Actress Camila Mendes recently chatted with Glamour magazine, where she opened up on her role as Veronica on the CW’s new show Riverdale, how she relates to her character, and who she wants Veronica to explore a relationship with.
During the interview, Camila discussed how she felt about playing Veronica and not wanting to play a Latina stereotype:
“I had been auditioning for about a year, and a lot of the roles I went out for didn’t feel…you kind of know, as an actor, when you get a script, if you’re like, “Can I actually play this? Is a casting director going to put me in this role? I’m not going to play this. I wouldn’t cast me as this.” You go out for it anyway because you want to get the exposure, and you want people to see you and feel like you’re doing something with your life. [Laughs.] This role came along, and it was the perfect fit. Everything about it—I had her on the surface of who I am.
“[I also liked] the fact that she was Latina, and they weren’t trying to push any stereotype on her. She just was Latina, which is how I feel. I’m a Brazilian—full blood, parents born and raised, and I lived there for a little bit—but I didn’t grow up there. I’m not as Latina as sometimes these castings demand you to be—this “urban” idea of what a Latina is. I’m American; I was born and raised in America, and I don’t want to fake who I am to fit a stereotype. This came along, and I felt like I didn’t have to try to be anything that I’m not. Obviously, I’m putting on a character, but I’m not faking anything. I just felt really strongly about her. I grew up watching Gossip Girl and The O.C., and I looked up to Blair Waldorf and Summer Roberts.”
Camila also revealed that she relates to Veronica and her mother’s struggle to make a new life for themselves in Riverdale:
“That’s something that I’ve experienced too, growing up—when you start to see your parents struggle. The first time you start to see that, when they show that side to you—whether it’s financial trouble or there’s a divorce, whatever it is in your family—there’s going to be a point where something’s going to start to fall apart. When you see that and your parents going through that, it’s like you pull back the curtain. You’re seeing the backstage, as opposed to the front stage. You see them as people. The fact that just because they’re older or more experienced in life doesn’t mean they’ve learned from all their mistakes, doesn’t mean they’re changed. They’re continually dealing with issues they’ve been dealing with their entire life! And some people never learn. At a certain age you can’t really change; you just are who you are. I think Veronica sees that her parents are very much as lost as she is. It’s a coming-of-age story for everyone. Everyone’s growing. It’s not just the kids.”
As for which relationships she’d like to see Veronica explore, Camila said:
“I do think Veronica’s really good for Archie. I know I’m biased!”
“I feel like they’re exploring this darker side of Archie, and he’s dealing with the darkness of Riverdale. I think Veronica plays into that. She’s seen a darker world; she’s not from Riverdale. She’s seen some shit. She’s been through shit. If anyone can help him through whatever he’s going through, it’s her. She’s kind of the strength in his life—or she’s stability. She can also recognize his…I think both of them are a little bit impulsive and a little bit unstable.”
You can check out Camila’s full interview over at Glamour!
Riverdale airs Thursdays on The CW at 9:00 P.M. ET.