On this week’s episode of Riverdale, Alice Smith (Mädchen Amick) has determined to depart the already tenuous actuality of The CW’s hit sequence for one thing much more fantastical. Particularly, after the death of her daughter Polly (Tiera Skovbye), she’s retreated to a musical fantasy world impressed by the Broadway hit Subsequent to Regular, full with ’50s apparel, and Polly alive, singing and dancing along with her now non-serial killing son Charles (Wyatt Nash).
“I loved taking part in Alice in these scenes as a result of it’s simply one thing that Alice wants a lot,” Amick instructed Decider. “Again collectively, and completely satisfied, and cooking, and there have been moments I used to be like, ‘Possibly we simply want to depart Alice on this world. Let’s not transfer on. Let’s maintain her right here.’”
Over the course of the hour, Alice’s daughter Betty (Lili Reinhart) desperately tries completely different strategies of bringing Alice again to actuality, from presenting her with Polly’s ashes, to bodily grabbing her face to tug her focus away from the specters of her different youngsters. It’s a heartbreaking journey for Alice and Betty that in the end ends within the realization that they’ll by no means be completely satisfied — however they will at the least goal for the subsequent neatest thing.
In mild of this intense hour, we talked to Amick about filming with Reinhart, the way it ties into her actual life psychological well being basis, and slightly bit about what’s subsequent for Alice — and Amick — in Riverdale Season 6.
Decider: Earlier than we get into the episode correct, I needed to ask you about don’t MiND me basis, and the associated podcast. What led to its creation? And the way, if something, has it impacted your tackle Alice?
Mädchen Amick: It’s virtually like a really kismet factor that occurred in a approach, however on the similar time, it goes to indicate you ways prevalent psychological well being is in all of our lives; whether or not it’s in our private lives, or weaved into our storytelling for movie and tv. However about 10 years in the past, my son was recognized with bipolar dysfunction, and we have been a really tight knit household — my husband, my daughter, my son, and myself. And that that was the case as a result of we love one another, but additionally we traveled the world collectively, little gypsy life… Artists as we’re, have to choose up and go some other place.
So we actually relied on one another as a household core. When this occurred to our son, at first it was simply so complicated, we didn’t know what was happening, he was a freshman in school, and it took some time to truly get a correct prognosis. After which from there, it took even longer and continues to be an issue looking for the best remedy. What occurred as a household is, we simply instantly jumped into being advocates and attempting to unfold the phrase, and attempt to unfold our story, to attempt to assist others navigate. On this final 12 months or two, we’re discovering that we’re nonetheless 10 years later, operating into the identical obstacles and seeing our psychological healthcare system worsen and worse.
We simply have been so adamant that we needed to attempt to do one thing about it. So we began a nonprofit basis, don’t MiND me, And our foremost aim is to boost funds for direct influence the place we are able to sponsor individuals and join them to remedy, and really sponsor the funding to get them by means of remedy. As a result of it’s simply so extremely costly, that it simply doesn’t make entry for everybody. In order that’s our foremost aim now, we ultimately are going to advocate at Capitol Hill and alter some legal guidelines in our nation, after which globally attempt to make some change and get correct assist inside our system to individuals. However that’s what impressed this little household unit of 4 to attempt to make a change on the earth.
So how has that impacted your tackle Alice?
Yeah, so it’s fascinating as a result of I believe it made me understand much more… I clearly obtained extra delicate to the best way psychological well being is depicted in movie and tv. And I used to be getting so bored with seeing villains, simply get some psychological sickness slapped onto them and, “Oh, that’s why they’re such a foul particular person. It’s as a result of they’ve this psychological sickness.” Seeing how [showrunner] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] incorporates completely different topical, social, themes in Riverdale, whether or not it’s navigating your approach by means of popping out to your mother and father that you simply’re homosexual, or simply these psychological well being breaks that households undergo… Alice, I believe, is without doubt one of the most tragic characters, and essentially the most enjoyable to play and has such an enormous journey. However she’s had a whole lot of tragedy and loss.
This episode … she offers with loss. We’ve seen this final week that Betty and Alice have formally misplaced Polly, Alice’s daughter. This episode is a real psychological well being break, how Alice is coping with that loss. It’s given me fairly the backstory, and virtually science behind what occurs within the mind, with loss, and trauma, and issues that may come from that. I’ve been capable of apply all of that data to Alice, and never simply play a floor, stereotypical model of it, however actually have the ability to dig deep into actual experiences of my very own and issues that I’ve come to study [about] in nice element.
The episode which is totally heartbreaking, however there’s part of myself as a viewer that, like Alice, actually loves seeing the Coopers completely satisfied for the primary time.
Sure! I do know.
What was it like filming these fantasy sequences with Wyatt, Tiera and Lili?
It was enjoyable! It felt like very previous Riverdale, authentic Riverdale, when the Coopers have been offered to be this image excellent household. I loved taking part in Alice in these scenes as a result of it’s simply one thing that Alice wants a lot, and she or he created it in her fantasy world… Again collectively, and completely satisfied, and cooking, and there have been moments I used to be like, “Possibly we simply want to depart Alice on this world. Let’s not transfer on. Let’s maintain her right here.” It was enjoyable having all people again, as an enormous completely satisfied household.
Then again, you may have these way more lifelike scenes between you and Lili which might be so uncooked. I used to be simply curious to listen to you discuss concerning the stage of belief between the 2 of you as actors, as a result of I think about at this level it’s off the charts.
Oh yeah, yeah. I imply, Lili and I are so related. It was a very simple relationship, we have been drawn to one another instantly once we first met, once we began working collectively, and we now have actually leaned on one another in entrance of the digital camera and in our scenes, and have one another’s again as actors and performers. I completely couldn’t have gotten to that efficiency with out Lili by my facet. I imply, it’s the primary ingredient. Alice and Betty are related on the hip, and we actually belief one another in entrance of the digital camera. And by the best way, our very long time DP [Ronald Paul Richard], our director of pictures on Riverdale, this was his directorial debut. So it was the three of us that have been very related within the story, and simply bawling on and off digital camera.
Switching the lighting between fantasy and actuality, going from this shiny world to this dimmer world… Was that performed on set, or in publish? And the way did that assist you inform Alice?
There have been particular occasions that it was sensible lighting on set, virtually like an enormous highlight, and the whole lot else goes to darkish round her. So, that was all sensible. I do know that Ron additionally designed the completely different lighting ideas, whilst we have been filming. After which a whole lot of that simply occurs in publish. You get to paint, and play with it, and tweak it and exaggerate it. So it was slightly little bit of each. It was good in these moments when it was actually dramatic, as a result of it simply put me proper within the emotion.
The quantity that I needed to ask you about specifically that completely destroyed me was “I Am The One,” as Alice retains turning to have a look at Polly and Charles, however Betty bodily is popping her head to give attention to her. What was it like filming that?
Nicely, simply basically, I’m not an achieved singer. Lili is such a phenomenal, stunning singer. And so simply to need to sing after which carry out it in entrance of our crew, was so scary… You place your belief in like, “I hope they’re not judging me an excessive amount of.” However you get misplaced within the efficiency and also you get misplaced within the scene, the best way that it’s choreographed, and I’ve to step outdoors of my very own insecurities and provides it the whole lot within the emotion… And know that the entire level to it isn’t my potential to sing, however conveying the emotion of the scene itself. All of that was nice. I believed the whole lot was designed very well, and the way Betty needed to break into Alice’s fantasy to desperately attempt to deliver her again.
On the finish of the episode, Betty decides to by no means go away Riverdale and stick with Alice. Do you assume she made the best selection? It definitely is what Alice wants now, however is it what Betty wants?
[Laughs] Nicely, yeah, I do know. Selfishly for Alice, I’m glad she made that selection. It’s simply laborious to think about any of the characters leaving Riverdale to be trustworthy, I believe we now have to provide you with methods to maintain them round, at the least for a pair extra years. However on the similar time, Betty did exit on her personal, and there was a whole lot of trauma and drama that occurred by means of her whereas she was gone. So I like the concept of her staying near her mama bear. Alice and Betty navigate the world very well collectively, and have one another’s backs when we have to. So I believe it was a superb resolution. I’ll say: sure. She made the best resolution.
The ultimate quantity, with everybody standing on the grave virtually capabilities as a curtain name in a sure approach. And it’s actually distinctive and particular as a viewer to see all the solid collectively like that. What was it like filming an enormous group scene, notably after a 12 months of COVID principally saved all people aside?
It was simply nice to all be again working collectively basically. I adore it when there are scenes the place it brings the entire solid collectively. It doesn’t occur typically anymore. Clearly Alice and Betty have been very emotional in it, and so simply to remain in that head area whereas we needed to do all of the completely different photographs with all of the completely different solid members, is difficult as a performer. Nevertheless it was actually particular to be doing all of it collectively, and I believed it turned out superbly.
This isn’t particularly concerning the episode, however now that you’ve got directed the present a few occasions, do you discover that all of it impacts the way you’re approaching issues on set?
I’ve at all times been delicate to the challenges of filming a TV present, and all of the issues which have to come back collectively, so I’ve at all times been very acutely aware of that anyway. My thoughts has at all times been inquisitive about what you do behind the scenes, and the way you execute it. However I’ve gained an enormous appreciation for a way laborious each single crew member works. I at all times knew that, as an idea, as an actor, however you’re a bit in several worlds the place an actor’s off preparing… Whether or not it’s bodily preparing, or mentally preparing and getting ready to come back on the stage, you work together for a bit and then you definately go away; the place directing, I get to take a seat with the crew from the second we step on set to the second we’re performed for eight to 10 days in a row. The appreciation that I’ve gained by seeing how a lot they care, and the way laborious they work day, after day, after day, has been a extremely nice enriching expertise.
Are we going to see you direct one other episode in Season 6?
I hope so. We’ve undoubtedly been speaking about it, and possibly it’ll be a couple of this season, we’ll see. [I’m] simply ready for the invitation to come back again, however I’d like to.
Followers have been undoubtedly… let’s say , in a nonetheless from the finale of Alice and Frank standing collectively, and I consider you teased that there was a brand new romance coming in Season 6. So is Fralice coming? Or will Alice’s coronary heart at all times be with FP?
That’s a extremely good query… I don’t know if I can fully reply, solely as a result of I don’t know what’s in Roberto’s head, however I’ll say at the start of this new season, there’s undoubtedly fairly a little bit of some flirtation taking place between Alice and Frank. So Fralice could also be on the rise.
Something you’d say to Falice shippers in that case, to calm their nerves?
I’d say that I believe Alice’s coronary heart is at all times going to be with FP. We’re all on this collectively, and all of us are secretly rooting for the reunion of Falice, however Alice does want to maneuver on. It’s been [seven] years since FP left. Don’t we need to see Alice completely satisfied?
She deserves happiness. Completely.
She deserves happiness!
This interview has been edited for readability and size.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
https://decider.com/2021/09/29/riverdale-madchen-amick-next-to-normal-interview/ | ‘Riverdale’ Madchen Amick “Subsequent to Regular” Interview Spoilers