Lili Reinhart is one of the more experienced stars on Riverdale. Unlike Camila Mendes and K.J. Apa, who have both never worked in Hollywood before, Reinhart has an impressive resume for a 20-year-old actress.
On Riverdale, Reinhardt plays the classic girl-next-door, Betty Cooper. Like most of the major Archie Comics characters, she’s been around since the 1940s and makes up a third of the Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle. In the new series, she has a little trouble getting Archie interested in her romantically, since they have been friends since they were young kids and are neighbors.
Here’s a look at Reinhart.
1. She Has a Great Relationship With Her Mom in Real Life, Unlike Betty on ‘Riverdale’
The first two episodes of Riverdale make it obvious that Betty does not get along with her mother Alice, played by Mädchen Amick. In those scenes where she clashes with her mother, Reinhart doesn’t have anything in her past to inspire her because she has a great relationship with her mother, Amy Reinhart.
“My mom is like my best friend,” Reinhart told Teen Vogue. “And I tell her everything and we’re extremely close. Alice is more just like the authority figure in Betty’s life.”
She told the magazine that Betty “can’t really trust her mom,” who is really suspicious of the Blossom family. Betty’s sister Polly (Tiera Skovbye) has been receiving treatment ever since Jason Blossom was killed in the summer before the show started. Alice didn’t like her daughter dating a Blossom and the murder is the ongoing mystery hovering over Riverdale in season one.
2. Reinhart Is From Cleveland & Almost Gave Up on Hollywood After Failing When She Was 18
In an interview with WWD, the Cleveland native said she moved to Los Angeles by herself when she was 18 in her first attempt to break into Hollywood. It didn’t work after five months.
“That was July 2015,” she told WWD. “And I sat around for six months and thought about whether I wanted to try again, and if I should go back out there. I did a self tape at home with my mom, and we sent in the tape and it didn’t go anywhere. But then I moved to L.A., and a couple days after I moved my manager was, like, ‘so they still haven’t found that girl for Betty. I want you to go in again and try.’”
Before that attempt in Los Angeles, Reinhart did find work. As her IMDb page shows, she was in a Law & Order: SVU episode in 2011, the same year she appeared in a horror movie called Lilith. In 2013, she starred in The Kings of Summer.
In 2014, she starred on Fox’s short-lived Surviving Jack with Christopher Meloni. That was her first starring role on TV, but the show only lasted six episodes.
In 2016, she starred alongside Lily Rabe in Miss Stevens.
3. She Connects With Betty Because She Has Also Fought Mental Health Issues
As with all the characters in Riverdale, they are much more well-rounded characters than their comic book counterparts. That includes Betty.
“Our Betty Cooper is still the girl next door — she literally lives next to Archie. And she’s the blonde all-American girl, she’s so sweet and forgiving, gives people the benefit of the doubt and second chances, wears her heart on her sleeve,” Reinhardt told WWD.
She also told the site that Betty has mental health issues and she’s struggled with depression and anxiety herself.
“So I can very much relate to Betty in that way, and that there’s a vulnerability inside,” she told WWD.
4. Reinhart Used to Film Her Auditions at Home
When she was still in Cleveland, Reinhart had to tape her auditions at home, and then send them out to her manager. That’s how she got a job on an SVU episode in 2011.
“I have a camera and record myself, and my mom reads the other lines off-camera,” Reinhart told Cleveland.com back in 2011. “Then I send it to my agent and manager, and they send it to the casting director, and we see how it goes from there.”
At the time, Reinhart told Cleveland.com that her family was really supportive of her career and it looks like that’s still true. “It keeps me going and makes me confident,” she said.
Reinhart also said that one of her goals was to be on Broadway. “I just hope to keep doing film and TV and eventually Broadway. It’s definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she told Cleveland.com.
By the time she heard about Riverdale, Reinhart and her family were living in North Carolina, she told Collider. Still, self-taping her interview was part of the process.
5. Reinhart Lives With Madelaine Petsch, Who Plays Cheryl Blossom, When They Film in Vancouver
Like most CW shows, Riverdale is filmed in Vancouver. Since they are all away from home, the cast lives together during filming and that helps their on-screen chemistry. in her Collider interview, Reinhart said that she lives with Madelaine Petsch, who plays Cheryl Blossom on the show.
“When we all got to Vancouver and first started hanging out, it was immediate closeness. We all immediately felt connected to one another,” she explained to Collider. “I live with Madelaine [Petsch], who plays Cheryl. You can’t fake the closeness that we have.”
Reinhart said that she considers her co-stars her best friends. “While we were filming the pilot, we were like, ‘No matter what happens with this show, we’re all going to be friends, for a really long time,'” she told Collider.