Before Riverdale: Where You Might Have Seen These Stars Before Catching Them On Netflix
The cameos, unlikely appearances and humble beginnings
Ending its midseason break, the hit teen drama Riverdale returns on January 19 with “Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle.” It’s an episode that promises more riveting plot twists, unexpected turns and mounting tensions that fans shouldn’t dare miss. It’s safe to say viewers already hooked on the show will tune in with excitement—and maybe, with some internal screaming.
It’s crazy to think that just 23 episodes into the series and not even a year since the pilot premiered, the show has already been able to gain traction and gain an enormous following. It’s the show that’s forever changed the lives of those who've seen the show (we're exaggerating a little) and more so the stars featured in it.
But where were these stars though before spawning (or re-spawning) fandoms left and right? Keep scrolling to find out about some of the cast members’ pre-Riverdale lives!
The New Zealand native began acting in 2013 and made his first appearance on a local soap opera called Shortland Street. After participating in another NZ-based television series, The Cul De Sac, he made his way over stateside where he bagged his first big-screen project: the controversial comedy-drama A Dog's Purpose. While filming for this began in 2015, the movie premiered the same year Riverdale did.
Brazilian babe Camila Mendes only had one other acting gig before appearing on Riverdale: an IKEA commercial. Since landing the coveted role of Veronica Lodge, the 23-year-old has been busying herself with the rest of Riverdale season two, a slew of talk show guest appearances and her first movie, New Romantic. Here, she is joined by The End of the F***ing World actress Jessica Barden, Victorious alum Avan Jogia and Riverdale castmate Hayley Law.
Madelaine Petsch took on a mix of big and small-screen projects before playing fiery redhead Cheryl Blossom. She had a cameo in the 2015 horror flick, The Hive and played a mermaid on Nick at Nite’s TV series Instant Mom (hey, the roles were small but quite varied). Before she turned her focus to acting, however, she tried her hand at commercial modeling. In 2014, a very smiley 19-year-old Petsch appeared in a national advertising campaign for Coca-Cola.
Before Betty Cooper, there was Courtney Lane. Reinhart first appeared on the drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which follows the lives of NYPD’s special squad of detectives led by Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Her episode, "Lost Traveller" aired in November 2011.
The American actress is no stranger to the mystery and drama genres of television. Amick, who plays Betty Cooper’s mother, made a name for herself in the ‘90s as Shelly Johnson on Twin Peaks. Her extensive acting résumé also includes appearances on C.P.W., Fantasy Island, Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls and Joey. She’s played a waitress, a scheming seductress, a shapeshifter, a teacher and a fiancée. Gossip Girl fans, however, know her as Duchess Catherine Beaton (aka the older woman Nate Archibald had an affair with in the show’s second season).
Here’s another child actress who grew up in front of the camera: Vanessa Morgan, hailing from Ontario, Canada, made her first appearance on VH1’s quirky holiday film, A Diva's Christmas Carol. She was only eight year old at the time. After taking a 7-year break, Morgan picked up where she left off with TV projects like The Latest Buzz and Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars. In 2010, she played a young Frankie (whose grown-up version was played by Academy Award winner Halle Berry) in Frankie & Alice. That same year, she was recruited by Disney to play Sarah in the TV movie, My Babysitter's A Vampire.
Italian-Mexican actor Mark Consuelos has 42 TV and film titles under his belt. His most recent projects include television series such as The Night Shift, Queen of the South and Pitch. American Horror Story fans know him as Spivey from season two. Viewers of All My Children, meanwhile, know him as Mateo Santos Sr. But did you also know Mark Consuelos also had a cameo on FRIENDS?
This actor’s got the longest résumé in the bunch (credited in 224 TV and movie projects as of writing). Munro, who initially wanted to become a professional athlete, began acting in 1989 following a sports injury. This led him to pursue drama and improvisational comedy, which proved essential to his career. And we couldn’t quite imagine Scary Movie, White Chicks and True Justice without him.
When Riverdale premiered in January 2017, Sprouse was probably the only member of Archie’s gang that wasn’t considered an up-and-comer. Getting a head start in the industry, Cole and his twin brother Dylan began acting at just eight months old, sharing baby roles in TV shows and commercials before playing their first recurring character on the sitcom Grace Under Fire in 1993. The twins’ big break? Appearing in the 1999 comedy Big Daddy with Adam Sandler. They furthered their acting careers with FRIENDS and Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
Ulrich was typecast as the bad boy of the ‘90s (he definitely had that dangerous pretty boy look going on): He was a thug extra in the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and later played bewitched douchebag Chris Hooker in The Craft. Pushing the envelope on the bad boy casting, Ulrich played psycho Billy Loomis in Scream.
Marisol Nichols aka Momma Lodge on the show is one actress who has been around a while as well: Nichols appeared in Beverly Hills, 90210, ER, Can't Hardly Wait, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and two episodes of Boy Meets World. Like her fellow Riverdale actor, she also had a cameo on FRIENDS (The One with Rachel’s Dream). Below is a clip of Nichols in Scream 2, where she got to share the screen with one of the heartthrobs of the ‘90s: Sara Michelle Gellar.
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