Madelaine Petsch is this generation’s go-to TV bad girl

With her role as Cheryl Blossom on “Riverdale,” Madelaine Petsch is taking TV by storm.

While she may play a glammed-up, sparky, “mean” girl (we’re still not convinced) on “Riverdale,” she swears she’s much more laid back IRL.

She loves spending her time drinking tea, training at the gym, and hanging with her boyfriend, Travis. She says that her and her costar/best friend, Vanessa Morgan, are “grandmas,” and that they would rather stay at home together than go out.

Join our Riverdale fan group on Facebook, The Riverdale Report, for exclusive Madelaine content that you won’t see anywhere else.

Madelaine spends a lot of her time working on “Riverdale,” and she wants everyone to know that her character, Cheryl, is really only mean because she desperately wants some loyal friends. Season two has already had some really touching girl power moments, and Madelaine is ready to see more of that on TV and film. She knows it’s an awesome time to be an actress, and is excited that “Riverdale” is pushing for scenes involving women fully supporting women – whether they like each other or not!

She also let us know that her and her bestie, Vanessa, *may* become an on-screen couple (AH!!!), that Cole Sprouse is oddly into toothpicks, and that Lili Reinhart isn’t the clean roommate, even though she says she is.

Check out our interview with Madelaine Petsch below (SEASON 2 SPOILER ALERT), and catch up with “Riverdale” before its return this week! You won’t want to miss Madelaine and her juicy comeback. 

Earlier this season, Cheryl was drugged and sexually assaulted and it could have escalated had Veronica and the Pussycats not come to find you. What did it mean to you having all of these girls come to your rescue, even if you may not get along on the show?

I say this a lot, but I think Cheryl really desperately wants to be friends with all of these people, but she’s so broken down and has so many walls built up that she can’t really show that side. The girls coming to her rescue proves to her that they really are worthy of friendship and that she shouldn’t worry. In that particular moment, I think you see a truly vulnerable Cheryl, which is rare. For the writers to make it so that women come to her rescue is a really beautiful thing, and it came at a really interesting time. When that episode aired, all of the #MeToo stuff was happening and so many women were coming forward with their own stories, and the episode was all about women supporting women. That’s what I love about the show! We always have women supporting women. The episode couldn’t have been done better.

Jacket: Vivienne Westwood, Top: Topshop, Skirt: Sergio Hudson, Shoes: Kat Maconie

How did you prepare for such a heavy scene during such an important moment in history for victims’ voices being heard?

I also participated in the #MeToo movement, so I have been through a similar situation. It was very important to me to make sure that we dealt with the scene properly, and I had multiple meetings with Roberta, our show runner, about it. It was really emotional for me to do it, for obvious reasons. We also created a PSA around the episode, and made sure that we handled the situation with care. We ran the PSA campaign with the episode because wanted to make sure we were putting out that information for anyone who might need it. It felt like I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but I also felt like I was the person who should be dealing with it.

Actresses and entertainers are weighing in on a lot of important issues right now. What’s it like to start getting famous at a time when such heavy issues are being discussed in pop culture?

I think it’s amazing. It’s a beautiful time to be able to rise up in this world I’m becoming a part of because our voices are being heard. We actually get to say what’s on our minds and get uplifted for it, instead of criticized for it. Women have always been strong, but social media is giving women a new kind of strength, and it’s amazing to be a part of this movement. The fact that I get to be a part of this movement in any way, shape, or form, is a huge responsibility and it makes me proud that I get this opportunity.

READ ALSO: Riverdale Report Card: The Tell-Tale Heart

What are your favorite ways to stay informed about what’s going on?

I had to admit it, but I always go to Twitter and look at the Twitter moments. I’d like to say I read a newspaper, but Twitter is where it’s at. I can look at what’s trending in the US, Canada, and all over the world. Typically, my boyfriend will also let me know about anything that I have to know about if I haven’t had a chance to look at anything for three days.

Cardigan: Vivienne Westwood, T-shirt: Dyspnea, Jeans: MSGM, Scarf: Sidecca, Shoes: Topshop

People are obsessed with “Riverdale” and it’s a pop culture phenomenon, but it’s never been nominated for any Emmys. Do you think people take teen-centric TV shows and movies less seriously?

I just think that it’s a different realm. I think that the shows nominated for Emmy’s are shows that, y’know, adults typically watch. So, I don’t really know why we haven’t been nominated, but I just know we haven’t. That’s totally fine, though! We’re proud of the work we’re doing, and people love the show, and that’s what matters to us. We want to make good entertainment, and I think we’re doing that.

You and Vanessa met at Riverdale auditions and became best friends. What was it about her that made you ask for her Insta right away?

I saw her in the studio test, and I was like, “Damn, that girl has really cool style.” I didn’t say anything, though, because I was so nervous. The next test, everyone’s a lot more comfortable because you were with the same group of people. She and I started just talking about the people we were dating, and we kind of bonded over things that we had going on that were similar and awful, and so we bonded over that.

Then, I booked it, and she didn’t. I’m just going to tell you right now. In LA, most friends, even if you think they won’t be, are going to be a little weird about you booking a role that they didn’t. But Vanessa was so supportive. She was like, “Oh my god, let’s get dinner, it’s my treat!” This is someone I had met a week before! I’m not kidding you, she’s my best friend on the planet, and she has always been that way, and that’s the way I am for her, too. She’s my best friend, and now she’s on the show, too, and I couldn’t be happier.

How did you guys celebrate when she was eventually signed on to be Toni Topaz on “Riverdale?”

She was in New Zealand still! The first time I saw her after she booked, it was right when I moved back to Vancouver for filming. She and I are very into nights in, so I met up with her and we made our teas, and we had one of our infamous nights in. It’s so embarrassing, but we’re grandmas. It’s the best thing to do!

Is it easier or harder to be friends with someone who’s in the same industry as you?

It just depends on the person. Personally, I like to support all of my friends and help them in any way I can. For instance, if I read something that I’m auditioning for the next day and I know a friend who’d be great for it, I send it to her and tell her to have her agent get her an audition. I like to surround myself with nice people. If you surround yourself with awful people, it doesn’t matter what industry they’re in! They’re just going to be awful.

There’s an unfair stereotype that actresses are extra-competitive, but yours and Vanessa’s friendship proves that’s not true. How do you keep from seeing other actresses as the competition?

When I first moved to LA, I think everyone imagines that, because there is that really awful stereotype. But then, you grow up, and you get to know LA, and you realize that when you don’t book a role there are so many reasons behind that. When you realize that most times it comes down to if you had the right hair color or eye color, then you forget about any idea of a competition. It comes down to so much more than your ability, sometimes aesthetically you’re just not chosen.

You shouldn’t be competing with your friends; in fact, you guys should be helping each other. Say I go in for an audition on Monday, and my friend is going on Tuesday? If I got notes, I would share them with her. I’d rather my friends book it over someone I don’t even know.

READ ALSO: Who we’re shipping on Riverdale season 2

What’s one thing fans might not know about Cole Sprouse?

Ugh, I have to talk about him? I’m just kidding [laughs]. People may already know this, but he has an obscene obsession with toothpicks. He’s got like this oral fixation situation where he always has a toothpick in his mouth.

Do you have a finsta?

What is that?!

A fake Insta — basically a secret Instagram that only your close friends follow.

Oh my god! I mean, if I did have one, I’d keep it a secret. To be perfectly honest, though, I do not have one now. I already find social media to be so difficult to keep up with, that I would definitely not add another one [laughs].

A lot of Instagram couple pics are annoying but you and Travis always manage to look cute and fun in yours. What’s the key to a good Instagram couple pic?

I mean, A: Not calling it that! [laughs]


Yeah! Just letting it be natural. But also, he and I are two of the goofiest people on the planet, and we do such stupid crap all the time, so I think anything we post is going to be dumb, which is maybe fun for people to look at. Like I photobomb him on the red carpet all the time.

Top: Dyspnea, Pants: Matte, Earrings: Caroline Hill

What do you and Travis do for quality time together when you both have such crazy schedules?

He comes up to Vancouver and stays with me when I’m on set. We like to cook together and like to try out new recipes. We go work out together with my personal trainer and we work together with my YouTube videos. We love to work together. We also have our little spots in LA that are kind of embarrassing to admit — I will never tell anybody — but we like to go and get tea and do our little rituals and that’s our way of spending time together. We sound like geriatrics, but, y’know.

You were roommates with Lili Reinhardt during Season 1. What’s it like to live and work so closely with one person?

Oh, it was amazing! I love Lili to death, and we have so much fun together. It was nice to drive in together to work, and we were always carpooling because we had a lot of scenes together last season. We could run lines together. She’s also kind of a hermit, too, so we loved staying in together and… drinking tea! [laughs] She feels like a sister, like she’s my family. It was great, too, because it was a very scary time for me on my first ever TV show, and so I had someone to hold my hand through it. It was amazing, and she’s always so positive.

Which one of you is the roommate who refills the Brita?

It’s funny, because she likes to say that she’s the clean one, okay? She’s always telling me, “I have to sweep the floor 10 times a day with all of your hair,” and I’m like, “Okayyyy.” Which, by the way, I do shed that much. But, my room was always cleaner. So you tell me who’s the cleaner one!

Did you guys ever fight about having people over?

Oh, god no. We were always cool with whatever, because we’re both so easygoing.

What’s an item from Lili’s closet that you always wanted to borrow?

She has this really beautiful red off-the-shoulder top that she wore to a CW dinner once, and I told her I wanted to steal it from her. She’s got some really interesting pieces that I personally wouldn’t wear until I see it on her and I’m like, “Oh my god!”

Outfit: Vivienne Westwood, Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Did we see sparks between Cheryl and Toni during the mid-season premiere?

[coughs] I don’t know! You never know! Anything’s possible in Riverdale. She’s going to get another love interest, so keep your eyes peeled for who that might be!

We know Vanessa wants Cheryl and Toni to date. Who do you want Cheryl to be with?

Last year, I felt that Cheryl needed to figure herself out and then maybe be with someone. I think Cheryl has now done her figuring out, and it’s time for her to be with someone. I also think it’s important for her to explore her sexuality and not let anybody get her down about it. So, whoever she ends up with I will be very happy with.

Who are you officially shipping on the show this season?

I’ll be honest, I try to stay away from this because the shippers scare me! I do not voice my opinion! Nothing! I’m like, “Nope! I just want everyone to be happy. Or everyone can just be single!” It’s a lot, but it’s also cool because these people are that passionate about something we created.

What can we expect from this week’s episode in one word?

This week’s episode, there’s no Cheryl!

Favorite Riverdale daddy?

I have a place in my heart for FP, because “Scream” is just such a great movie. But, Luke is going to punch me in the face, so I’m just going to say Fred and FP.

Hat: Ruslan Baginskiy, Dress and shoes: Versus Versace, Rings: Luv AJ

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

I’m loving making YouTube videos, and I’m kind of teaching myself more editing skills and some animation. I like to read, do my vocal lessons, and love to do personal training sessions every day that I can. I also love going to LA and spending time with my boyfriend.

What are some beauty hurdles that red heads have to overcome?

Finding the right shade of foundation for your skin, because redheads sometimes have difficult pink undertones. I find that I’m more of a yellow-y pink undertone, so finding the right foundation is next to impossible. Also, eyebrow products. Everyone always asks me what eyebrow products I use and it’s the best kept secret of my life.

Who is your favorite beauty icon and why (fictional or non)?

I feel like I’m starting to creep her out, but I just think Zendaya. There’s a selfie that one of her makeup artists that I’ve worked with before posted of her, and I would kill for eyebrows like that. It’s just not fair!

What’s your go-to beauty product for when you’re on the go?

I always have the Bioré self-heating one-minute mask, especially when I’m on flights. If you have a regular mask on and you’re sitting there, people look at you like you’re crazy. With the Bioré mask, I can put it on in the bathroom, wait one minute, wipe it off, and then walk out. I love the Glossier balm dot com. The new Fenty Beauty concealer is not even real. I carry it around with me everywhere I go, and it’s the perfect color for me so it’s my new go-to.

READ ALSO: The best Riverdale fan accounts to follow on Instagram

Beauty wise, what else do you bring on-board when you fly to keep your skin A1?

I always have my entire skincare routine on a flight with me. I’m not kidding. I’ll do the mask and bring the Bioré pore strips. I try to have a good eye cream to try and de-puff depending on the length of the flight. I always have a lip balm and try to keep my skin moisturized. I have a full routine on the airplane.

What’s a good beauty product to spend some dough on?

Anything that goes on your face.

What’s more important to you, lips or brows?


Lip gloss or matte lipstick?

Lip gloss.

Any beauty tips for your fellow redheads out there?

Suncreen! Wear it every day. That’s a tip for the world, though.

READ ALSO: 10 cool places to take Instagram pics indoors when the weather sucks

Do you use a beauty blender or a brush?

It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m doing concealer then I’ll usually use a nice, dense, flat-headed brush. But, if I’m doing a full face, I use a blender.

What beauty trend do you refuse to try out?

I don’t know if it’s still a thing, but that curvy eyeliner trend. I also don’t even have steady enough hands for that.

Now that you’re partnered with Bioré, what’s your favorite product of theirs?

I mean. I mentioned my go-tos already, the mask and the pore strips. But the pore strips, the satisfaction of taking that off is phenomenal. They also have this new activated foam that I love for combination skin.

Which Bioré product do you stan more: pore strips or self heating mask?

The pore strips. You wanna know why? Because that has been a staple in my beauty care routine since, I’m not kidding, since I was 10 years old.

Join our Riverdale fan group on Facebook, The Riverdale Report, for exclusive Madelaine content that you won’t see anywhere else.

Photography/Creative Direction by Prince and Jacob
Artwork by Lisa Yoo
Styling by Gigi Fernandez
Makeup by Elie Maalouf
Hair by Michael Kanyon using American English

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