KJ Apa, 24, rose to fame in 2016 when he was cast as Archie Andrews in the CW series Riverdale. Five years later, he and French model girlfriend Clara Belly, 27, are now parents to a baby boy named Sasha Vai Keneti Apa. Recently labeled a DILF, it’s evident that the New Zealand actor has grown a lot since the teen drama aired. So it was no surprise when he described working in Riverdale as “feeling like I’m in jail a lot,” in comparison to his grown-up role in the controversial pandemic thriller Songbird.
Some fans thought he was being ungrateful since the show practically launched his career along with his co-stars, Camila Mendes, 27, Madelaine Petsch, 27, Cole Sprouse, 29, and Lili Reinhart, 25, who previously made the same comparisons about working on the CW drama. Here’s the real reason Apa compared Riverdale with being in prison and why Reinhart agrees with him
Why KJ Apa Felt Like Being In Jail In ‘Riverdale’
In an Interview Magazine chat with Demi Moore, 58 — his co-star in Songbird — Apa opened up about feeling “so free” doing a film that’s a lot different than Riverdale. “I don’t know how it was for you, but I remember thinking the movie was either going to be really good or really bad,” the actor told Moore of considering the COVID-19 film. “Because of the condition of the world and how we were forced to shoot during COVID. You and all these amazing people were attached, and I was like, ‘F— it. Let’s try.'”
“I had no idea what I was getting into,” Moore replied. “It wasn’t a huge role, but it wasn’t really about that. It was about the adventure.” Apa also expressed his gratefulness for being cast in the movie despite its backlash. “I felt so free coming from a show where I feel like I’m in jail a lot of the time,” said the Dead Reckoning star of working on Riverdale. “There are so many restrictions on what I can and can’t do. 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.”
The G.I. Jane actress empathized with him, saying she “can see how playing a character that’s based on a comic book would come with a specific framework.” As someone who’s drastically altered her hair and physique throughout her career, Moore definitely feels for the young actor. “There’s been so much pressure in playing Archie,” Apa added. “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.” Indeed, Apa’s comparison of Riverdale to prison was “amplified to an overwhelming degree,” as Moore said of how tough it is to be a celebrity “living in a time of social media.”
Lili Reinhart Also Compared ‘Riverdale’ To Prison
Starring as Betty Cooper in Riverdale, Reinhart also compared filming Riverdale to being in prison. It was back in September 2020 when the cast had to shoot episodes in Canada until December without any breaks. “I genuinely feel like a prisoner, going back to work, because I cannot leave Canada,” Reinhart told Nylon Magazine. “That doesn’t feel good. You can’t go home for Thanksgiving, can’t visit your family. No one can come visit you unless they quarantine for two weeks. It just feels f—–.”A
In the Chemical Hearts actress’ case, she was immediately called out for being tone-deaf. A lot of people have been through far more difficult challenges during this time. If anything, Reinhart was lucky to still be working when many have lost their jobs due to the crisis. Seriously, celebrities should just stop making prison comparisons. For instance, Ellen DeGeneres, 63, also faced backlash in April 2020 for saying quarantine in her multimillion-dollar home was like “being in jail.”
What KJ Apa Currently Feels About ‘Riverdale’
As Apa said, he’s thankful for being a part of Riverdale. He’s simply outgrown the series throughout the years and is probably curious to explore his range. “I feel like the only people I can talk to about my issues are my costars, the people who can really relate to me,” the actor explained. “Cole [Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones] is an amazing person to have on set, because he’s been doing this his whole life. I try and look at it from a fan’s perspective to understand the way they think. But there are times when I’m like, ‘Wow, they really have no idea that we are actual people. They can’t separate us from our characters.'”
The Last Summer actor also discussed how his opinions are easily held against him due to his fame. “You don’t have that in other professions,” he said. “You don’t dissect the life of a builder and start judging the decisions he makes in his life with his wife and kids. 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. It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with.” Well, it all comes with the territory.