One of the main contributors to our fanatic appreciation of Riverdale is the acting excellence of Cole Sprouse, who has put a multifaceted spin on the character of Jughead Jones. However, Sprouse admitted to ET that his darkly sarcastic and uber-brooding interpretation of the iconic comic-book persona took a while to pinpoint.
"My biggest challenge was, personally, trying to find a way to bring the comedic Jughead into this, frankly, non-comedic interpretation of Riverdale," Sprouse shared exclusively over the phone. "Jughead is also a sort of tortured youth. He's very much the Holden Caulfield of Riverdale and that didn’t leave much room for humor, and yet there was a lot of humor that was written into Jughead's character still."
"Creatively, I just decided that Jughead's humor has been the result of a defense mechanism that keeps him from actually being honest," the 24-year-old actor explained. "So his ability to tell a joke or a wisecrack is oftentimes coming from a place of fear. An inability to just be honest or confrontational in a less passive aggressive way. I think that makes the humor fit within this interpretation in a way that doesn’t break the tone of the genre."
The Archie Comics have always been iconic for their family-friendly values, but Sprouse revealed that Riverdale's tone is only going to get darker -- especially when it comes to learning more about Jughead's past.
"Poor Jughead," Sprouse said with a wry laugh. "Jughead's narrative only get sadder from here on out. Jughead really gets beat up quite a bit in the following episodes. In the first four episodes, you don't know a lot about Jughead, and in fact, you only really start to learn about him from episode five onward."
The former Disney Channel star continued, "He's the kid that you were once great friends with, but in the time that you guys lost contact, his life took a turn and it wasn’t a turn that suited him well or helped him. He as a person suffered quite a bit from it and his family suffered quite a bit from it."
As for Jughead's signature crown beanie, Sprouse confessed that his gray cap has brought him nothing but stress all season. "The truth is we have two of those beanies, but it's a really nerve-wracking thing because I lose just about everything!" he laughed. "I have to make sure that I give it to one of the wardrobe ladies after every single take because I'm so convinced that I will lose it if it's not sitting on top of my head."
Sprouse added that there is an additional challenge the cap has brought to set. "It's knit in a way that we can't really wash it," he said. "So it's a good thing that I wash my hair because otherwise that thing would smell so bad by the end of the season. It would be insane. So, in other words, don’t smell the beanie, just appreciate it from a distance."
Oh trust us, we do!
Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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