WARNING: RIVERDALE SEASON 4 SPOILERS
Season four of “Riverdale” returns next week and the anticipation is REAL.
Having already featured a slew of mysterious videotapes, long lost family members, and Chad Michael Murray dressed like Evel Knievel on a rocket ship, there is truly no telling where the season could go next. Especially when it comes to the mystery that has been unfolding at Stonewall Prep School.
Andrew & Kinsey had the opportunity to chat with Doralynn Mui who portrays Stonewall student Joan Berkeley about her experiences working on the show and what to expect from the Stonewall saga in the rest of season four.
Check out our interview below and make sure to tune into the mid-season premiere of “Riverdale” Wednesday, January 27th!
What first inspired you to pursue a career in acting?
I wish I had some great life changing story about this, but the fact is I just thought acting was fun and went for it! I had always loved entertaining people, acting out soap operas for my friends and that sort of stuff, but I never thought that acting could be a career that “normal” people could just pursue. After high school, my sister had found a website called Vancouver Actor’s Guide where I learned more about the actual process of being a working actor, and I started doing indie projects just for fun. I eventually realized that I didn’t want to do anything else with my life, and I’m still here doing it!
How did the opportunity to audition for “Riverdale” come about? What was the audition process like?
The audition process was super simple. I had put my audition on tape, but it was originally for the role of Donna. A week later, my agent texted me that I had been pinned for a role. I didn’t think much of it – to stay sane, I can’t dwell on these things. Later that day, I was on my way home from Home Depot with a brand new plant, and my agent called to let me know I’d gotten the role of Joan! I’m happy to say that my rubber tree is still alive, and that I’m having so much fun on the show.
Was it nerve wracking at all coming into an established show that has such a big fan-base? Did you have familiarity with the show beforehand?
You know, every time I start on any new project, it’s scary for me because it feels like being the new kid on the first day of school. For “Riverdale” I was so lucky to get to jump in with 3 other Canadian actors, and I had worked with Alex [Barima] on Adventures in Public School and Sean [Depner] on Deadly Class before, so it was nice to be on set with some friendly faces. I also got a really fuzzy welcome from the fan-base on Instagram even before I started shooting, so I was definitely more excited than nervous to be joining the show. “Riverdale” had been on my radar since the first season. I had actually been pinned for a role when they were casting the pilot. I’m happy to finally get to be part of it!
What is it like being on a show as unpredictable as “Riverdale?” What was your reaction when you read in the script that Mr. Chipping was going to be jumping out a window?
I’d heard through the grapevine that he was going to “jump out a window” before I read it in the script, but I assumed that meant Chipping had taken up parkour or something like that! When I read it in the script, I think I gasped out loud. I have to keep reminding myself that literally anything can happen in this show, you just have to be open to it!
Speaking of Mr. Chipping, what was it like working with Sam Witwer?
He is the best. I aspire to be as cool as him one day 😛
Honestly, he had such a wise way of speaking and dry sense of humor. When he’s acting, he has such a unique way of making the most of the language. I learned a lot from him.
All of the Stonewall Prep characters have such a hilarious pretentiousness to them. Is there anything or anybody that you draw inspiration from for a role like that?
Wait, I’ve just been playing myself this whole time! (Just kidding.) But to be honest, one of the perks of being an actor is that you get to explore the most icky parts of yourself without any consequences. I always just try to empathize with the characters I play – like how would I behave if all my life, I was constantly told that everyone was beneath me? I think the Joan in me is just the ‘Smug Doralynn’ that comes out when I’m winning a board game.
Being that your character is a writer, do you have any favorite writers/books?
I LOVE reading. Sometimes I’ll cancel plans just so I can stay in and binge read (I’m so sorry!) I don’t really have any favorite authors or books. I’m a little all over the place with what I like to read, but murder mysteries or YA fantasies almost never let me down.
What has been your favorite part about working on “Riverdale?”
The humans! The cast, crew, producers – they’re all such amazing and talented people, most of the time I can’t believe I get to be there. Also, THE FOOD ON SET.
The next episode will feature a football game between Stonewall Prep and Riverdale High. Is there any possibility of seeing the Stonewall characters interacting with more of the Riverdale gang?
There definitely is a possibility, but I can’t tell you it’s gonna be pretty.
What else can we expect from the Stonewall crew in the second half of Season 4?
Without giving anything away, I think you’ll see that we might take things a little too far. The Stonewall Preppies don’t half-ass ANYTHING.
Does Jughead die? (jk!)
Do you have any other projects you’re currently working on that you would like to talk about?
I just finished working on a pilot for NBCUniveral Peacock called “One of Us is Lying” based on the book by Karen M. McManus. I really hope it gets picked up! I’ll also be acting in a project that my longtime coach and friend, Peter Bryant (who plays Weatherbee on Riverdale) is writing and directing. We’re making tweaks to the script right now. I also have some appearances in a few projects that haven’t been released yet, so keep your eye out for “Spontaneous” (starring Katherine Langford) and “2 Hearts” (starring Jacob Elordi and Tiera Skovbye). The short film “All-In Madonna” is also on the festival circuit right now. Lots of exciting stuff, keep your eyes PEELED!
You have also worked behind the camera on a few projects. Do you have aspirations to explore other aspects of film-making in the future?
I just have a major problem with sitting still! I actually went to school for film production so I could get to know more aspects of the whole film-making process. My favorite part about acting is that I get an excuse to keep learning and trying new things.
I’ve produced a couple of short films, but whenever I’m on set, I always get the urge to act, so I think my main focus will stay there. But, I do eventually want to write a role for myself. I’ve never acted in something that I’ve written or directed. In the past, that was something I never thought I could do, but now I see that it’s sometimes the only way to tell the stories that you want to tell!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Choose to be kind, stay hydrated, and find me on Instagram @doralynnmui