same… Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music — not follow in his dad’s footsteps—despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). Which means Archie doesn’t have anyone who will mentor him — certainly not singer Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats. It’s all weighing heavily on Archie’s mind — as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves – which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Mädchen Amick) aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols), there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, even though Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty by making a play for Archie. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch)… Riverdale’s Queen Bee is happy to stir up trouble amongst Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but Cheryl is keeping secrets of her own. What, exactly, is she hiding about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there are dangers in the shadows…

Source: Television Promos