Tonight’s episode of Riverdale titled “The Midnight Club” focuses on the parents — although instead of the usual actors playing the more experienced generation, it’s the younger cast playing their parents in a flashback set in 1992. KJ Apa is Fred Andrews, Cole Sprouse is FP Jones, Camila Mendes and Lili Reinhart play the younger Hermione and Alice… and young Penelope Blossom is played by the actress who plays her daughter, Madelaine Petsch.
Soon after this announcement was made, at this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour, we asked Nathalie Boltt who is the usual actress playing Penelope if she has any advice for her TV daughter.
“Do it well, or else,” she threatened. “Wear more clothing. That would definitely be more Penelope,” she continued, before teasing a bit about what’s to come in the episode.
“I know there’s a shocking secret that’s going to come out of how Penelope became a Blossom, because I married into the Blossom family, right? So I wasn’t part of the richest family in Riverdale; I became that. So there’s a shocking truth about how Penelope became a Blossom, and so Madelaine is going to have a lot of fun playing it, and I feel like she’s going to play it with some glee,” she enthused.
And about Penelope’s Blossom-ness, we did have to ask the question that’s at least been brought up on the Archie Digest podcast before: Is “Clifford’s brother Claudius,” who surfaced in the later episodes of Riverdale season 2, actually Clifford himself?
“The Claudius/Clifford question is a complete bamboozling of my personal world, and Penelope’s. I think it should be revealed that he is the same guy. But then saying that, Clifford’s death was so dramatic, I feel like Penelope was involved in that. So, it would have to be a plot that goes really deep between the two of them. There’s still something hanging – I don’t want to make puns here – the ultimate Cliff hanger – I’m sorry, I had to do that – but it was all just too neatly wrapped up, and it was all too dark, and I think we need to go and revisit what actually happened. I feel like, of course, it’s to do with manipulating Cheryl,” Boltt said.
Keeping it in the family, we also asked Boltt if she’d like to see a zombie version of Jason in an “Afterlife with Archie” episode.
“Oh, yes! I am always up for that,” she said. “I mean, I think the Blossoms live in a world that is slightly strange and twisted, and in the realms of horror. Definitely, right? I mean, if you look at their styling, the weird house that they live in… it’s a bit Addams Family. So if somebody came out of the ground, it really wouldn’t surprise me, and it wouldn’t really surprise me if Penelope has been visiting the grave and doing things to keep Jason alive in her own weird, twisted away all along.”
Could this weird activity offer a tie-in between Riverdale and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina over in Greendale?
“In the very least, I feel like Nana and Penelope have spent some time in Greendale where Sabrina is set, and we definitely have some cousins. When Nana fell down the stairs and Cheryl was investigating the canna roots that had been ground into her drink… we already have this weird green house full of exotic plants. There are some potions going on. We’ve already used them. We have some intel that’s coming from Sabrina’s side, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you saw Nana and Penelope crossing with some scenes in Sabrina, possibly swapping notes on poison.”
“I actually just spent a nice stint with the Sabrina cast,” Boltt added back when we talked in July. “I have a passion for directing, so I was shadowing Maggie Kiley in one of the episodes, so I spent the full Episode 8 with the entire cast of Sabrina, and all I can say is it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s shocking, it’s violent, it’s sexy… it’s delicious in a really witchy way,” she enthused, making us wish for at least one scene, someday, between Penelope and Michelle Gomez’s “Madame Satan.”
Tonight’s episode of Riverdale offers some hints into what made the parents who they are, and Boltt seems very pleased with being part of that ensemble. “Of course the kids are front and center of the show, but if you don’t have crazy parents to rail against, where’s the story? That’s what we’re here for, is to keep that story crazy, to keep it going, to unearth the secrets, to give terrible advice, to try and control… we’re the adversaries that make the stories juicy,” she said.
Riverdale airs new episodes Wednesdays at 8PM on The CW. Take a look at some photos from the November 7 episode “The Midnight Club” below!