‘Riverdale’ Season 3 – KJ Apa Interview on Archie’s Struggles and Relationships

Don’t expect life to get any easier for the high school kids of The CW’s Riverdale in season three. In our roundtable interview at the 2018 New York Comic Con, KJ Apa confirmed Archie Andrews will once again be faced with difficult circumstances as the new season gets underway. However, unlike the past two seasons, Archie will be handling much of what he’s going through on his own.

The CW’s Riverdale season three premieres on October 10, 2018.

Every season they put you guys through such hell that I wonder how these characters survive to the next season.

KJ Apa: “Honestly, you think it was bad last season? I really get the short end of the stick this season – in a good way.”

What does that mean, “in a good way?”

KJ Apa: “It just means I think physically Archie is put to the test. He goes through the wringer. You’ll see; it’s crazy.”

Does he emerge stronger than ever before?

KJ Apa: “Absolutely. I think Archie, we see him on his own a lot this season too, separated from his friends, his family, his dad. He’s seriously put to the test. It’s almost like a battle against himself, almost. But, yeah, he’s definitely going even darker this season.”

Riverdale Season 3 Episode 1
KJ Apa in ‘Riverdale’ season 3 episode 1 (Photo: Katie Yu © 2018 The CW Network)

How do you think your acting has evolved over the course of Riverdale?

KJ Apa: “I think it evolves as the material that I get is evolving as well. I think this season in particular the material has been amazing for me. I think it’s been really challenging, really physical too which is great for me. I love all the action stuff. I love all the physical scenes.”

Are there a lot of hand-to-hand combat and stunts?

KJ Apa: “Yes. Lots of that this season, lots of fighting, lots of boxing. Every now and then I’m not allowed to do my own stunts. I try and push my way in as much as I can.”

When the season starts off Archie’s in trouble with the law. How long is that going to last into the season? Is there going to be a resolution fairly soon?

KJ Apa: “Yes. Pretty early on there’s a resolution and we see what happens after that first episode when he’s in court for the murder of Cassidy Book. And then from there on it just kind of takes its course and we see what goes on.”

What can you tell us about how Archie going to prison will affect his relationship with the other characters, specifically his dad who he already had a strained relationship with?

KJ Apa: “Yeah, for sure. I think Archie kind of deserting his dad for Hiram caused a little bit of tension between him and his old man. Archie realizes it was a mistake to do that and I think it’s something he’s trying to redeem himself for this season.

But, yeah, there’s not too much with his old man this season. I think you can see in the few scenes that they have together their relationship has changed a lot, very much so from the first seasons. I remember the pilot where he and his dad were having a conversation about the football thing and the music thing, and I feel like the stakes are a lot higher this season. It’s almost like Archie’s becoming a man. When you grow up, and even I’m experiencing this now, your relationship as a young man…your relationship with your father changes as you get older. It’s an interesting thing to play with.”

It feels like the relationships among the four lead characters are really solid. But with Archie going away, how does that change his relationship with Veronica?

KJ Apa: “Their relationship is seriously put to the test, purely just because of the circumstances that Archie is in. I feel like Veronica is going through a whole lot of stuff too where she meets new people. So, yeah, I think the world of Archie might not be a good place this season.”

What do you mean by she meets new people?

KJ Apa: (Smiling) “Exactly that.”

Who would you say he’s leaning on this season? Is there someone he really turns to?

KJ Apa: “I feel like he doesn’t have… Archie, he’s alone for a lot of this. I feel like it’s more him kind of learning about himself. I feel like Archie very much becomes a man during this season. Usually he has his dad around to help him with stuff. The stuff that he’s going through this season he doesn’t have much support around him. He’s isolated.”

Is music still going to play a role in Archie’s life?

KJ Apa: “Yeah, we will. We’re definitely coming back to the music this season.”

Is a typical day of shooting still the same as it was in season one?

KJ Apa: “I think more or less it’s the same. Now that we’re in season three, a lot of the cast – we’ve kind of found our footing now I feel like. The first season is very exciting and we’re all in this bubble of what don’t know what’s going to happen. And then the show comes out and it becomes amazing. The second season was kind of that awkward phase where we’re trying to keep the hype going. And now that clearly we’ve had two successful seasons, season three has been really smooth. A lot smoother than the last two.”

More on Riverdale: