In the early 1960s, Josie & The Pussycats were introduced into the Archie Comics universe and have remained a major part of that world ever since. Of course, the team behind The CW’s Riverdale was not going to leave the group out of the show and have made the trio a major part of the drama. In “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!,” Veronica Lodge joined the group as a fourth member.
The original members of Josie and the Pussycats are lead singer and guitarist Josie McCoy, played by Ashleigh Murray; bassist Valerie Brown, played by Hayley Law; and drummer Melody Valentine, played by Asha Bromfield.
Here’s a look at the actresses behind the band.
1. Ashleigh Was Behind on Rent & Dirt-Poor When She Auditioned for ‘Riverdale’
In an interview with Collider, Ashleigh Murray said she was living in New York when she auditioned for Riverdale and was $4,700 behind on rent! She only had $12 in her bank account after her first audition. During her walk home, her agent told her that the show’s producers were really interested in her for the role. In less than an hour, she was then told to fly to Los Angeles to meet them.
When she arrived in Los Angeles for an audition in front of casting director David Rapaport and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, she was so nervous that she forgot the words to her song halfway through.
At first, she thought she didn’t get the part. As she explained to Collider:
By the time I got back to my hotel room, I had been awake for 36 hours straight. Then, I got the call telling me that I had advanced from studio to network. I went in and did network, on that Monday. It was crazy! I was like, “Even if I don’t get it, now Warner Bros. knows who I am. I think I’ve done a good job, so if this isn’t right for me, I’m sure something else will come along.” And then, after I had my audition, I went back to my hotel room and I got the call. They were like, “So, they want to offer you the role.” I was like, “What?!” I couldn’t believe it! It happened overnight, literally. I went in on a Wednesday, and then I was in L.A. on Friday. I did it over the weekend, and I came out with this role. It’s just been snowballing, ever since. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced, in my life.
Although she’s had some small parts before, Josie is Murray’s first leading role.
2. Hayley Is Recording Music in Real Life
Hayley Law was the real star of “Faster, Pussycats! Kill! Kill!,” as Valerie quit the band to help Archie. Her character also thought she was not being treated fairly or given a chance to sing.
Law has even less experience as an actress than Murray. Her IMDb page only lists two other credits outside of Riverdale – a role on The Arrangement and a role on a show called Altered Carbon.
3. Asha Recorded a ‘Black Beatles’ Cover With Archie Actor KJ Apa
Sadly, we don’t get to hear Asha Bromfield that much on Riverdale, since she plays drummer Melody. That’s disappointing because she has an amazing voice too. Before Riverdale debuted, she recorded a cover of Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” with Archie actor K.J. Apa.
Bromfield also has a YouTube channel filled with covers of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Lorde’s “Royals” and Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home.”
4. Ashleigh Already Has an Idea for a ‘Josie & The Pussycats’ Spinoff
Riverdale has been such a success that The CW has already renewed it for a second season. If the network wants to expand the Archie Comics universe, a Josie & The Pussycats spin-off wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In fact, Murray told MTV News what her idea is for a Josie spin-off.
“I think she would explode in New York City just like I did,” Murray told MTV News. “If we ever did get a spin-off, I hope it follows her first trip to New York City. I think she would lose her mind. She would do really well, but I’m not sure her Pussycats would fare the same.”
However, she also said that she doesn’t really want a spin-off because that would mean spending less time with the rest of the cast.
“It’s hard for me when I’m not on set because I just like being around everyone,” Murray told MTV News. “We’re all kind of the only friends we have out there [in Vancouver] because we’re the only ones we know. It’s just as ridiculous on set as it is off. KJ [Apa] is constantly messing with our boom operator Paul, rubbing his chest and messing up takes. But there’s no place I’d rather be than on set with everybody, which is why I’d be so sad if I couldn’t see them all the time if Josie and the Pussycats do get a spin-off.”
5. There Was a Josie & The Pussycats Movie in 2001 That Was a Box Office Bomb
If a Josie & The Pussycats spin-off happened, it wouldn’t be the first time the band broke free from the Archie shadow. The group got their own successful Hanna-Barbera cartoon series that ran from 1970 to 1973 and continued airing regularly through 1976. One season was even dubbed Josie and the Pussycats In Outer Space!
In 2001, there was an attempt to update the group with a live-action movie starring Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson. The film was a satire on consumerism, with the girls learning that their record label wasn’t out to promote their music, but wanted to promote products. The film was a box office bomb, only grossing $14.3 million and costing $39 million to make.