Actor KJ Apa gave himself -- and fans -- quite a scare earlier this year, when he crashed his car after falling asleep at the wheel. Now, the "Riverdale" star is opening up about the incident, and revealing that it taught him a powerful lesson.
In an interview with Esquire, Apa addressed the accident for the first time publicly, admitting that it was "a mistake on my part." In September, the actor left the "Riverdale" set in Vancouver after a 16-hour work day, and fell asleep while making the 45-minute drive back to his hotel
"I should have pulled over and gone to sleep instead of battling my way home," Apa told Esquire. "But I learned from it. It was a blessing in disguise. I came out unscathed, and I thank God that I'm okay—it could have been a lot worse."
At the time, a story from The Hollywood Reporter indicated that the cast and crew were furious about the incident, and demanded better working conditions, including shorter days and transport to and from the set. Production company Warner Bros. Television, meanwhile, hit back at that report, and said that it does provide transport or a hotel room to actors upon request, and disputed the claim that Apa worked 16 hours that day. (Apa repeated the 16 hours number to Esquire.)
Apa told Esquire that his schedule hasn't changed, and he's still required to drive himself to set, but despite that ongoing dispute, one thing the actor agrees with is that he should have been safer that night. He said he hopes that the incident inspires others to make smarter choices when they get behind the wheel.
"It puts things in perspective for actors on other shows; when you're driving home, you've got to be mindful and make sure your mind's right and that you're not tired," Apa said.