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KJ Apa Talks Riverdale Time Jump, Says It's 'Refreshing' Playing an Older Archie

Ally Mauch
·2 min read

The CW

The upcoming fifth season of Riverdale will feature a time jump several years into the future.

Ahead of Wednesday's premiere, star KJ Apa opened up about the experience of playing an older version of his character.

The 23-year-old actor, who plays Archie on the CW teen drama, told Entertainment Weekly that it's been "refreshing" to play a character who is closer to him in age.

"It's nice, honestly, it's really refreshing," he said. "Coming back to the season, that was something that I didn't realize it'd be nice to be able to play, to add that certain level of maturity to the character that wasn't necessarily there before."

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In first episode of the new season, the characters attend their high school prom and graduation before the timeline jumps forward. As such, the first episode "has to be" almost like a series finale, Apa said.

"Although we are still in Riverdale and we are still tied into the school in certain ways, in the time jump I feel like we had to refresh our audience with a new theme, which is the fact that we're all a lot older," he said. "And I feel like that in itself, the fact that we're all older and a lot of time has passed, no one's really kept in touch over that six years, it adds a lot more things to play with."

Michael Kovac/Getty KJ Apa

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Apa, who was 19 when he first started filming Riverdale, also said he could relate to the changes Archie experiences during the show's time jump.

"He's been through a lot in that little period of time. And I feel like he really has matured," he said. "I think years 17 through to 25 are life-shaping years for any young adult."

He continued, "At least for me — and I know my circumstances are different, being on a show and stuff — but most of the tough things that I had to go through and am still going through were in that short little period of time. Who knows, it's still going though, so maybe that's just life."

Riverdale season 5 premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.