K.J. Apa On The Challenges Archie Faces in ‘Riverdale’

Riverdale, The CW’s subversive take on the beloved comic book Archie is set to premiere in just two days coinciding with the comics 75th anniversary. This darker reimagining is set in modern day, however, it will maintain the 50’s aesthetic with vintage vehicles, clothing, and the 50’s Diner.

Over the last week, The CW has released a series of behind the scenes interviews with the cast revealing new layers and dimensions to the classic characters. But up until now, we have yet to hear from Archie himself, played by K.J. Apa.

In this new interview, Apa reveals the series features a different Archie than fans of the comics are used to and dishes on the conflicts and struggles Archie is facing at the start of the series:

“Archie is — I guess your standard kind of high school kid who’s going through puberty and after the summer he’s come back to school and he’s attracting girls he probably wasn’t attracting beforehand. He’s definitely bulked up a bit I think, he’s not the same Archie from the comics. He also discovers his passion for music over the summer so he’s adamant that music is his thing. But his old man wants him to start playing football and that creates a tiny bit of conflict between him and his dad.”

While Archie will struggle with his passions as his father wants him to go in a different direction, he’ll also struggle between choosing Betty or Veronica as the series will set up the iconic love triangle:

“He definitely thinks of Betty as a just a friend and she doesn’t. And he can’t really pick up on certain flirtatious kind of things but when he sees Veronica, it’s just end game. He just sees her and he’s like yeah. It just hits him.”

Betty and Veronica won’t be Archie’s only romantic interests, though, as the series features a drastic reimagining of Miss Grundy, Archie’s teacher. Miss Grundy is much younger and sexier than her comic book counterpart and when the series begins, Archie and Miss Grundy will be carrying on an affair that began over the summer.

“Archie and Miss Grundy and what happened over the summer is so secretive, it’s literally only him and her know. It means so much to Archie. He’s thinking about that twenty-four-seven throughout the whole [first] episode. I think he really does have — deep down he’s got a lot of feelings for her.”

From the sound of it, Riverdale is going to be a very soapy series, however, it seems to be aware of that and using it to its advantage.

You can check out the full interview below which also teases a troubled past between Archie and his best friend Jughead but it doesn’t sound like we’ll find out what happened for a while.

Riverdale premieres January 29, 2017, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, 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: The CW