‘Riverdale’ Postmortem: Ashleigh Murray Talks Josie, the Pussycats, and Archie’s Six-Pack

·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Ashleigh Murray in ‘Riverdale’ (Photo: Frank Ockenfels 3/The CW)
Ashleigh Murray in ‘Riverdale’ (Photo: Frank Ockenfels 3/The CW)

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Body Double” episode of Riverdale.

Hungry for a little drama? Riverdale satiated the audience’s appetite for conflict this week with an eventful episode that featured Betty and Veronica tag-teaming on a revenge plan against the football team, while Jughead brought his writing prowess to the revived Riverdale High newspaper. But the dramatic centerpiece of “Body Double” was the Taste of Riverdale event, where Cheryl Blossom’s grieving mom served up a slap to Betty’s muckraking journalist mother. That slap heard ‘round the town provided the capper to a rowdy night that kicked off with the latest performance by Josie and the Pussycats, who debuted their first original song — written with the help of a certain red-haired amateur musician with the initials A.A. — “All For Me.” Pussycats frontwoman Ashleigh Murray spoke with Yahoo TV about the coming thaw in Josie and Archie’s previously frosty relationship, but why the thought of kissing him still makes her go, “Ewwww.”

Related: ‘Riverdale’ Preview: Ashleigh Murray on Josie’s Big Musical Moment

After blowing off Archie in the first episode, Josie reluctantly welcomed him into her circle in this hour. How does this change the dynamic of their relationship going forward?
You know, Archie is fleeting to her. One day no one knows who he is, and the next day he wakes up with a six-pack and everyone’s drooling over the floor. Even some of her friends are drooling! So there’s this call to arms for her: she’s thinking, “I see he became a man overnight, but I don’t have time for you and whatever dream you think you have.” You’ll see past this episode that there’s more interaction between Josie and Archie. She starts to sympathize with him, and allows him to express his creative side and grow as an artist.

Is there a duet in their future?
All I’m going to say is… yes. [Laughs]

We haven’t seen much of the dynamic within the Pussycats yet. What’s the partnership like between Josie, Valerie, and Melody?
I’d say it’s a bit of a power struggle, more so between Josie and Valerie. It’s not intentional, and there’s no maliciousness behind it. Josie understands that even though she is the lead voice of the Pussycats, she needs Melody to keep the beat, and she really needs Valerie because she’s the heart and soul of the lyrics they sing. And she understands that people have different things to prove to the group. Sometimes that falls apart as we progress further into the season. It’s tough being a teenager, man!

Ashleigh Murray as Josie in ‘Riverdale’ (Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW)
Ashleigh Murray as Josie in ‘Riverdale’ (Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW)

When are we going to get the first big scene between Josie and her mom, Mayor McCoy, played by Robin Givens?
That’s coming. I want to say that it’s Episode 6 when you see her have more interactions with her mom. It was great to work with Robin; I never thought I’d be working alongside someone I’ve watched my entire life. She was a household name with my family, and to have her be my onscreen mom is unreal. She’s so sweet and loving and wise. I couldn’t be happier about it.

Since she’s friends with Cheryl, is Josie going to get pulled into the murder mystery involving Jason Blossom?
Josie is pretty far removed from it. I wouldn’t say that she and Cheryl have a superficial relationship, but it’s more professional. They know and respect each other, but don’t hang out as much as they should. And that comes with being a teenager and figuring out what you want to do with your life.

When you were first cast as Josie, what was your take on playing a character with such an established history?
I have a lot of similarities to Josie, which is why I enjoy playing her. She’s who I wish I was in high school. I was perseverant and headstrong, but I didn’t think I was quite as brave as Josie is. I have this image of her in my mind, and it’s adjectives about who she is rather than who she sounds like. It’s about who she wants to be and how she wants people to see her.

Have the writers shared any early Season 2 story plans for Josie with you?
No, but I’m so excited because we can literally go anywhere from here. There are so many things we didn’t get a chance to do during the first season, because the story continued to evolve and change. Whatever it is, I know it’s going to be something epic and monumental. I hope Josie gets a love interest! Maybe a Fonzie-type, someone who is going to catch her attention, and maybe she has no business being attracted to him. That would be so juicy.

Definitely not Archie, though, right? He’s got enough love interests as it is.
Oh my god, no! [Laughs] I would be so shocked. People ask me if it’s going to be Archie and Josie together, and I go, “Ewww.” But just watch, by the fifth episode of Season 2, Archie’s going to be flirting with Josie, she’s going to be about it, and I’m going to be like, “What the hell is going on?”

Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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