Riverdale star Camila Mendes comes from a pretty formal acting background.

She went to NYU’s infamous Tisch School of the Arts where she studied theater and playwriting and dreamt of taking high-brow roles.

So to hop into a part like Veronica Lodge in the teen drama Riverdale (which she playfully calls “absurd”) wasn’t exactly where she saw her career going.

She told Paper,

“I never expected that I was going to be on a show that was that successful and has such a cult following. And that probably wasn’t initially what I had wanted for my career. But now that I have it, I’m like, ‘Oh my god, this is amazing.'”

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Camila on the set of Riverdale

In theater school, she and her classmates dreamt of being in independent flicks — a far cry from Riverdale. She reminisced,

“As actors and artists in theater school, we’re like, ‘I don’t want to be this kind of actor and I want to be in all the critically-acclaimed indies that go to festivals and win awards.'”

But landing on Riverdale has been a pleasant surprise, even if it’s not the career path she planned on.

“You book Riverdale, and it’s like, here we go, here’s a completely different path than I imagined. But there’s so many advantages to this path as well, and I’m very, very grateful for that.”

Since started Riverdale in 2017, Camila has landed a number of other roles in mainstream movies including Hulu’s Palm Springs with Andy Samberg, Netflix’s The Perfect Date opposite Noah Centineo, and Netflix’s Dangerous Lies.

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Camila behind-the-scenes of Riverdale

Even with the success of her career and its upward trajectory, she still dreams of returning to her theater roots one day. She says,

“I so desperately want to reconnect with that part of myself. I miss theater school… I miss being able to do that.”

And that dream definitely isn’t out of reach. Many Hollywood stars have gone on to act on Broadway including Melissa Benoist, Daniel Radcliffe, Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, Keke Palmer, and countless others.

For now, Camila still has her hands full with Riverdale. The show has already been renewed for a sixth season by The CW.

Riverdale season 5 returns July 7, 2021.

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