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20th of November 2018

Fashion



The Parents of *Riverdale* Were All Really Famous Teens—And Yes, They Have Stories

When Riverdale premiered on The CW last year, the cast members' lives changed overnight. Lili Reinhart, K.J. Apa, Camila Mendes, Ashleigh Murray, Casey Cott, and Madelaine Petsch were all suddenly famous, exposed to a world of red carpets, Twitter trolls, and headlines about their love lives. Sure, Cole Sprouse had some experience with it prior to Riverdale thanks to his role on Disney channel's The Suite Life of Zach and Cody—but we doubt even he could have predicted just how invested the show's fandom would become.

Fortunately, the cast didn't have to go far—if they so chose—to get advice on how to handle this loss of anonymity. Former teen stars Luke Perry, Molly Ringwald, Madchen Amick, Skeet Ulrich, and Robin Givens were all cast on the show as the parents, almost like a symbolic passing of the torch from one generation to the next. We say "almost," because Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa didn't let these "parents" just sit around; their storylines are intriguing, complex, and, most important, often separate from their offsprings'.

It's why Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermione Lodge, wanted to be on the show. "For me, part of the fear that women have in getting older is that they're no longer seen as vital or important," she tells Glamour.com. "In actuality, the older you get, the wiser and smarter you are and the more experience you have. Having our own storylines is what drew me to Riverdale."

riverdale-mark-consuelos-madchen-amick-marisol-nichols-robin-givens-skeet-ulrich.jpg

PHOTO: Benjo Arwas

(Top L-R) Lochlyn Munro, Skeet Ulrich, Martin Cummins, Robin Givens, Luke Perry, (Bottom L-R) Nathalie Boltt, Marisol Nichols, Mädchen Amick, and Mark Consuelos

The series has also been a chance for the veteran cast to swap stories from the heydays of the '80s and '90s. "I remember me and Molly and Luke sitting around sharing pictures of our own kids, and we all looked at other like, 'Oh shit, how did this happen?'" Givens says. "How are we the adults? It was pretty cool to share that with them."

And they're well aware that when they were Reinhart's and Mendes' age, they were trying to navigate life in the public eye too. "It's overwhelming," Ringwald says. (As the ultimate '80s movie teen queen, she should know.) "When you're trying to figure out everything yourself and who you're going to be while magazines are defining who you are, that's hard." Ringwald has amassed a new fan following by playing Archie's mom, but she says she takes it in stride. After all, "It's not the first time I've been to the circus."

With so many stories to tell, we gathered Madchen Amick (Alice Cooper), Mark Consuelos (Hiram Lodge), Robin Givens (Sierra McCoy), Marisol Nichols (Hermione Lodge), Molly Ringwald (Mary Andrews), and Skeet Ulrich (F.P. Jones) to share their own tales of fame and success. (Luke Perry, who plays Fred Andrews, declined to participate.)

Here, they share what they wish they knew then—and what gives them hope about the future. Read on.

The First Time I Was Recognized...

Madchen Amick: It was for Twin Peaks. It happened so fast and with such fervor. I remember going to my favorite restaurant, which was always packed and you'd wait forever, but after Twin Peaks aired, they were like, "Madchen, come right in!" I was like, Oh, that’s what fame does!

Mark Consuelos: I just turned 24. I was this kid from Tampa and had joined All My Children. I had no idea what to expect from fans. What’s great is that if they don’t like your storyline, they’ll let you know. They're very similar to the fans on Riverdale. But I’ve never thought, I’ve made it. I still don’t. It’s such an insecurity. I feel like I’m the same 24-year-old looking to prove myself and grateful to be on a show.

Marisol Nichols: Vegas Vacation playing Audrey Griswold. I had a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, and it was like, "Oh my God, I’ve made it!" [Laughs.] But as you learn, you’re one day away from not having a job. You have to earn the next one and the one after that. It shaped me.

Skeet Ulrich: I was flying to Utah and sitting in coach, and this kid was like, "Wait, aren’t you the guy from Scream?" And I was like, "Yeah." And he says, "What are you doing back here?" [Laughs.]

Molly Ringwald: By the time I made my first film at 13 [Tempest with John Cassavetes], I thought my chances were pretty good. I was nominated for a Golden Globe and being considered for interesting projects. It was only two years later that I started working with John Hughes and then Time put me on the cover. So it seemed pretty promising! Being recognized for anything I had done prior to the John Hughes films was nothing compared to [what happened] a few years later.

Robin Givens: Everything changed with Head of the Class. I remember having sushi with our casting director, and she said, "Once you lose your anonymity, you’ll never get it back. This is your last night of anonymity." I couldn’t even fathom what she was talking about because I didn’t think of it in terms as a career. I thought of it as, Wow, I can kind of pay my own bills! [But my career] just kind of exploded. I didn’t have time to slow it down.

PHOTO: ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images

Robin Givens in 1990.

This Was the Real Me Back Then...

Madchen Amick: Fearless. I didn't really understand how mature and driven I was until I had my own kids and they turned the age I was when I told my parents I wanted to move to L.A. If they came to me [with that same request], there’s no way. But I think it was who I was, and my parents knew I was serious. I had a very bulletproof plan of what I wanted to do, and I was in it for the long haul. I got up at 6 A.M., went from audition to audition until 8 P.M., and took GED classes through Hollywood High. I made a deal with my parents that if they would help support me that first year, I would work my butt off. If I couldn’t support myself by the end of the year, then I’d come back home and rethink things. I never felt like I was handed something. I worked really hard at it.

Marisol Nichols: I was headstrong, determined, and rebellious. I left Chicago saying, "I’m out! I’m going to make it just to spite everyone!" I didn’t know a thing, and that honestly helped take away all the fear because I had nothing to lose. I auditioned for Vegas Vacation for three months; the whole time I thought they were never going to hire me because I’m Latina. In hindsight that kind of thinking made me a lot freer. It took me many years to get back to that.

Skeet Ulrich: I never looked at it as a business, and maybe that's something that was a fault of mine. I really only was concentrated on the art of acting and being a better actor. [When I did start booking jobs] the characters I played were innocent, loving characters yet I was a pretty pent-up, angry 20-something.

Robin Givens: I was precocious. At 21, you don’t realize how young you are. You think you’re smart, you’re a grown-up. You look back and think, Oh my God, I was a baby!

Molly Ringwald: I was always a bit more mature than the average kid. I always felt more comfortable in the company of adults. I wanted to be a performer from the age of six or seven, so it felt like I was just fulfilling a destiny. I didn't expect to succeed quite so quickly and on such a gigantic scale, though. Building a career and having longevity was always the most important thing, so being in films that were so hugely successful and iconic changed the trajectory a bit. Ultimately, I feel like I managed to do what I set out to do: have a career that has endured and, most of all, a life that has been interesting.

Mark Consuelos: Ambitious. I was wide-eyed, super grateful, and overwhelmed. I brought one suitcase for a few days when I came to New York and stayed at my friends' place on their couch. I never really went back [home to Florida] except to get more clothes.

ALL MY CHILDREN - Mark Consuelos

PHOTO: ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images

Mark Consuelos in 1995.

The Actor on Riverdale Who Most Reminds Me of Myself...

Mark Consuelos: I work the most with Camila [Mendes] and K.J. [Apa], so let's go with them. K.J. is the nicest and most prepared, always. I can’t say enough good things about Camila. She's so smart, funny, and prepared. I’m really impressed with all of the cast. They're light years ahead of where I was at their age.

Skeet Ulrich: Probably K.J. to some extent. Cole [Sprouse] has been around this for a long time, and it’s pretty new to K.J. That’s similar to what I went through. Not that he’s unsure what to do—he’s a very clever, wise person, but I think I relate to him more in that regard. I see him focusing on the work; he’s off to do a film right now, and he talks about his nerves and that’s the [place] I was in around his age.

Robin Givens: If I’m talking to Ashleigh [Murray] or Lili [Reinhart], I’ll go, "OK, that kind of sounds like me." There’s something about Cole that I just hold so dear. He’s head smart and heart smart. My younger son was choosing his school, and NYU was one of them. I remember Cole saying to me, "Robin, I learned more on the subway in New York City than I would’ve in any acting class." I so respect how he handled his journey. My heart melts when I think of him. And K.J. is like a big giant puppy! He makes you feel like the most important person.

Madchen Amick: Lili. She’s an old soul, very mature, but she’s very enthusiastic and wants to do what’s best for the overall project. I’ve given her unwarranted advice. When she's worked really long hours and [production needs her] to come back on a forced call earlier the next day—which means you’re not going to be able to get very much rest—I say, "I understand why you feel the need to do that, and it’s all from a good place." But I keep trying to instill in her that you have to practice self-care and put yourself before the schedule. For the first 10 years of my career, I completely wore myself out. You don't really have a choice in how long your day is going to be, but when [production comes] to you and asks if you'll come back before your turnaround, that’s something you do have a say in. I’ve had pneumonia, I’ve had shingles, I’ve been hospitalized for exhaustion…there are certain things I have to do to make sure to keep myself healthy so I can get through the entire production calendar. Those are the kinds of things I’m trying to instill in Lili, because she carries such a huge part of the show. She gives it her emotional and physical all.

Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle

PHOTO: Diyah Pera / The CW

Madchen Amick and Lili Reinhart on 'Riverdale'.

If I Could Go Back and Change One Thing...

Mark Consuelos: I studied marketing in college, so maybe I would have gone someplace else and studied acting. [Laughs.] You could tell that I was learning on the job on All My Children. I've been lucky enough the past five years to be working with great writers like Ryan Murphy, Dan Fogelman, and now Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa]. I'm not sure why, but I’m glad it’s happening. I'm still that kid who thinks he's going to get fired like every other day.

Marisol Nichols: I would tell myself to get my act together sooner and relax; it’s going to be OK. You’re going to be OK. I would have taken a look at not only how others were treating me, but how I am treating others. I would have said, "Don’t worry about being cool, but just relax and enjoy your craft."

Molly Ringwald: I would have not limited myself to only acting. I thought I had to choose acting as the only creative pursuit for years, and I didn't wise up until I was 40. If I had to do it over, I would have continued singing and started seriously writing much earlier.

Skeet Ulrich: I would have done press a little differently—been a little more frugal about what I did and when. It was a bit much too soon, but everything is live and learn.

PHOTO: Mikel Roberts/Sygma via Getty Images

Skeet Ulrich in 1996.

How I've Learned to Advocate for Myself...

Marisol Nichols: My first agent said the only power you have in this business is the ability to say no. As I've learned to negotiate, you do have the power to walk away from things if you trust in your talent and yourself. If you're getting the short end of the stick on something, don't do it. You'll be unhappy.

Molly Ringwald: I have always been pretty good about standing up for myself. I think at the end of the day, you are really the only person who can do it. Obviously I have people who I trust to speak on my behalf, but the more I can do myself, the more empowered I feel. People who grow up in the business tend to become very infantilized and feel that they need to have every little detail done for them. I think it's a dangerous place to live.

Madchen Amick: Women are definitely paid less, period, and lot of newcomers are hungry and willing to do work for less because they haven’t earned their quote yet. One minute you might have a hit [show] and your rate jumps twice as much, and then you might have two or three years where you’re not doing as much and they cut your rate down. You have to decide if you want to work or hold out for money, and then [there’s the possibility] you won’t get the job. There were some things that I held out for and didn’t get, and then there were projects that I held out for and did. There were projects I just had to concede my rate for because I wanted to be a part of it and keep working. I had to look at the overall big picture.

MADCHEN AMICK

PHOTO: ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images

Madchen Amick in 1990.

How I See the Industry Changing...

Madchen Amick: When you're an attractive woman in the business, you're always going to be fighting against being objectified. I had no interest in being in anything that treated me like a trophy. I was going against the stream by not doing that stuff, but I knew I could live with myself for the jobs I didn't get it because I had a high standard for myself. Thank goodness I was able to steer clear of those situations. I got really close with directors coming to my door and knowing I could be fired for [not letting them in]. I hope #MeToo inspires more artists to stand up for their own work and not be afraid to turn stuff down. You’re in it for the long run. Keep your integrity.

Marisol Nichols: Back when I first started there were absolutely zero roles for a female Latina, unless you wanted to be the maid or a gangbanger. The nightmare statement that I heard for 20 years was, "They don’t want to go ethnic." I’d be like, "Why? Because it would send the wrong message?" Now I hear casting directors want somebody ethnic. I’m like, "Oh my God, [change is] finally [happening]."

Mark Consuelos: There has been a cultural shift [in the diversity we’re seeing on screen], but it hasn't moved fast enough. It still has a long way to go. To Roberto’s credit, he made the Lodge family on Riverdale a Latino family, which is amazing. In the last few roles I’ve had, I’ve played a senator, a general manager of a baseball team, a doctor, and now a corrupt businessman—but a businessman nonetheless. I've played these high-level people that just happen to be Latino, which I think is cool.

Molly Ringwald: Everyone needs to be vigilant about making sure everyone is able to tell their story. People who are in power [need to keeping saying they] believe that diversity matters—and make sure that a decent percentage of women make up their crews behind the scenes. I want to see all ages represented. Hollywood has always been notoriously ageist when it comes to women. I want to see that change.

Molly Ringwald In 'The Breakfast Club'

PHOTO: Archive Photos / Universal Pictures / Getty Images

Molly Ringwald in 1985.

How Riverdale Has Changed My Life...

Skeet Ulrich: I never thought anyone would consider me good looking at 48 years old. [Laughs.] So, that’s interesting. When fans rushed the stage at Paleyfest, I think we all nearly had a heart attack.

Robin Givens: I remember a group of soccer players at the airport were leaving on an early flight and were like, "Aaaaahhhhh!" Thirty blond girls screaming at the top of their lungs. It kind of made me circle back to that time during Head of the Class. Now I’ve got some knowledge, wisdom, and maturity under my belt.

Marisol Nichols: Well, I have a little bit of stability. I know where my paycheck is coming from, so that’s really good! I feel more validated as an artist.

Chapter Thirty-Two: Prisoners

PHOTO: KATIE YU / The CW

Mark Consuelos and Marisol Nichols on 'Riverdale'

What the Riverdale Fandom Is Really Like...

Madchen Amick: Things are a lot more accessible. People can find out where the cast is going to be, and it happens so instantaneously. I’m feeling a lot of Twin Peaks vibes again—just being recognized multiple times a day. Even in different countries I hear, "Mama Coop! How you doing?" The Twin Peaks days were intense, and from that grew some stalker problems that I had to deal with back then. I learned very quickly that I didn’t want to be famous; I just wanted to be an actress. I’m most thankful I have a platform to talk about being a mental health advocate, which is so important to me.

Mark Consuelos: My wife and I were at at a restaurant and some teenage girls were freaking out and circling the table with their cameras taking selfies, but really taking pictures with us in the background. I’m so oblivious; I really don’t know it’s happening. Kelly [Ripa] will tell me, and I’m like, "I don’t know what you’re talking about." I haven’t experienced people losing their minds or crying like they do over Luke or Skeet. [Laughs.] They don’t do that for me, which I’m completely fine with. But people are really cool. They smile or say they like my work, and that's the extent of it.

Skeet Ulrich: Cole [Sprouse] said it best in the first 10 minutes I knew him. He said, "I’ve got this many followers, and Ed Norton has 1/100th of that. Am I as good of an actor as Ed Norton? No way in hell." He has it really in perspective. The only thing you can focus on is doing your job to the best of your abilities and improving, but it’s nice to be part of something that is recognized. I'd be lying if I didn’t say we do our job for an audience, and it's nice to know you have one.

Molly Ringwald: In addition to Riverdale, I get recognized for the Hughes films, which are still enormously popular with subsequent generations—and also for Secret Life of the American Teenager. I just can’t get away from teenagers somehow. I'm like the patron saint of teens!

Marisol Nichols: We were in Paris this spring, and my hotel was surrounded [by fans]. People camping out at all hours of the night waiting for us to come and go so they could possibly get a picture with us or say hi. I never experienced that in my life. You couldn't even get to your hotel room without security, but I would stop and take pictures, absolutely. Nothing compares to that live interaction.

Celebs at "Women On Top" Premiere

PHOTO: Getty Images

Marisol Nichols in 2000.

If I Wrote a Letter to My Younger Self, I'd Say...

Madchen Amick: Dear young Madchen, You’re going to doubt yourself along the way, but in the end all of your instincts are right, so keep going, girl.

Mark Consuelos: Dear young Mark, Do not wear that gold chain from Tampa. Lose the gold chain, dude.

Marisol Nichols: Dear young Marisol, Keep your eyes open for who your true friends are, don’t take things too seriously, don’t forget to have fun in your career, and don’t date that guy!

Skeet Ulrich: Dear young Skeet, Take it slow in love!

Molly Ringwald: Dear young Molly, Learn Spanish and wear more sunscreen!

Robin Givens: Dear young Robin, You’re such a sweet little baby with so much to learn! You’ve got all the time in the world, so take your time and go slow.

Jessica Radloff is the West Coast Editor at Glamour.

Lead Photo: Getty ImagesRead More




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