T-Shirt Raf Simons / Jeans Raf Simons
You were born and raised in the south (Arkansas) what was it like coming to LA for the first time?
It was absolutely breathtaking. I remember my first car ride in Hollywood like it was yesterday. I just kept saying “Wow. Wow. Wow. I’m never leaving this place.” To come from such a small town in Arkansas, made every little thing spectacular in Los Angeles. Still does. That hasn’t changed much for me. I’m still so enamored every single day.
Did you always know you wanted to act?
I knew I wanted to be Elvis. Which is where my love for both acting and music stems from. My parents were very pivotal in putting me in dance classes and local theater productions. They were extremely supportive my entire life and I own everything to them. They always believed in me and let me try anything I wanted to try. Our one rule was “no quitting. If I started something I had to finish it.
Had you read the comics or seen season 1 prior to auditioning for Riverdale?
I read the comics as a child. My dad was a big fan of them. When I got the audition I watched the entire first season in two days to pick up on the tone of the show.
You play a pretty dark character on the show. Was it hard relating to the part? How did you get into character?
No I thought it was the best “first acting job” I could have asked for because it allowed me to show range and versatility. I wasn’t just playing myself. I was able to transform into something completely opposite of me, and that was very challenging but it also taught me so much about myself. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. I watched a lot of documentaries on people who earn their living through WebCam chat rooms and I formed my character almost entirely based on the interviews with all of those intriguing people.
Your relationship with the cast is well documented across social media. Were you close to the cast from the beginning?
They welcomed me with open arms and took me in almost immediately. I had never spent that kind of time on a set before and they showed me the ropes. I had questions like what does “roll sound” or “check that” or “martini shot” mean? And they all answered them with pleasure. And then naturally Vancouver is a city but it’s got a smaller feel to it and after shooting, we would all go to some small intimate bar and grab a night cap. It was some of the best conversations I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Who is your favorite actor from the cast to film scenes with and why?
Well the majority of my scenes were with Lili or Mädchen, and they were such talented, professional, badasses, that it made me really look forward to shooting with them daily. They taught me so much and they always delivered a killer performance.
Off screen who are you closest to?
Do you want me to start a war? I can’t answer that! The uproar it would cause! But, Cole.
Will you be back next season?
You. Will. Have. To. Wait. And. See.
Full Look Amiri
What has been the most surreal Hollywood moment for you?
In Hollywood, every party, every event, every dinner is surreal for me. I really mean that. You have to remember where I came from. The middle of nowhere. A dry county which means no alcohol is allowed to be served there. A place where the tallest building is three stories high. I take no days for granted and I appreciate every moment of this.
Besides acting you are also a musician and in a band. Is music something you would want to pursue full time?
Absolutely. I’m planning a tour right now in between shoot dates and I’m very excited about it. I can’t wait to get my music out in the world and travel around playing and meeting people. it was my first love and nothing will ever change that. I love acting but nothing beats that immediate rush that music delivers.
Do you plan to release an album?
Oh yes of course. We are in the process of putting the entire thing together right now. We are writing writing writing. My childhood friend, Jordan Christian Hearn and I formed a group called The Deadshots (@deadshots). Stay tuned babies, the sounds are coming.
Who are some your biggest influences as an actor and as a musician?
Elvis. Elvis. Elvis. And I love Matthew McConaughey. And Johnny Cash.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I love Legos so much. I’m obsessed. I could play with them forever.