Plus, Sprouse get candid with ET about his 'traumatic experiences' from the fandom's intense passion for Bughead and Barchie.
Rivervale is back to Riverdale -- Now what?
The hit CW drama just aired its 100th episode tonight and while some fans may be scratching their heads after a few ultra meta moments, others are wondering what's to come for Archie, Betty, Jughead, Veronica and the rest of our favorite characters.
To celebrate this milestone moment, ET recently called up star Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead -- aka Riverdale's forever narrator and writer -- to find out how much longer he thinks the series will last.
Plus, we all know that this series has some of the most passionate fandom shippers in TV history, but have you ever wondered what it must be like to be one of the actors involved in a heavily debated love triangle?
Sprouse opened up exclusively to ET about the "traumatic experiences" he and his fellow Riverdale co-stars have experienced over the past five years and what he hopes fans will take away from the show.
ET: Cole, Now that we've officially hit 100 episodes, how much longer do you see Riverdale on the air? Do you have an endgame or an exit strategy in mind?
Cole Sprouse: I think just in a straight up legal sense, contractually it started at seven seasons, which is a pretty standard contract for film and television, so I don't know what happens after that. But the world of Riverdale is open-ended enough to kind of flex alongside that. But I think the quality of a wonderful program is knowing how to wrap it up and say, "Hey, we love you guys. This is the end, and I hope you guys enjoyed the ride."
You always want to leave them wanting more!
Yeah and we talked about this a lot. A lot of teen dramas have a second life. Gossip Girl is actually a great example of this. During quarantine, people were re-binging that show, some new people were coming to it for the first time, a lot of old fans were going to it, and a lot of these shows have that. The OC had that. One Tree Hill had that. A lot of these types of programs have that. Our show's really campy and really over the top sometimes -- intentionally. Very intentionally so. And I think due to the cult-like nature of it, I'm hoping that if it does have a second life, people go at it knowing exactly what it was intended to be and go, "Oh my god, we're seeing this with new eyes for the first time for what it really is."
As we're talking about the show coming to an end and the term "endgame" of course, the topic of shippers comes to mind. Honestly, I've never seen a more divided fanbase between the Bughead and Barchie shippers and at times it can be really intense and, frankly, exhausting as a reporter. I can only imagine how you feel about it now as someone who's part of this triangle. Can you talk a bit about your experience?
I'm a little bit conflicted about it because as a natural consequence of the characters we played on the show, a lot of the actors get scrutinized and really put down upon by the opposite sides of this ship debate in real life. There's been a tremendous amount of inquiries into who we are as people, outside of who we are as playing characters.
And I'm not going to lie to you, Leanne. I've seen a lot of my friends, especially on the show, go through really conflicting, borderline traumatic, experiences. From people criticizing every little facet of them, and myself included. I think just in general, celebrity culture or film and television has always had a kind of suspension of disbelief put in place where people have a hard time seeing you outside the character that's existed forever. But it's been really interesting stepping into this part of my career and seeing that from a romantic perspective. And watching how people build certain narratives about you as a real human being outside of the show in consequence to what happens on the show.
Will I say it was the most enjoyable experience? I'd be lying to you if I said yes. Do I understand this is part of the job? Absolutely. And I think it's also a consequence of sort of a younger, very social media savvy audience, but it's been a wild ride. That being said, I think it's a badge of honor that the relationships we portrayed on the show compelled people to such passion.
I think it's beautiful, and that's kind of the currency of the job, is going, "Wow. They really, really love this in a very real sense. They identify with this in a very, very real sense," and that's the power of it. And in a way, that can be incredibly empowering, but it's been a wild ride, and I think episode 100 does a really good job of kind of bringing all that in and speaking directly to the fourth wall and going, "This is where we came from. This is what we did. Hope you guys enjoy the ride."
Riverdale airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.