“Riverdale” is one of the most popular TV shows currently on TV and its cast is now one of the most recognisable. But for some of the actors, this fame is new.
While some of the parents, played by actors including Luke Perry and Mädchen Amick, had broken out in the 90s, most of the young actors hadn’t been on many shows, with the exception of Cole Sprouse. For Camila Mendes, playing Veronica on the show was her very first role.
Before the series returns for its third season, here’s a look at what the cast was doing before they were cast on the show.
Watch “Riverdale” Wednesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Six years before playing Betty Cooper on “Riverdale,” Lili Reinhart made her TV debut on an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Reinhart had a few movie roles after that including “The Kings of Summer” and acted alongside Timothée Chalamet in 2016’s “Miss Stevens.” Her next movie, “Galveston,” is set for release Friday, October 19.
KJ Apa, 21, landed his first TV role in 2013 with a part on the New Zealand soap opera “Shortland Street.”
The actor was cast in his first movie, “A Dog’s Purpose,” in 2015, but he broke out as Archie Andrews when “Riverdale” premiered in 2017. He’s starring in “The Hate U Give,” which opens nationwide Friday, October 19, and will star in Netflix’s upcoming movie “The Last Summer.”
Camila Mendes technically made her acting debut in an IKEA commercial, but playing Veronica Lodge on “Riverdale” is her first actual role.
“I thought that, if anything, I would start off with a small role in a ‘Law & Order’ episode, as many actors do, and work my way up from there,” she told Indonesia’s Da Man. “I have absolutely no credits outside of ‘Riverdale,’ so I really lucked out with landing this role. I still can’t believe it.”
She is in two upcoming movies: “The New Romantic,” a Canadian rom-com, and “The Stand-In,” with Noah Centineo.
Cole Sprouse and his twin brother Dylan made their acting debuts as babies on “Grace Under Fire” and then played the same character in “Big Daddy” six years later, but Cole made his solo debut on “Friends” as Ben Geller.
Cody and his brother broke out even more as Disney Channel stars on “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” and its sequel “The Suite Life on Deck.” Both stopped acting and went to college at New York University. Cole earned an individualized degree in archaeology before landing the role of Jughead Jones on “Riverdale.”
Madelaine Petsch modelled early in her career and was in a national ad campaign for Coca-Cola before acting.
She was on an episode of “Instant Mum” and in “The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” before playing Cheryl Blossom on “Riverdale.” She will next appear in Netflix’s horror movie “Polaroid.”
Casey Cott started acting in local theatre productions and landed his first on-screen role playing Kevin Keller on “Riverdale” during his last year in college.
He’s filming a movie titled “Mascot.”
Vanessa Morgan made an appearance in “A Diva’s Christmas Carol” before scoring her next role seven years later when she joined “The Latest Buzz.”
She was also in “Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars” and in “My Babysitter’s a Vampire,” which was made into a TV series she also starred on. Her TV roles include “Degrassi,” “Finding Carter,” and “The Shannara Chronicles.” She plays Toni Topaz on “Riverdale.”
Ashleigh Murray started acting in some short films, like “Welcome to New York,” before playing Josie McCoy on “Riverdale.”
She stars in the remake of “Valley Girl,” but the original release date was pushed back because of controversy surrounding another star in the movie, Logan Paul, and the movie has yet to be released.
Charles Melton was on an episode of “Glee” and in some short films before playing Mr. Wu on “American Horror Story: Hotel.”
He replaced Ross Butler as Reggie Mantle on the second season of “Riverdale.” He is currently filming “The Sun Is Also a Star.”
Though Mädchen Amick may be best known for playing Shelly on “Twin Peaks,” her career started with a guest role on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
She returned to the “Twin Peaks” revival in 2017. She’s appeared on multiple TV shows over the years, including “Dawson’s Creek,” “Gilmore Girls,” “ER,” “Mad Men,” “Witches of East End,” and “American Horror Story: Hotel.” She plays Alice Cooper, Betty’s mum, on “Riverdale.”
Luke Perry is most recognisable for one of his earliest roles, Dylan on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” but he was on a couple shows before that.
He was in “The Fifth Element” and is filming Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” His TV roles include “Oz,” “Jeremiah,” and “Body of Proof.” He plays Fred Andrews, Archie’s dad, on “Riverdale.”
Skeet Ulrich broke out in the 90s thanks to his roles in “The Craft” and “Scream.”
Before playing Jughead’s dad, FP Jones, on “Riverdale,” Ulrich was also on “Jericho” and “Law & Order: LA.”
Marisol Nichols’ career started with guest roles on “Due South” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
She was also in “Scream 2” and “Big Mamma’s House 2.” Her TV roles include “Resurrection Blvd.,” “24,” “Teen Wolf,” and “NCIS.” She plays Hermione Lodge, Veronica’s mum,” on “Riverdale.”
Mark Consuelos broke out with his first role ever, playing Mateo Santos on “All My Children.”
He followed the soap opera up with roles on “Missing,” “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Alpha House,” and “Queen of the South.” He joined “Riverdale” on season two as Hiram Lodge, Veronica’s dad.
One of Martin Cummins’ earliest roles was on “Poltergeist: The Legacy.”
He went on to star on “Dice,” “Dark Angel,” “Smallville,” “Kyle XY,” “V,” “When Calls the Heart,” and “unReal.” He plays former sheriff Tom Keller, Kevin’s dad.
Before playing Cheryl’s mother Penelope Blossom on “Riverdale,” Nathalie Boltt had been on a soap opera called “Isidingo” and was in “District 9.”
She also acted on “The Cult,” “The WotWots,” and “When We Go to War.”
Molly Ringwald’s career started with “The Facts of Life” after her character was introduced on “Diff’rent Strokes.”
She went on to star in multiple John Hughs films including “Sixteen Candles,” “Pretty In Pink,” and “The Breakfast Club.” Her later career included starring on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” She plays Archie’s mum, Mary, on “Riverdale.”
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