“There are times when I’m like, ‘Wow, [the fans] really have no idea that we are actual people.'”
Posted on February 25, 2021, at 7:43 a.m. ET
The New Zealand native has played Archie Andrews on the show since its beginning in 2017 and was cast when he was just 19 years old.
But now KJ has admitted the success of the show sometimes makes him feel limited in the role, saying there are “so many restrictions on what I can and can’t do.”
Comparing his time working on the controversial COVID movie Songbird to acting on Riverdale, KJ said the movie made him feel “free.”
“I felt so free coming from a show where I feel like I’m in jail a lot of the time,” he told Demi Moore. “With this character, it was like, ‘Wow, this is what it’s like to really express myself in a natural way.’ I wasn’t covered in makeup or hair products. I had long hair and a beard. I just felt free.”
“There’s been so much pressure in playing Archie,” KJ said of his role on Riverdale. “I’m so grateful for the show and its success, but at the same time, there’s a lot of baggage that comes with that success.”
He went on to say that the only people he feels he can talk and relate to about that baggage are his Riverdale costars, and Cole Sprouse in particular.
“As an actor, I will be judged on everything: my political opinions, my opinions on drugs, my opinions on the people I want to be with. Everything,” KJ said. “It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with.”