Camila Mendes plays Veronica Lodge on The CW’s Riverdale, premiering in just six days on The CW. The January 26 premiere has a very “Twin Peaks meets Dawson’s Creek” vibe, and if we are making those comparisons, the new-to-town Veronica is definitely the show’s Jen Lindley as it all begins.
We spoke with Camila Mendes at the Vancouver sets of Riverdale late last year. You can see some of our other interviews related to the series here, but today, it’s all about Veronica. Here are some highlights; video of the interview can be found below.
How is the Veronica of the show different from what we know from the comic books? “In Riverdale, Veronica isn’t so unlikable as she might have been in the comics,” Camila says. “It’s funny, because I was researching the name ‘Veronica’ and how a lot of people hate that name because they associate it with Veronica in the comics. It’s like ‘oh, she’s snooty,’ ‘sounds like a rich, spoiled brat name’… and I think because we’ve added this element to Veronica, we’ve added dimensionality to her, in the fact that her father is involved with all this fraud and embezzlement, got arrested, and kind of forced the family to readjust their lifestyle, and now we have no money, and my mom and I are kind of on our own… I think that’s really humbled Veronica, so I think in that way, it’s kind of really easy to sympathize with her.”
Are we going to get to see her father, Hiram Lodge, in the first season of the show? “I think we are. I’m not entirely sure, but I think it’s coming.”
What draws Veronica toward Betty’s direction? “I think she sees all this potential in her that is being pushed down because of her mother. Her mother really has a negative effect on her life, and I think Veronica recognizes that and is trying to bring all of the good things about her, all the strength in Betty, out so that the world can see it.”
What kind of friendship does Veronica have with Kevin Keller (Casey Cott)? “I love her friendship with Kevin!” she exclaims. “I don’t know what really to say, besides just that it’s a friendship that works. Their characters really understand each other and whenever Betty’s too busy dealing with all of her family drama, me and Kevin come together and we kind of have our own little stuff.”
How does Veronica get along with Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch)? “There’s gonna be some mutual respect for each other. They’re both very similar in many ways. They both come from money. They’ve both been on top. But the difference between Cheryl and Veronica is that Veronica has come to her senses, and I think Cheryl still hasn’t. But, I think Veronica relates to Cheryl, and actually in some ways is going to feel protective about her for that very reason.”
Will we see Veronica interacting with Jughead (Cole Sprouse)? “They start to come into contact in Episode 2 at the very end, but I think she kinda thinks he’s a weirdo, honestly,” she laughs. “Their friendship hasn’t really been fleshed out yet, but I don’t know. That’s a good question. We’ll see.”
About Veronica’s relationship with her mother, Hermione (Marisol Nichols): “That’s my favorite part of the show, her relationship with her mother. It’s very complicated, and part of the coming of age story is coming to terms with the fact that your parents are just like you, and they’re still learning and trying to make their way through life, and Veronica recognizes that, but also, isn’t mature enough to actually understand it, and so I think there’s a lot of resentment towards her mother, because her mother still is involved with some stuff, with the shady business, and Veronica starts to see that, and starts to feel betrayed by her mother.”
Does Veronica suppress her chemistry with Archie because of Betty? “I think she will start to suppress it a bit, especially for the sake of her friendship with Betty. But, we’re always getting a scene here and there where Veronica and Archie do connect, and you can feel the electricity between them, but they’re doing a really good job of letting that build rather than rushing it. We all know the triangle’s coming, so we’re trying to gradually get there rather than just starting it with the triangle.”
Does Camila like to speculate who Jason Blossom’s killer is? “I speculate so much. We know that they all know, and it drives me crazy. I keep thinking my dad has something to do with it.”
Could Veronica be the killer? “No. I don’t think I could be, but I think my dad… not that he necessarily did it, but I feel like he has something to do with it. But I could be wrong! Who knows! But you heard me say it. It’s on camera!”
You can see video of the interview with Camila Mendes below. Don’t miss the series premiere of Riverdale Thursday, January 26 on The CW – be sure to follow @RiverdaleTV on Twitter for updates when we post more interviews!