Why KJ Apa Sometimes Feels Like "I'm in Jail" While Working on Riverdale

In a new interview with Demi Moore, KJ Apa reflected on his success from working on Riverdale. Find out why he’s excited to start other projects outside of playing Archie.

By Mike Vulpo Feb 24, 2021 7:33 PMTags
Watch: KJ Apa Reveals Head Injury From Stunt for "Songbird" Movie

There's more to KJ Apa than his famous character Archie Andrews.

For nearly six seasons, the 23-year-old actor has had a major role on the hit TV series Riverdale. The opportunity has grown his fan base and turned him into a wanted man for projects on both the big and small screen.

But while speaking to Demi Moore for Interview Magazine, KJ reflected on his latest movie and explained why Songbird was a nice change from his TV role.

"I felt so free coming from a show where I feel like I'm in jail a lot of the time," KJ explained. "There are so many restrictions on what I can and can't do. With this character, it was like, ‘Wow, this is what it's like to really express myself in a natural way.' I wasn't covered in makeup or hair products. I had long hair and a beard. I just felt free."

The New Zealand native continued, "There's been so much pressure in playing Archie. I'm so grateful for the show and its success, but at the same time, there's a lot of baggage that comes with that success. I feel like the only people I can talk to about my issues are my costars, the people who can really relate to me."

Love Lives of Riverdale Stars

One actor who stands out for all the right reasons is former Disney kid Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead. According to KJ, his co-star and friend is an "amazing person" to have on set because he has so much experience with fame.

Emma McIntyre/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank

"I try and look at it from a fan's perspective to understand the way they think," KJ shared. "But there are times when I'm like, ‘Wow, they really have no idea that we are actual people. They can't separate us from our characters.' You don't have that in other professions. You don't dissect the life of a builder and start judging the decisions he makes in his life with his wife and kids."

"As an actor, I will be judged on everything: my political opinions, my opinions on drugs, my opinions on the people I want to be with," he continued. "Everything. It's something I've had to come to terms with." 

During his candid interview, which also included a must-see photo shoot styled by Mel Ottenberg, KJ explained that being away from his parents during his young adult years was a challenge.

But now that he has found his footing in the industry, he's ready to prioritize family time while navigating extra special projects.

"As I get older, I'm trying to be less career-driven so it doesn't consume my life," KJ shared. "Every time I get a hiatus, it's like, ‘Do I shoot a movie or do I spend time with my family?' When I'm older, I want to be able to be proud of the decisions that I've made now."

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