Madelaine Petsch plays the sexy villain Cheryl Blossom on “Riverdale,” a new show based on the classic 1940s Archie Comics. It premiered on The CW last night. The show takes place on a high school campus in a spooky, small town. Madelaine sat down with Galore to spill some deets about our new favorite murder mystery.
So how similar is Riverdale to the original comics from the 1940s?
We stay true to the Archie comics. We’re very similar to the characters but we’re a little more 3-dimensional because we’re not on paper. People know what they’re going to expect but they have no idea.
You play the bad girl. What kind of bad girl do you play?
I’m definitely the traditional, mean bad girl, but I’m also the bad girl who hits you without warning. I do some sly moves onshow is all about my brother being murdered and me trying to figure out who did it because I’m in love with my brother.
Wait, you’re in love with your brother?
Yes! I have a twin brother who dies on the show and I’m in love with him.
What’s the theme of the show?
It’s very film noir, very dark, edgy, and mysterious. It’s not just for teens, there’s adult stuff as well. It’s all about the spooky stuff that happens behind the scenes of a small town. Everyone knows everybody; if a pin drops in a house everyone knows about it.
Who do you think is going to love this show?
I think everyone will like it. There’s a bit of something for everybody: there’s some music stuff, there’s some girly stuff, there’s some sexy stuff. There’s a teacher-student affair – very steamy. I’m not involved in that part though!
Tell us more about your character Cheryl!
Well firstly, our show is very girl power. None of the characters need a man or have a boyfriend. I’m all about my brother of course, but I’m very focused on being my own person. I don’t have any friends on the show. I’m very stand-alone but very strong. I’m definitely the sexy character on the show [laughs]. But in the way that she doesn’t care what people think and she does what she wants. She uses her sex appeal to get what she wants.
Love that girl power aspect. How else is the show super forward-thinking for women?
In the Archie comics, Archie gets everything he wants and treats Betty and Veronica pretty badly. On the show, we basically have everything turned upside down. In the comics, Betty and Veronica are always fighting over Archie, and on our show, Betty and Veronica couldn’t really care less! It’s three girls doing their own thing — my character and her two minions — doing everything we can to find out who killed Jason. Nothing really involves men. I feel like that’s rare for TV, there’s always a strong love influence with the main character. Of course there’s some making out — gotta keep it steamy — but we’re all very independent which I love.
How are you similar and different from your character?
I’m not mean, and I don’t think of myself as manipulative. I’m similar because I know how to get what I want. As a girl, we’ve all figured out our ways [laughs]. Cheryl is very confident, and I think of myself as a very confident human being.
Tell us about Cheryl’s style.
I love Cheryl’s style. They call her the “red queen”. Her nails are always red, she always has a piece of red on her outfits. After the pilot, she starts to have creepier accessories like spidery earrings and broaches. She wears tight clothing but it’s still very fashion-forward. Think Valentino 6-inch heels walking down school hallways. She drives a little vintage red convertible which I love. Also, no one else is allowed to wear red on the show. You know from Mean Girls, “On Wednesdays we wear pink?” Well here, it’s, “you can’t wear red ever”.
Photos and Interview by Maddie Cordoba