No stranger to the soap format, K.J. Apa, 20, starred in New Zealand prime-time soap opera Shortland Street between 2013 and 2015. Before getting cast as Riverdale‘s lead heartthrob Archie Andrews in 2016, he filmed the 2017 drama film A Dog’s Purpose in 2015.
Famous before joining the cast of Riverdale as Jughead Jones, Cole Sprouse, 25, got his start as a child star, appearing in films like Big Daddy and The Astronaut’s Wife in the ’90s as well as on TV series like That ’70s Show and Friends. In 2005, he got his big break on the Disney Channel, starring alongside his twin brother, Dylan, as one of the titular characters on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Prior to being cast on Riverdale, Sprouse studied archeology at NYU and began a professional career as a photographer, shooting for publications like Teen Vogue and W Magazine.
Before she was chasing stories in Riverdale, Lili Reinhart, 21, bounced around Los Angeles and New York as a teen, picking up small roles in short films as well as on TV shows like Law & Order: SVU. In 2016, she starred alongside Lily Rabe and Timothée Chalamet in a film called Miss Stevens. Soon after, the Ohio native was cast to play Betty Cooper on the hit teen drama.
Prior to rocking out with The Pussycats as lead singer Josie McCoy, Ashleigh Murray, 30, got her start acting in indie films like Finding Harmony (2007) and Welcome to New York (2012), as well as appearing as an extra on two episodes of Younger(2016).
Before natural redhead Madelaine Petsch, 23, was delivering epic clapbacks as spoiled but complicated queen bee Cheryl Blossom, she was a bit role actor and extra in TV shows like Instant Mom, where she played a mermaid in one episode, and low-budget horror flicks like The Hive and The Curse of Sleeping Beauty. She also starred in a Coca-Cola commercial in 2014. Before that, the U.S.-South Africa dual citizen trained in dance.
Long before he was Betty Cooper’s bestie Kevin Keller, Casey Cott, 25, was a young thespian pursuing a career in theatre. After attending Boston University for a few semesters, the Ohio native transferred to the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama to study acting, appearing in local theatre productions of Romeo and Juliet, The Prince of Egypt and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson along the way. After initially auditioning for the roles of Archie Andrews and Jughead Jones, he was cast as Kevin. (Fun fact: He also appears in Sabrina Carpenter’s 2017 music video for “Why.”)
Camila Mendes, 23, experienced a major big break when, fresh out of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she was cast as precocious, privileged teen Veronica Lodge in 2016. The Brazilian-American actress’s only professional role before that was starring in an IKEA commercial.