The day that Cole Sprouse landed the role of Jughead Jones in The CW’s ‘Riverdale,’ the news came out that the comics were identifying the character as asexual, ie., he was not attracted to men or women. However, that won’t be the role that the 24-year-old actor is taking on.
“Jughead will have romances with women . . . and burgers,” Cole Sprouse told HollywoodLife.com in an exclusive interview during Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, adding that he actually fought for the character’s asexuality, but knew it wasn’t his jon to make those types of decision. “I come from an educational environment that really praises, as do I, the forms of representation that are otherwise lacking in our public media. But at the end of the day, I still had to do my job.”
However, Cole has hope that down the road, it’s possible Jughead could still be asexual, and he will keep “fighting for this pretty heavily.”
“I think there’s still a lot of room in Riverdale for that [though],” Cole said. “Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value, and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and very unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes. I think sexuality, especially, is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives,” he said.
“If season one is one of those events or something like that needs to happen in season one for Jughead to eventually realize that kind of narrative, I’d love to play with that too,” he added. Ultimately though, he knows his job is to “breathe life into the words on the page,” and trusts the showrunners and EPs — especially since they’re also the creative officers of Archie Comics.
As for what we do know about Cole, he sees Jughead as “an old friend who’s kind of worse for wear,” which is definitely a good way to put it. “His society’s not been too nice to him because he’s pretty anti-establishment and rebellious. Life has been pretty hard. He’s got a really super strong moral fiber and he holds on to that; he values friendships, and he’s super choosy about the people he lets in… but when he lets them in, he goes full throttle with it.”
HollywoodLifers, do you want to see an asexual Jughead? Riverdale premieres on The CW on Jan. 26 at 9PM ET.