‘Riverdale’ KJ Apa on Being a Sexualized Heartthrob: ‘You Never Get Used to It’

New Zealand native KJ Apa pretty much went from obscurity to stardom overnight when he joined Riverdale as Archie Andrews.

Prior to landing the role, his only American job had been on A Dog’s Purpose and now he has over 2.6 M followers on Instagram. With Riverdale season 2 underway, you’d think Apa would be getting used to the attention by now. But apparently, it’s not that easy. He recently told Paper magazine,

“It is weird and you can never really get used it. When I read the pilot though, it wasn’t difficult for me to see that’s the direction they were taking. Every single episode I have my shirt off so inevitably, it’s going to be gnarly.”

He even found it so overwhelming that he considered deleting his social media accounts.

“I know I can’t, but I just wanted to do it. It can get in the way of the actual work. It can be dangerous as an actor because it gets in the way and can take your attention.”

The funny thing is that is social following actually helps him land roles at this point. He said that he’ll show up to auditions and they’ll ask how many followers he has.

And his influence isn’t something he takes lightly.

“Yeah and it’s kind of sick because the amount of influence people with this many followers have on other people, it’s really humbling.”

We have a feeling this is just the start for Apa. He says he would consider doing comedy after this and we could absolutely see him nailing that.

For now, he’s just getting used to being recognized (the orange hair doesn’t help) and feeling grateful to be a part of Riverdale.

“It’s a real responsibility. I’m so thankful.”


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Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.