NOC Interview: Hayley Law on Bringing The Pussycats Back to ‘Riverdale’

Hayley Law is back as Valerie Brown on this week’s new Riverdale episode 5×15, “Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats.” The show is based on the characters from the Archie Comics and already on its fifth season. New episodes will continue airing on Wednesdays at 8PM ET and are available to stream next day on The CW.

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ROBIN GIVENS DIRECTS THE EPSIODE — After going MIA during the middle of her world tour, mega-star Josie McCoy (guest star Ashleigh Murray) returns to Riverdale unexpectedly. But it’s not until she reunites with her former bandmates Valerie (guest star Hayley Law) and Melody (guest star Asha Bromfield), that she opens up about the real reason why she’s back. Elsewhere, Veronica (Camila Mendes) gets creative after a surprise visit from her old friend Alexandra Cabot (guest star Camille Hyde). Finally, Toni (Vanessa Morgan) steps in to help Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) and Veronica land a deal.

I had the chance to ask Law about revisiting the show, her hopes for Valerie, what message she hopes the character gives viewers, how she’d feel about a spin-off for The Pussycats, her favorite memory from filming the episode, and much more! Keep reading to find out everything she shared.

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What was your reaction when you found out where Valerie was going to be after all this time? Did you get to share any of your own ideas with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa of what you wanted for the character?​
Hayley Law: Roberto definitely asked me where I saw Valerie years later and I really appreciated that. I think where we see her in this episode is exactly what I had in mind for Valerie’s future. It was really nice to know that the girls were all doing well, especially in this town where so much crazy shit happens to all the characters! It’s nice that J&TPC are doing more than alright.

How did you feel about revisiting the show and giving Valerie the proper closure she deserves on Riverdale?​
It really felt right. I mean, lots of people have asked me about where Valerie went and if she was coming back and I had no answer for them because I truly had no idea. As a fan myself, I also wanted the closure. So, I really ended this episode in a warm place mentally.

What was it like stepping back onto set and reuniting with everyone?​
It felt like I never left! It was so seamless and it was like jumping right back on the bicycle, which is amazing because it has been a decent amount of time. 

What was it like to work with Ashleigh Murray and Asha Bromfield again to bring back The Pussycats’ dynamic? ​
We all have been keeping in touch over the past couple years and all had an understanding of what we were here to do. The girls are so talented and I was so excited to see everyone get their moment to shine. They deserve it.

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Everyone is so hyped for this episode. What has it been like seeing the love and support for both you and the character?​
It’s surreal. I’m so grateful every time someone messages me or stops me on the street and tells me they miss the character. I grew up a huge fan of Archie Comics, so this role was always a dream for me. And it’s really a warm experience to geek out with the fans about Valerie.

In your mind, what’s next for Valerie? Do you have any hopes for her?​
Valerie is always going to have big dreams and is always going to chase them. We see that she is more than a singer in this episode, but an activist, painter, actress, writer, and I love that for her. When I close my eyes and see Valerie’s future, she’s changing the world.

There are a lot of fans who see representation in your character. What does that mean to you?​
It means the world to me. I needed this character when I was young. I woud have LOVED to see Josie & The Pussycats on screen. I was never confident enough to be myself and wear my hair natural, but now I feel the MOST like myself when I am natural. I hope other people feel that too.

Do you have a favorite memory from filming the episode?​
Rehearsing our performances. We had such an incredible team. Heather the choreographer and Mariesca were so encouraging and taught us these incredible performances in such a short amount of time. Also, the song I sing is one that I wrote and will be on my album. So, that is incredibly special to me. 

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Are there any lessons you learned from either the show or this role that you’re going to take with you going forward?
So many. I grew up so much through this experience. Learned pages and pages of lessons, and skills. I am thankful for all the ups and downs because this industry is wild, but if you can figure out how to navigate it and love every moment, it is the most rewarding journey of self discovery (for me).

Is this goodbye or is there a world where you’d be interested in continuing to play this character? Possibly in a spin-off for The Pussycats? ​
That is an interesting question! If the circumstances were right, I absolutely would. I think there are seasons and seasons of a Josie & The Pussycats series that could be fun, smart, inspiring, dark, and “bingeable.” I am definitely open to it, but I want these characters to always be done right.

If you could pick one song to describe Valerie as a character, which would you pick and why?​
“Lonely” – Hayleau. Hehe, my song. BUT truly, the song is about just living your best life and not needing anyone but yourself becase you are enough. 

What message do you hope Valerie gives to viewers?​
CHASE YOUR DREAMS. You are worthy of everything you can dream up.