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KJ Apa Clarifies Comments Comparing ‘Riverdale’ to ‘Jail’

His side of the story. KJ Apa has clarified his comments about comparing Riverdale to “jail” in an interview earlier this year.

“That’s not really how I see it,” the actor, who plays Archie Andrews on the CW series, told NME in a profile released on Thursday, October 21. “I can understand why the fans are mad because they want to be watching a show where the actors playing those characters are invested in the work. And we are all so invested in the work, because otherwise why would we be on the show? We all love the show and the characters we’re playing.”

The 24-year-old New Zealand native made headlines in February after comparing his time on the Songbird set to Riverdale while promoting the movie.

“I felt so free coming from a show where I feel like I’m in jail a lot of the time,” KJ told Interview magazine at the time. “There are so many restrictions on what I can and can’t do. With this character, it was like, ‘Wow, this is what it’s like to really express myself in a natural way.’ I wasn’t covered in makeup or hair products. I had long hair and a beard. I just felt free.”

While the TV network never publicly acknowledged KJ’s comments, the actor did tell NME that he called Riverdale creator and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa after the interview was published.

“The whole jail statement … is like what I was talking to you about before. We’re on a huge machine of a show — with a huge global reach and a huge fanbase — and it’s a show where we don’t get to … our voices aren’t heard as much as other creative people who are involved. You know, like our showrunners and writers,” the A Dog’s Purpose star further explained. “As actors, we very much have a job to do, and that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s enjoyable and we’re grateful and that we love to do it. It’s just … not like being involved in other projects where maybe we have more of a voice in the creativity.”

Further speaking to NME, KJ explained that he decided to make solo music — he released his debut album Clocks earlier this month — as “way to express myself” while on the Riverdale set. Despite his past comments about working on the series, the singer told the publication he could  “absolutely” suggest a song for Archie to sing on the show.

“When you’re on a set and you’re playing a character for so long, there’s a lot of rules and guidelines and directions that you have to follow that you don’t necessarily get a lot of say in,” he added. “But music has always been, you know, the one thing that I have full control over.”

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