After far, far too lengthy, the Pussycats are again! The enduring Archie Comics band has been on the again burner of The CW’s Riverdale since Season 2 (aside from a quick, alternate iteration on spinoff Katy Keene), however due to this week’s “Return of the Pussycats, we lastly acquired to see Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), Valerie Brown (Hayley Legislation) and Melody Valentine (Asha Bromfield) again collectively, on stage, the place they belong.
Within the episode, and spoilers previous this level, Josie is now a world music famous person, having way back left her associates and hometown behind. Solely in the midst of a world tour, she abruptly leaves — we later be taught that her father all of the sudden handed away — and returns to Riverdale. There, she lays down a number of arduous truths for the gang, that they have been by no means actually associates; and in flip is learn the riot act by Valerie and Melody, who she deserted as effectively.
“A lot of what that episode was parallels what articles have written and followers have complained about,” Murray instructed Decider. “And that’s the factor that I really feel like lots of people neglect is that actors are nonetheless human beings. We’re expressing our personal private vulnerability by work.”
After the preliminary tough spots are labored over, and Josie reconnects with what she used to like in regards to the City With Pep, the band decides to assist Archie (KJ Apa) out by throwing a profit live performance at bar The Whyte Wyrm. And there, we get all of it: full on Josie and the Pussycats costumes, the theme tune, and everybody shedding it within the crowd.
However that’s not all! Proper on the finish of the episode, in basic Riverdale trend, we’re thrown roughly a million curveballs. First, Josie decides to place the world tour on maintain, and as an alternative tour with Josie and the Pussycats. Valerie’s boyfriend/perhaps fiancé Alan M decides to tour with them, Melody goes to make use of the tour as a e book tour as effectively (in a cheeky nod to actual life, Bromfield not too long ago launched a novel titled Hurricane Summer time whereas Melody’s e book is titled Summer time Storm) whereas leaving her girlfriend behind, Josie goes to unfold her father’s ashes at his favourite music venues, and even Sweet Pea (Jordan Connor) hops on the tour bus, as does Josie’s mom Sierra McCoy (Robin Givens).
…Then an previous buddy of Josie’s dad exhibits up named Toots Sweet (Ron Selmour) and tells Josie that her father didn’t die of pure causes: he was most likely murdered in New Orleans, and voodoo might have been concerned.
“It’s typical Riverdale,” Murray mentioned of the ending. “There’s all the time some bizarre curve ball, some unusual individual popping out of the shadows after 25 minutes, you put together your self to count on one thing weird to occur subsequent.”
The episode ends not with the Riverdale brand, although, however with a brand new Pussycats brand. So is a by-product coming, after that ending appeared like essentially the most backdoor pilot that ever backdoored a pilot? Learn on to search out out extra about what it was like coming again to the sequence, filming among the episode’s iconic musical numbers, and sure, ideas on a possible third Archie-verse sequence.
Decider: There are such a lot of parallels on this episode, between Josie coming again to Riverdale and also you, after all, coming again to the present Riverdale. So simply talking very usually, what was it like tackling this episode for you?
Ashleigh Murray: It was emotional. It was very emotional. It was scary. It was arduous. It was thrilling. It was loads.
Did you’ve gotten any hesitancy about coming again? As a fan, after all, I’m fully thrilled, however I’m curious to listen to the way you felt once they first approached you in regards to the concept.
There had been a number of talks about me coming again and I didn’t wish to, after which when Roberto approached me with this concept of having the ability to present Josie because the Josie that she is within the comics, an precise super-star, we’ve solely been in a position to see her attempt to get there, even with Katy Keene, that was actually intriguing to me. And I felt prefer it was an opportunity for Josie to regain company in an area that she by no means had any.
What was the primary day again on set like for you?
It was so many months in the past, it seems like. The primary day on set, actually, I can’t even keep in mind… All of us needed to do a 14 day quarantine earlier than we may even depart to do fittings and rehearsals and all of that. And I keep in mind the primary day that I walked exterior after being again in Canada for 2 weeks. That was actually surreal. I didn’t even know how you can course of my feelings. It was bizarre. It was like I used to be strolling round in my very own déjà vu and I wasn’t certain the place I used to be or how you can really feel about it. It was weird.
We additionally get Asha Bromfield and Hayley Legislation again on this episode, what was it like reuniting with them?
It was nice. It was good to have the ability to see them, and for them to have the identical storytelling and probability to be seen totally as Josie.
There are a variety of scenes which are very mandatory to speak about, however arduous to look at, like the place Josie tears into the gang on the Whyte Wyrm, or Valerie and Melody actually put Josie on blast for abandoning them. Was it troublesome so that you can movie these scenes?
Sure. Yeah, it was, as a result of a lot of what that episode was parallels what articles have written and followers have complained about. And that’s the factor that I really feel like lots of people neglect is that actors are nonetheless human beings. We’re expressing our personal private vulnerability by work. And so, once we’re going by stress and trauma and melancholy and all of these items and no matter’s happening at work is or isn’t serving to? And now you’ve gotten this opportunity to restore any of that ache. It’s arduous to do it when it seems like the entire world is watching. It was intense. It was actually intense.
However then, the opposite facet of it too, I get to be in a room with folks that I grew up on this present with, though I used to be a lot, a lot older than everybody else, all of us began it collectively and to be having this second, no matter what’s on the web page, simply having the ability to even be within the room with one another, once more, for me, it was very nice.
I wished to ask you about a few the numbers specifically. The primary large one that you simply get proper into there’s “It’s All Coming Again to Me Now” by Celine Dion. And I’ll admit, I began to get a bit of teary-eyed watching the entire journey of Josie over the course of the years. What was it like filming for you?
What’s fascinating is that once we filmed all of that, I keep in mind each single shot that we did. I keep in mind each single second, each selection that I made. And it’s arduous while you return and also you watch what they’re solely in a position to maintain, as a result of there’s a time restrict. And there are moments that I want have been nonetheless there; however I didn’t know that it was going to be intercut with montages of scenes that I had shot all through the years of being on Riverdale. And that fully made up for not seeing, “Oh, I keep in mind once I touched the counter right here.” Or like, “Oh, I keep in mind, I want that they had gotten one once I come into the room as a result of we had labored on that timing a lot.” I used to be in a position to let go of not having the ability to see the complete dance numbers that myself and our choreographer, Heather [Laura Gray], managed to drag collectively, after which additionally the digital camera crew making an attempt to observe us.
So it was very troublesome to hit the factors that I wanted to to ensure that it to come back out effectively, however to see Josie and — I maintain eager to name him Jordan [Connor], as a result of that’s his actual identify — however to see myself and Jordan once we’re dancing at Pop’s and to see the entire flashbacks, it made me emotional as a result of I may keep in mind, “oh, I keep in mind the place I used to be that day.” I keep in mind how I felt that day. I keep in mind how enjoyable it was to do this. Or, “oh, that was so unhappy” or, “oh, look how cute I’m.” It was all of these moments that I wasn’t anticipating to have. It was actually, actually stunning. So, what we shot after which what is definitely on the display is surprisingly totally different.
On the flip facet, you’ve gotten the simplicity of Nina Simone’s “Stars, which Josie is singing for her father, and it actually feels such as you’re placing completely every thing into.
That was truly actually robust as a result of I didn’t understand the emotional state that [director] Robin [Givens] wished, the emotional mindset that Robin noticed Josie in at that second. And I recorded the tune previous to taking pictures the scene. So I recorded it very in a different way. I noticed it as a really intimate, small, private second. After which once we acquired there on the day, she was like, “No, I would like it large and it’s unhappy and also you see her dad. It’s simply torture.” I used to be like, “Oh my God.” That’s not how I recorded it. That isn’t what I noticed. So Robin and I needed to discover a center floor and make it make sense. I truly ended up going again into the studio and rerecording it… I can’t keep in mind if that’s truly what’s juxtaposed with the scene, however it appears to be like good to me. I feel it turned out as highly effective as you wished it to be.
After which you’ve gotten a enjoyable one, you get to sing the Josie and the Pussycats theme tune lastly. What was it like getting to do this in entrance of all people, with Asha and Hayley?
Effectively, the theme tune technically is what performs within the opening of previous to us performing collectively.
Yeah. It’s simply that’s truly the Pussycats theme tune, which was actually enjoyable to do as a result of it’s a unique take… It’s the identical lyrics, however it’s moodier, it’s a bit of bit extra edgy rocker-ish. And that I preferred singing. I favor singing vocally, however the tune that we truly carried out as a bunch was a variety of enjoyable, it was positively the peppiest, funnest tune that I feel all of us collectively agreed that we loved performing.
I wished to ask you in regards to the final 5 minutes of the episode, which simply wildly packs a lot exposition in there that it looks as if it’s establishing as potential spinoff. What was it like filming that? And what did you discuss on set, if something?
We didn’t discuss something on set and filming that, I didn’t actually assume a lot previous it. It’s typical Riverdale. There’s all the time some bizarre curve ball, some unusual individual popping out of the shadows after 25 minutes, you put together your self to count on one thing weird to occur subsequent. I feel my favourite factor, the selection that I made in that second was to talk to the truth of how weird this city is. And I consider my final line was, though I’m saying let’s get out of right here earlier than the bus begins to replenish or turns into too full, I selected that second to essentially say like, “We simply must get the hell out of right here earlier than one thing else loopy occurs.” As a result of we all know that if we keep any longer, one thing else goes to come back up. So, it’s typical Riverdale.
If this sneaky backdoor pilot kind technique works, and followers begin demanding a Pussycats spinoff, would you be all in favour of that? Or have you ever moved on in your profession at this level?
I don’t know. It’s not one thing that I’ve thought of an excessive amount of. I went into it as having the ability to give this episode and provides Josie the justice that all of us really feel she deserves, and no matter occurs after that, occurs.
This interview has been edited for readability and size.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
https://decider.com/2021/09/08/riverdale-ashleigh-murray-return-of-the-pussycats-interview-spoilers/ | ‘Riverdale’ Ashleigh Murray “Return Of The Pussycats” Interview Spoilers