V Girls: Madelaine Petsch

V Girls: Madelaine Petsch

Riverdale’s rich bitch reveals her sweet side.

Riverdale’s rich bitch reveals her sweet side.

Photography: HART+LESHKINA

Styling: John Colver

Text: Maxwell Williams

Within the Archie Comics universe, Cheryl Blossom was a very minor player. On Riverdale, the CW’s twisty-turny whodunit adaptation, Madelaine Petsch has turned her into a breakout character. “Cheryl was in the comics for about four years, but she was written off because she was too sexy,” says Petsch. “A lot of people who read the comics don’t even know who she is, so I was able to make her my own person, whereas Betty, Veronica, Archie, and Jughead have this pressure to portray these beloved characters the way that the fans want them to.” Petsch made the role her own, vamping as the show’s villainess—and loyalists and newbies alike are eating it up.

Raised in a suburb of Seattle, Petsch began performing in front of her parents at the age of five. “I’ve known what I wanted to do literally since I could talk,” she says. “The impact that movies, film, and TV have on me—the way that they can toy with my emotions—is beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to do that for other people.” And that she does. With her plenteous red mane, Petsch is both striking and recognizable. Combined with her enthralling screen presence, it’s clear why she’s a Riverdale favorite. Where that will take her next, she hopes, will be varied and complex. “I’d love to challenge myself and play characters that overcome experiences like homelessness or abuse because social justice is really important to me. Anything that’s the opposite of Cheryl.”

COAT SIMONE ROCHA HOODIE ARMANI EXCHANGE EARRING HANNAH JEWETT
Credits:
Makeup Natasha Severino (Forward Artists) Hair Dennis Gots (The Wall Group) Production Lindsay Heimer Stylist assistant Megan King Makeup assistant Julia Flaherty Location Aesthesia North Light Studio

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