Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the April 25 episode of Riverdale. Read at your own risk.
On Riverdale, the true currency of the town is secrets — and on Wednesday night’s episode, a ton of them were spilled, including the true identity of the father of Alice Cooper’s (Madchen Amick) high school baby and the dark truth about the boy claiming to be Chic Cooper (Hart Denton).
Chic is not the long-lost love child of Alice Cooper and F.P. Jones (Skeet Ulrich) as he claimed to be, but rather the real child’s (a.k.a. Charles Smith) former roommate and possible murderer. When EW called up Denton to get him to spill some Riverdale maple syrup about his big episode, he revealed that he had been as much in the dark about Chic’s real backstory as the Cooper clan.
“I did not know this for the long haul. Everything was kept pretty close to the chest by [creator] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] and the writers,” Denton said. “They wanted me to be in a space of not knowing anything at all with what was going on, and I found out, essentially, as the script came out.” That said, Denton suspected something was definitely up. “I could sort of piece some things together in prior episodes,” he said. “Own my own I started to think, hmm, something is probably a bit off here.”
And since this is Riverdale, Denton and fans shouldn’t be too quick to assume that this is the absolute truth about Chic. “You never know with Riverdale,” he cautioned. “You don’t know what’s going to happen.” Denton also broke down his thoughts on the F.P. love-child reveal, what scene had him “spraying” blood, and what might lie ahead for the boy we last saw sprinting into the woods in a desperate gambit to save his life.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Even though you’re not the baby in question, what did you think about the F.P. reveal? Were you excited to learn that he was the real father?
Hart Denton: I was. I love Skeet; he’s amazing. I have been able to spend a lot of time with him in Vancouver while we were shooting, but I didn’t get to do a lot of scenes with him. I wish I could have so many more with him because he’s such a great actor. I did hope for that storyline a bit because I love the dynamic between Alice and F.P. I think it’s special. We’ll see where they go with it in season 3 and stuff, but I’m petitioning more scenes with Skeet.
As the pieces start to click into place, Chic faces a physically intense interrogation in the Cooper basement at the hands of Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse). What was it like filming those scenes?
It was the best. We had the best time with it. We had so much fun. I love Lili and Cole so much, and they’re truly a joy to work with. They make every scene so fun. That’s a very intense scene, but in between takes we’re laughing and joking and getting to know one another. We didn’t rehearse, really, any of the fighting. Cole and I were like, “Let’s just do it, let’s just go.” It all felt very real and very organic, and I’ve heard actors talk about how scenes like that can kind of come across as not very natural, but it felt great when we were doing it. They’re both so wonderful.
You end up pretty brutalized, with a very bloody face. How was that?
There was a lot of blood in my mouth that I was having to spit out continuously, and at first I was trying to aim at this one area so that we could keep the mess minimal for cleaning purposes. Then as we started doing takes, I just started spraying it everywhere. There was just blood all over. We had to change my outfit a few times. It was all over my pants.
You tell Betty, Alice, and Cooper that the real long-lost prodigal son OD’d. How difficult is it to say the line “He OD’d on Jingle Jangle” with a straight face?
[Laughs] There’s a lot of takes that whoever is playing opposite of me, whether it’s Lili or Cole or Madchen or whoever, that a smile is cracked. We’ve got to go, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, can we reset that?” It happens a little bit. But you say the line so many times with wide shots and different angles that eventually it gets to a point where you’ve heard it so many times, that now it’s like, “Okay, let’s go.” But definitely the first couple of times, it’s like, “What?!” Especially when they’re smiling on the other side. They don’t make it easy on me sometimes.
Were you shocked by the turn of events, and that Betty could be so cold-hearted as to turn Chic over to the Black Hood?
She does what she has to do to protect her family, of course. That’s the M.O. with Betty at all times. But we see the heart that she has. Over the course of our relationship on Riverdale, we had a lot of ups and down, but she has a heart for me that she sends me away, but she still lets me sort of choose my own fate.
Many viewers postulated that Chic might be the Black Hood, but given that he was now being chased by him, that theory is definitely out. At any time, did you ever think, or were you led to believe, that you might be the Black Hood?
I never thought I was the Black Hood. I thought maybe I had some sort of association or affiliation with it. I had asked a few of the writers and Roberto about that, and they never even made it seem like that was anything that I was necessarily a part of. But I liked that. I like that I’m not a good guy, necessarily, but I’m not the Black Hood. So there’s some middle ground there, where there’s a bit of room for redemption.
Is Chic truly gone for good? Did the Black Hood kill him?
I think we’re going to have to wait and see.
What would you tell viewers who are either disappointed or excited that this might be the end of Chic?
Just hang in there with him. It’s so funny because people come up to me on the street and they’re like, “Please tell me something’s going to be good with this guy. Because we really like you, but this guy’s a creep, so please tell me there’s some sort of redemption or something coming.” And I’ve just got to be like, “Hang in there.” Just have some hope, have some faith something will happen, because I’m right there with you.
Whether or not he’s really gone, do you think there’s still a lot more to learn about Chic? Do you still have a lot of unanswered questions?
Absolutely. I think there’s so much more. I’ve got more questions now after this episode than I did [before it]. Yes, we get a lot of answers in this episode, but we also get a lot more questions. I want to know everything. I want to know so much more about him. He drops little pieces of it — about being close with his brother and getting in a fight and them not being able to get along and things getting out of hand and him wanting to come be in this family. There’s so much. I’m about to call Roberto; I’m trying to get Chic a spin-off. [Laughs]
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.