Before the sixth season of "Riverdale" ends, Lili Reinhart jumps onto Netflix with her latest movie "Look Both Ways", and also shoots an exclusive cover for the September issue of BAZAAR Taiwan!

September 05, 2022   |   Written by Angeline Hsiao & Billy Kuo

You may only remember her as Betty in Riverdale, or as Cole Sprouse’s blonde ex-girlfriend, but Lili Reinhart, who has nearly 30 million followers on Instagram, not only opened her own production company, but also She plays the leading role in Netflix’s latest movie Look Both Ways. We met in Los Angeles on a warm summer afternoon and captured Lili’s increasingly beautiful and confident self-confidence as she passed through her teenage years.

Many actors are afraid that after playing a popular and everlasting role for a long time, they will be unable to escape from its shadow. But Lili Reinhart is not afraid to be hindered by her own success. She is both Betty in Riverdale and herself. Teen dramas that others view as frivolous and absurd are regarded by her as the most precious training ground, and she is ready to refine what she has learned in the past six years into more eye-catching works. The subject of “choice” in the new film Look Both Ways seems to be a portrayal of Lili’s life along the way: moving to Los Angeles alone to pursue her dreams, suffering from a tsunami of anxiety, and stumbling on the road to success – there are always too many things in her mind. “What if…”, but she always loves what she chooses and what she loves.

Whether she is disclosing her mental illness or her sexuality, as a role model for Generation Z, Lili never minces words or regrets; if she, who is so influential on social media, cannot tell the truth, then how can the young women who look like her can? How to confidently follow the path you want to take? Lili said that as long as you follow your heart, even if there are slight bumps on the road, you will happily accept it at the short end and then move on to the next place with satisfaction. So, what is Lili planning after Riverdale which will have its finale next year?

Harper’s BAZAAR (hereinafter referred to as HB): The current sixth season of Riverdale has introduced more elements of fantasy and musicals. Do you enjoy filming these novel and even somewhat unfashionable plots?

Lili Reinhart (hereinafter referred to as LR): You have to appreciate the creativity of Riverdale. It is rare that a show can explore such a variety of story types at the same time! The addition of unpredictable supernatural elements and multiverses this time can make the audience feel interesting and excited at all times – especially Riverdale has 22 episodes in one season. For actors, the unexpectedness every time we receive a script not only allows us to take risks with the audience, but also gives us a lot of room to try different performance methods.

HB: What has you grown the most since you started filming Riverdale?

LR: As a performer, Riverdale gives me a place where I can practice in peace. When you play the same character for so many years, you naturally face various plots and try to deal with them with different interpretations. During the six years of filming Riverdale, I was forced to find change and continue to grow in a stable work environment. Now, I feel confident about future acting challenges, and I owe that all to Riverdale.

HB: Speaking of growing up, the movie Look Both Ways with you starring in it has finally been released! How was your experience as the heroine of a film for the first time?

LR: Filming Look Both Ways was definitely one of the best experiences of my life! Even though I was both the lead actress and executive producer this time around, I felt extra confident; not only was I well prepared, but all the incredibly talented cast and crew were more than willing to take the time to sit down and chat. The relationship between each character and the details of the scene arrangement.

HB: Look Both Ways takes Natalie’s “unexpected pregnancy” as the intersection, and imagines how two completely different paths of having a baby or not will have an impact on her life. How do you understand Look Both Ways‘s interpretation of young women making choices for themselves?

LR: It’s beautiful that Natalie was able to choose whether or not to have children. The overturning of “Roe v. Wade” (Editor’s note: currently, women in the United States are not allowed to have the right to abortion) undoubtedly makes Look Both Ways seem unreal, especially for young women like Natalie who live in Texas. You cannot decide whether to have an abortion. You will be forced to give birth to a child, no matter what the consequences. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, our director Wanuri Kahiu sent me a message saying that the film must endorse Pro-choice. We firmly believe in this. It is outrageous and disturbing that many women living in certain states are not able to make choices about their bodies.
HB: What valuable inspiration do you think Generation Z can gain from Look Both Ways?

LR: Many young people are living under tremendous pressure during the global epidemic, and they feel sad and confused because they have missed what should be their best years. We have to be careful in social situations, which makes it extra difficult to make friends or maintain good relationships. We face too many unknowns about the future. I hope that Look Both Ways can give the audience hope and believe that there are still many beautiful possibilities in the world. When the road seems rocky, you have to trust that the universe is guiding you in the right direction and everything will eventually fall into place. I know it’s hard not to fall into a spiral of pessimism – I still suffer from depression and severe anxiety myself – but like Natalie, it can be easier to feel better when we believe that things can get better.
HB: Like Natalie from Look Both Ways, you moved to Los Angeles when you were 18. Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you stayed in Ohio?

LR: I lived in North Carolina with my parents before moving to Los Angeles. I moved there when I was 16 because of my father’s job. To be honest, if I still lived in North Carolina, I would be very unhappy! Since I had wanted to live in Los Angeles since I was a kid, my time in North Carolina made my anxiety disorder worse. No matter what job I found, it was difficult to continue doing it because I kept thinking, “I don’t want to be here” or “This is not where I should be.” I am incredibly grateful to this day that I was able to move to Los Angeles and pursue my dream.
HB: What “what ifs” have made you think over and over in your life?

LR: I often fantasize about where I would be if I hadn’t been on Riverdale, if I hadn’t moved to Los Angeles, if my parents hadn’t supported my career as an actor. Every insignificant choice in life has shaped who we are today, but I have no regrets. Every time I make a mistake, face rejection, win, or lose a loved one, I grow a little—even those darkest moments.
HB: You currently have 28.8 million followers on Instagram and have openly discussed your struggles with mental illness. Can you give Generation Z three tips for using online communities healthily?

LR: 1. Only follow accounts that inspire you or put you in a good mood.
2. Remember that privacy is a beautiful thing, and some beautiful moments just need to be kept to yourself.
3. There are many accounts on the Internet that discuss mental health. If you are also suffering from mental illness, you may want to check out their practical suggestions!

HB: What’s next for you?

LR: The final season of Riverdale will begin filming this fall and wrap up next summer. At the same time, I have been developing projects through my production company, Small Victory Productions, in full swing for the past year and a half, and I hope to launch a new show after Riverdale wraps up! I feel that the world is a stage where I can express myself to my heart’s content. But at this moment, I just want to take a good rest, travel around this summer, get together with friends and family, and enjoy this short period of peace before the storm comes again!