Riverdale star Marisol Nichols' real-life undercover work fighting sex trafficking to be TV series
To Riverdale fans all over the world, Marisol Nichols is known as Hermione Lodge, Veronica's mother. But she's also been putting her acting skills to use in ways that go above and beyond the duties of her day job, working as an undercover agent to fight sex trafficking. And now she's developing a TV series based on her experience.
EW has confirmed that Nichols is set to executive produce a series currently in development with Sony Pictures Television inspired by a Marie Claire feature story about her volunteer undercover work. Over the last five years, she said she's participated in six child-sex stings around the world. Inspired by research she previously did for her roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Cold Case, Nichols told the outlet she began doing the work when her career slowed down around 2012. She also opened up to Marie Claire about her own experience of being raped when she was 11, saying, "It changed the entire trajectory of my life in a day."
Nichols revealed in the article that she's been working with the FBI, Operation Underground Railroad, and local law enforcement to hunt child sex predators, acting as the "bait" in operations both in America and globally. She's played "the role of parent pimping out a child or, depending on what the situation calls for, the role of child being pimped out to a guy: a dirtbag on his way to a dismal motel to have sex with an 11-year-old girl who doesn’t exist." And she did this all while starring on Riverdale.
"These guys look like normal people," Nichols said of the men who show up to the stings. "And you’re pretending that you just happily and eagerly set up children for them to have sex with," she said. "To watch his eyes ... you want to kick him in the balls and beat the hell out of him."
Nichols revealed that her personal goal is to catch the "a--hole that would show up knowing that this kid is being held against her will. I go after those guys because, to me, they are the most dangerous."
In addition to her undercover work, Nichols also started a nonprofit, Foundation for a Slavery Free World, and has regularly spoken publicly about the issue of sex trafficking, warning parents to monitor and restrict their kids' social media activity as a way to prevent them from becoming victims.
Nichols has starred on Riverdale since the series premiere. It was recently announced that she is exiting the drama after season 4. "I had an incredible time bringing Hermione Lodge to life and working with my amazing cast, who became family," Nichols said in a statement. "We had so many wonderful times together during the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We really do have the best fans ever. I am looking forward to the next chapter and am excited about the future."