Madelaine Petsch opens up on Riverdale, Anxiety, #MeToo & more

Actress Madelaine Petsch graces the new August 2019 issue of NYLON Magazine, in which she sat down for an in-depth interview where she talked about everything from Riverdale to her anxiety and the #MeToo movement.

Here are some highlights from what Madelaine had to say:

On her Riverdale character Cheryl:

“I would say Cheryl is one of my friends. It’s really beautiful to be able to portray another human being in an accurate way—even if they’re not a real person.”

“I don’t think there’s one day that I’m on set where I feel like I’m working… It’s like a creative playground with a bunch of people who are passionate about what they’re doing. It’s the coolest thing”

On portraying a same-sex relationship in Riverdale:

“The response that I’ve gotten from real human beings—in person—telling me that my art has allowed them to come out to their parents, or to be comfortable with their parents not being comfortable with them being out [has been] the most rewarding part of playing Cheryl… lots of people tell me they were able to own their sexuality because of my character on a TV show. I’ll probably never be able to get over it.”

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On the importance of the #MeToo Movement:

“I would rather be in a place where we have to be more socially aware than for it to be a place that’s totally free and there are no consequences for inflicting physical, emotional, or verbal harm on others.”

“Like, the #MeToo movement, I’m sure, is scary for a lot of men now, and they’re probably a lot more protective of what they do. But in reality, they should be. I feel very passionately about this. When that came around, I saw a lot of men tweeting, like, ‘Oh god, like now we have to be careful,’ or whatever. And it’s honestly like, you should always be careful.”

“I’m happy that we’re in a place where we are all aware of what we are doing, and we’re more careful, because we should be more respectful to people. And that’s a no-brainer to me… I’m actually really proud and honored to be a part of a generation that is calling people out on their bullshit.”

“I joined the #MeToo movement. I think what people don’t understand is that #MeToo doesn’t necessarily only relate to the industry, it relates to any kind of sexual assault. The #MeToo movement was huge and incredibly empowering for women to be able to stand up and be like, ‘That happened to me, as well.’ It connected this whole group of women from all over the world together in this kind of beautiful way. I mean, it’s sad that that happened, but, at the same time, it’s like, the fact that we can own that is huge.”

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When Madelaine Petsch joined the #MeToo movement, ‘Riverdale’ Season 2 had just premiered and her public visibility was at an all-time high—it would have been easy, maybe, to stay quiet about her own experience, and not draw more attention to herself. But that’s not who Madelaine is. She knew the importance of speaking up. She told us: “The #MeToo movement was huge and incredibly empowering… It connected this whole group of women from all over the world together in this kind of beautiful way. I mean, it's sad that that happened, but, at the same time, the fact that we can own that is huge… I'm actually really proud and honored to be a part of a generation that is calling people out on their bullshit.” Read more at the link in bio ✊ /// Editor in Chief: @gabriellekorn⁠ Executive editor/writer: @kmiversen⁠ Photographer: @lindseybyrnes⁠ Fashion + Beauty editor: @jennaroseigneri⁠ Stylist: @danasia_sutton⁠ Hair stylist: @marcmena using @aveda products⁠ Makeup artist: @elienmaalouf⁠ Design assistant: @freestockphotos⁠ ⁠Print design: @her_studio_london, represented by @hello.goldie Videographer: @charlottecprager Producer: @luvnidleness

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On how therapy has helped her get over social anxiety and panic attacks:

“I didn’t even know what it was, but I used to get really bad panic attacks right before I booked Riverdale. Then, I started getting really bad social anxiety, and I only was able to home in on what those things are and work through them [with therapy].”

“I’m not saying I’ve even made a dent in all the work I need to do, but just being able to home in on what it is and identify it is the first step. I only could have done that with therapy. So I understand that maybe people think that there is some kind of stigma around therapy, but, like, you talk to your mom, you talk to your friends—it’s the same thing.”

“Mental health is incredibly important to me, and I’m so happy that I’m part of a group of women with the [Riverdale] cast that all speak so vocally about it. If I’m having a bad day and I’m feeling like my anxiety is through the roof, I will call Cami[la Mendes], and I will go to her place, and we’ll eat dried apricots and talk about all of my problems until I have vented it out.”

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As Cheryl Blossom, Madelaine Petsch is able to become something completely different than her IRL self and that gives her the ability to reach people in a way she never could have. On screen, her character’s on-again, off-again relationship with Toni Topaz has become something of a beacon for viewers searching for answers about their own sexuality. She said to us, “Lots of people tell me they were able to own their sexuality because of my character on a TV show. I'll probably never be able to get over it.” See more at the link in bio 🌸⁠⠀ ///⁠⠀ Editor in Chief: @gabriellekorn⁠⠀ Executive editor/writer: @kmiversen⁠⠀ Photographer: @lindseybyrnes⁠⠀ Fashion + Beauty editor: @jennaroseigneri⁠⠀ Stylist: @danasia_sutton⁠⠀ Hair stylist: @marcmena using @aveda products⁠⠀ Makeup artist: @elienmaalouf⁠⠀ Design assistant: @freestockphotos⁠⠀ ⁠Print design: @her_studio_london, represented by @hello.goldie⁠⠀ Videographer: @charlottecprager⁠⠀ Producer: @luvnidleness⁠⠀

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You can read Madelaine’s full feature here!

You can catch Madelaine in season 4 of Riverdale, which is set to premiere on October 9 at 8 PM ET on the CW.


Be sure to follow us on Twitter @teendaily to stay up to date on the latest news on all your favorite stars! Plus, we want to hear from you — message us and tell us which stars you want us to cover!

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Madelaine Petsch opens up on Riverdale, Anxiety, #MeToo & more

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