Growing up, I always had this idea that I needed to be dating someone in order to feel valid–and a lot of that had to do with the representation of teenagers on TV. You almost never saw a high school girl that wasn’t either in a relationship or pining over one. With Riverdale, I hope we instill a completely different notion in our youth; you don’t need a relationship to be happy, and that being a strong, independent woman is powerful. I really love that about this show.
Cheryl is a broken and lonely young woman trying to find herself. She lashes out and manipulates everyone as a defense mechanism, because she’s been hurt so much in the past. But apart from that, she’s very sassy, and I definitely relate to her on that level. She’s fearless and not afraid to speak her mind.