words | Daniel Larsen
On a blistering hot Los Angeles morning, Madelaine Petsch arrived for her cover shoot with Luca, wearing her signature Prada sunglasses and a smile on her face. Just off an early-morning flight from Vancouver, she had been filming late into the night. One might expect the star, or at least her smile, to fade throughout a day in a studio without air conditioning and full of people – but that’s not Madelaine. Wardrobe change after wardrobe change, she owned the camera as you can see in these flawless images. After hours of slaying look after look in the California heat, Madelaine was off to conquer the rest of her demanding schedule with her smile still intact. A natural in front of the camera, her upbeat attitude and lively personality made Madelaine a joy to work with. You may have seen the talented young actress in the CW's hit show Riverdale portraying the fabulous Cheryl Blossom, one of the show’s chic lipstick-clad leading ladies. With her gorgeous auburn hair and natural beauty, Madelaine is most definitely easy on the eyes; however, it’s quickly apparent she’s so much more than just her looks. With her kind heart, genuine charm, and quick wit, it’s no wonder people are falling in love with the young starlet – she has a personality that is impossible not to be attracted to. I was fortunate enough to ask her some questions and get to know her better.
Do you have any ritual that gets you in the zone before you start filming?
Honestly, the minute the lipstick & the heels are on, Cheryl is in charge.
What do you love most about Cheryl?
Her layers. She’s so complex and, as an actor, that’s really what you want in a role. She challenges me and pushes me every single day.
Is it fun to play a bitch?
I don’t see her as a bitch, once you get to know her more, you realize she’s just a broken, lonely little girl hoping to figure out who she is at some point and dying for some love. That being said, she does have some GREAT lines that are very fun to deliver. Never a dull moment.
Who is more bougie, you or Cheryl Blossom?
Definitely Cheryl. I’m not particularly high maintenance, I like to have nice things but I enjoy the more simple parts of life.
Is there any aspect of your life in which you consider yourself the HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge)?
Only when I’m Cheryl Blossom. I’m definitely a take-charge type of person, but I’m never the ‘head bitch in charge’, that’s more of an attitude I choose not to have.
If Cheryl’s secret weapon is lipstick, what’s yours?
My biting wit.
Cheryl suspected a culprit using her “twintuition”. Who is someone in your life that you have “twintuition” with?
My mother. I swear every time I’m about to pick up the phone to call her, my phone rings and it’s her. It’s crazy.
What do you think viewers can learn from Riverdale, and more specifically, from Cheryl?
That’s the beautiful thing about art and media, there’s never one specific thing you’re trying to convey. Art is so subjective; the viewer will take away the lessons they need to learn. However, I do hope that the younger viewers see that you can be strong and single. I feel like the media (especially for the younger generation) portrays this idea that you always have to be in a relationship and that’s so stressful for kids. Hopefully our show can participate in and support the notion that you don’t have to be with someone to be a significant person, like Cheryl.
You seem to be really close with your cast mates. How often do you see each other when not filming? What do you like to do on days off from filming?
We are definitely a family. We see each other more often than not when we aren’t filming – do weekly get-togethers and dinners. We are always with each other. Some of us will get together and go to the gym or go do meals on days off that we share. We love biking around the water or just enjoying the beautiful city.
Will you be watching the Riverdale season 2 premier? If so, where and with whom will you be watching?
I’m certain I’ll be watching! Where, I couldn’t tell you, depends on my, and everyone else’s, shooting schedule. That’s a question you’ll have to ask Roberto, 'the man in charge'!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Continuing doing what I’m doing, and being more immersed in the film industry as well.
Aside from the next issue of Luca Magazine, what would you recommend a friend to read?
My most recent favorite read was a book called Prozac Nation, I highly suggest it.
How did you become a board member of the Environmental Media Association?
I was lucky enough to be asked to be a part of their awards ceremony last year and shortly thereafter I reached out and asked how I could be more involved. This year they just recently invited me onto the board and I’m so beyond honored.
Where does your passion for the environment come from?
My parents. I was raised eating out of my dad’s garden on a plant-based diet by a family who is very environmentally conscious, it was never a choice to be passionate about the environment, it was a part of me from the second I was born. I was raised to be very aware of my impact on the planet and to do my part in helping this planet that we inhabit.
How long have you lived a vegan lifestyle?
I’ve been plant-based my whole life.
What is your favorite vegan dish?
I’m really into a good salad – as long as it has some good leafy greens and some quinoa, I’m set.
We heard through the grapevine that you like to rap Eminem at karaoke. Is that true? If so, what’s your go-to song?
It’s true, you heard it here first: I rap "Lose Yourself" at karaoke.
As an actress, what would mean success for you?
To continue acting in such fulfilling roles and being in the entertainment industry for the rest of my life. That’s all I want.
Can you please give us 3-4 of your most endearing personality traits?
That’s completely subjective. I had to phone a friend on this one and ask my mom what she thought. Her answers were: my quick wit, the way I show affection to the people I love, my generosity, and my empathy.
In contrast, can you give us 3-4 quirks or minor characteristics that make you, you?
Well first and foremost, I make the world’s strangest facial expressions without trying (they’re even weirder when I try), my tendency of switching accents in the middle of a conversation, and my love for all things Harry Potter.
We noticed that you’ve gained a lot of followers, particularly on Instagram, in a short amount of time. Has this sudden increase in popularity affected your daily life?
Yes and no, I try not to pay too much attention to social media. That being said, a lot more people recognize me and know the show so in that aspect, yes. It’s quite cool how well received the show has been. We are all so passionate about it; it’s great to see that the viewers are too! It’s all thanks to them.
To date, Madelaine has over four hundred thousand followers on Twitter and over two million on Instagram and it’s easy to see why! A passionate actress, environmentally conscious, and a Harry Potter aficionado; we bet you didn’t know there was so much to love about Madelaine Petsch. Here at Luca, we love Madelaine like she loves Good & Plenty. It’s a pleasure to watch her transform into Cheryl Blossom on Riverdale and an honor to have such an enthusiastic, well-spoken, and stylish talent on our cover. This fall, you can see Madelaine reprising her role in season two of Riverdale (WE.CANNOT.WAIT) A rising star, Madelaine Petsch has already left her mark on Hollywood, and we have a feeling she’s just getting started.