EXCLUSIVE: Molly Ringwald on Playing Archie’s Mom on ‘Riverdale,’ What Advice She Gives Her Young Co-Stars
Molly Ringwald knows all about teen drama.
The red-haired beauty shot to fame in 1984’s Sixteen Candles — and starred in two more John Hughes films by 1986. Decades later, Ringwald still owns the genre, but now she’s playing “Mom.”
The mother of three, who played Anne Juergens on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, is back on teen TV — this time, playing Archie’s mom, Mary, on the CW’s Riverdale.
“It’s Archie. I mean, I loved Archie growing up,” Ringwald told ET on Wednesday, one day before she makes her debut on Thursday night’s episode. “I was always really interested, you know, ‘Am I more Betty or am I more Veronica? What am I gonna be like when I grow up?’ but it turns out I’m Archie’s mom.”
Archie’s dad is played by Luke Perry, whom Ringwald has a special connection with, and not just because they grew up in the spotlight.
“Luke is, I think he might be the nicest actor I have ever worked with. I mean, he is so nice, he’s so charming,” she gushed. “We also have this weird connection. Years ago, I got a pig and ended up moving to Paris… and it turned out that Luke Perry had a ranch and he adopted my pig.”
“We were sort of, almost in a way, co-parents,” she added.
But does Ringwald have any motherly advice for her on-screen son, KJ Apa, and the other young actors on Riverdale?
“I’d tell them it’s a lot of fun. It’s fun and it’s hard work, you have to be very mentally stable and have a good family background,” she said before noting that she “really makes a point of not giving advice.”
“I try with my own kids. It never works. I mean, people really need to kind of figure out their own path,” she explained. “I feel like all the issues are really the same, [but] the tools to express are different now. I didn’t have the internet, which is a huge difference. [I] didn’t have Instagram or Snapchat.”
Ringwald’s own kids with husband Panio Gianopoulos — Mathilda, Roman and Adele — are almost as old as she was when she got her big break.
“My elder daughter, Mathilda, is almost 14 and she has seen them all. The other two are just seven. Apparently they did see Sixteen Candles at a slumber party, which I didn’t sign off on,” she joked. “But Mathilda, definitely, and all her friends, have seen all of [my] movies.”
See Ringwald’s first Riverdale scene in the video below, and tune in to the CW drama on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.