On Riverdale, Cole Sprouse's character Jughead is a complicated breed of teenager. The CW show is shrouded in mystery — after all, the central question of the series is solving the mystery of who killed Jason Blossom — and the actor shed light on some of the burning questions fans have been dying to ask. On a Reddit AMA, Cole opened up about the dishy teen drama, his portrayal of the character, and the one question he wants people to ask him forever. (Hint: it has to do with Jughead's sexuality.)
When does Riverdale take place?
The answer: not totally obvious!
"Riverdale has no formal or announced time period as of now. and with the amount of money we dedicate to atmospheric fog, the setting is supposed to feel dreamlike. My understanding of the town is some twilight zone between the modern and the nostalgic 'golden age' America. Hence, the set pieces like the autos," he spilled.
Why does Jughead wear a cap?
His signature cap is a sutble sign of rebellion!
"[I] did a lot of research on the cap when I first got the part...the cap will always stand for a kind of nonconformist, working class symbol, hoping to breathe the same into this version," Cole revealed.
Is Jughead aromantic?
There has been a lot of discussion about Jughead's sexuality. While Cole has been quoted as saying that he hopes his character will be a representation of asexuality, his burgeoning relationship with Betty Cooper has complicated that depiction. However, he hopes fans will ask that question forever!
"I continue to hope this question is asked, over and over, it will only increase visibility. Yes, I'm still a big proponent of this representation, and it needs to be done correctly," he wrote, before explaining that his character is still a teenager and that sexuality isn't fixed.
"To give depth to asexual Jughead, it first needs to be stated that Jughead's asexuality was a recent character development. Chip Zdarsky made it canon in his more modern universe. In all other universes (including the digests), Jughead was either (a) a woman hater, or (b) aromantic. Aromantic Jughead and asexual Jughead are two different kinds of representation that deserve separate attention and discussion, as the two orientations are different and don't deserve to be grouped."
He continued, explaining his take on Betty and Jughead's romantic relationship.
"Jughead is 16 going on 17 (as of episode 10). Sexuality is fluid. And where his sexuality is headed has, already, been heavily discussed. How closely Jughead is going to resemble either Zdarsky's universe or the digest remains to be seen. As an actor, I can only lend myself so much," he said.
"Riverdale is a new universe, and we first need to think of Jughead as a human agent within his environment, his decisions about his sexuality are going to be informed by his upbringing and his immediate and long-term desires. Betty and Jughead's coupling are a great example of such an informed decision."
What is the hardest part about playing Jughead?
Cole admits that it's hard to act as the comedic relief in such a dramatic show.
"Jughead was the comedic relief [in the Archie comics], and I know a large community of fans still want him to be that character. Given the darker setting of the show, its been a hard reflection. The writers and I have tried to do justice to this character trait by Jughead's comedy being grounded as a defense mechanism. Give his humor a darker tone while keeping true to the comics," he said.
Later, he expressed his concern that it's difficult to play portray a role that was popularized in a comic book series first.
"Playing comic characters is tough. I come from a big comic background myself, even worked at a comic shop for a while in Hollywood. When the characters I loved were translated to live action, I would easily become angry at their representation if it didn't match my idea of them," he wrote.
"Comic fans are an incendiary group, and so proper representation can make or break a project. The good thing about the Archie universe is how wide open it is. Lots of strange things have happened in the universe over the many years and so there was never really 'one kind of Archie.' It made Riverdale an understandable adaptation, and thankfully people have latched on and enjoyed this version."
Will there be a Riverdale crossover?
The actor dished that he would love a Sabrina the Teenage Witch crossover episode.
"There are rumors circulating already, and because it's an Archie comics property, it would be an easy integration. My only criteria for crossovers is that they don't break the universe," he hinted.
Um, let's do it!
What is the second season of Riverdale going to be like?
Cole dished that things are going to get even crazier!
"Darker and weirder. Much darker. Much weirder. Tone and genre elements that we touched upon in the cinematography and narrative are getting a big emphasis Season 2," he said.
Honestly, we can't wait.