'Riverdale' Star KJ Apa On His Car Crash After 14-Hour Work Day: 'It Was a Mistake on My Part'
By Liz Calvario
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
KJ Apa has learned from his mistakes.
The 20-year-old Riverdale star made headlines in September after he was involved in a late-night car crash after a 14-hour plus work day. In a new interview with Esquire released on Wednesday, Apa opens up about the frightful night and making sure it never happens again.
"That was just a one-off accident, and it was a mistake on my part,” Apa tells the magazine. "I should have pulled over and gone to sleep instead of battling my way home. But I learned from it. It was a blessing in disguise. I came out unscathed, and I thank God that I’m OK -- it could have been a lot worse."
Apa reportedly fell asleep at the wheel while driving 45 minutes home from set after midnight. Luckily the rising star was unscathed, but the accident caught the attention of the Screen Actors Guild Award and made the cast and crew begin a discussion about better filming conditions.
"The schedule didn’t change," Apa shares. "It’s still a requirement for the actors to drive to work, which is fair enough. The crew works longer than we do, and they have to drive back and forth to work every day."
A source told ET at the time of the accident that some Riverdale cast members "routinely drive themselves from the city of Vancouver, where they reside, to the set located at least an hour away in a suburb." While series star Luke Perry has transportation provided by production, the source stated that the show's younger stars do not.
"It is believed these accidents are happening because the actors are too tired after working long hours to drive themselves," the source explained.
However, Apa's mindset is in the right place, telling Esquire, "It puts things in perspective for actors on other shows; when you’re driving home, you’ve got to be mindful and make sure your mind’s right and that you’re not tired."
"I was really lucky the production was there for me and helped me the whole way, which made me feel looked after," he adds.
For now, the New Zealand native is focusing on finishing the second half of Riverdale season two. He also takes to the gym every day to "maintain a pretty tight physique" because of his shirtless scenes and because "it takes a lot of stress out of stuff."
"It’s a long season. We’re doing 22 episodes in season two, and we’re about halfway through now. It’s crazy to think that right now last year we were finished. To think that we have 11 more episodes is a lot and overwhelming," he says.
If you're all caught up on Riverdale, watch our latest episode of Sweetwater Secrets below.