‘Riverdale’ – Lili Reinhart Interview on Season 3, Dark Betty, and Betty’s Relationships

Lili Reinhart joined her Riverdale co-stars KJ Apa, Madchen Amick, and Luke Perry, as well as series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, for a panel on the show’s third season at the 2018 New York Comic Con. Reinhart also took part in roundtable interviews in which she discussed Betty’s relationships in the upcoming season three.

The CW will kick off Riverdale season three on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 8pm ET/PT.

I love when Betty goes dark. Are we going to see much more of that in season three?

Lili Reinhart: “Yes. I’m having flashes in my head of what we’ve shot so far. You definitely see…I don’t like to think of her as ‘dark.’ I just like to think of her as really strong and like badass. She’s always strong, but you do see her dark – not evil – but I guess dark – I like to use the word badass – side come out. She’s feisty and she’s a fighter. You do see that a lot.

Betty gets put through a lot this season already and you would think that things would be easier, given season two. Maybe she’d have a break. Things couldn’t get worse. But somehow they do, but she navigates her way out of it.

She’s the strongest character, in my opinion. I’m a little biased. But, she’s so well-written by Roberto. You can tell how much he really cares about her. And, she saves herself. She doesn’t need Jughead to come save her from situations or Veronica. And although she has those people in her life and they’re wonderful, Betty really just is a heroine. She saves herself at the end of the day, which is amazing to play. Just an honor, actually. But, yeah, you will see her sort of badassery.”

What can you say about the relationship between Betty and Polly?

Lili Reinhart: “Betty and Polly, you haven’t really seen a loving, sisterly relationship from them and you’re not going to. I think that ship has sailed. I think that Polly is brainwashed from the cult farm that she’s in. Betty thinks it’s a cult but they say otherwise, Alice and Polly. But I think Polly’s far gone. I think that she’s quite self-righteous and thinks that Betty’s on the wrong path, needs to bring her to the good side. ‘Join the farm. Everything’s great here.’ It’s like this oasis, but Betty looks at it as a cult that brainwashes you.

It’s like a big mystery to Betty. She’s trying to get to the bottom of who are these people that are making my family act so strange. What’s the motive here? What’s going on behind closed doors? But, yeah, Betty and Polly are very much at odds. You see it in episode one, actually, how against each other they are which is sad. I don’t think you’re ever going to see that loving relationship between the two of them.”

Riverdale Season 3 Cast
KJ Apa, Madchen Amick, Lili Reinhart, and Luke Perry from ‘Riverdale’ at the New York Comic Con (Photo © Rebecca Murray)

Since there’s so much turmoil in Betty’s life, is it safe to say she and Jughead will be stable this season?

Lili Reinhart: “I mean, all of the core four are dealing with their own sh*t, basically. They’re each dealing with something so intense on their own, so you know it does test them when they each have something so intense going on in their lives. Obviously, that is going to cause some distress.

But as of right now, Betty and Jughead are still on the same side. They still love each other. They’re still together, but there are definitely challenges ahead especially when I think Gladys, Jughead’s mom, were to move back to Riverdale. I think that would cause a shift in a power (dynamic).”

How much of yourself do you bring into the role?

Lili Reinhart: “I mean, I see such a clear difference between myself and Betty. It’s hard to explain fully. But, it’s like playing a nicer, more badass, more put together version of myself, basically is what Betty is. Also, my dad’s not a serial killer which is good. And, also, I have a great relationship with my family and Betty is always at odds with hers which is sad.

I mean, as much as necessary. I don’t go home at the end of the day and keep my ponytail in.”

How do you prepare?

Lili Reinhart: “Well, it’s season three and I know her so well now. Honestly, I’m fortunate enough that it just kind of comes naturally at this point. I know who this girl is and I know what she cares about. If it’s an emotional scene, it usually comes pretty easily because I care about Betty so much that whatever she’s going through I feel for her. So, it’s kind of like I feel bad for her when this happens. I feel like I want to help her when this happens. It’s kind of like my real emotions go in there. That’s where the sadness comes from when there’s an emotional scene. But, other than that, I think I keep a pretty good divide between myself and the character. If I didn’t, I would go crazy.”

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