Mädchen Amick plays Alice Cooper on The CW’s hit series Riverdale. The show is based on the characters from the Archie Comics. New episodes of season five will continue airing on Wednesdays at 8PM ET and are available to stream next day on The CW. Riverdale has already been renewed for a sixth season as well.
MOTHER’S DAY IN RIVERDALE — Refusing to accept what’s going on around her, Alice (Mädchen Amick) creates an imaginary musical fantasy world in which the Coopers are one big happy family again. But as her mother continues to spiral, Betty (Lili Reinhart) does her best to pull her back to reality. Meanwhile, Tabitha (Erinn Westbrook) ropes Jughead (Cole Sprouse) into a family dinner with her parents, and Veronica (Camila Mendes) and Archie (KJ Apa) make a big decision about their future.
I had the chance to speak with the talented actress about Riverdale’s season five musical episode, what fans can expect from the finale, teasers for season six, Alice’s new romance, and much more. Keep reading to find out everything she shared!
I’ve already seen the episode and I am just in awe of you as well as your performance. So first off, I really just want to ask you, how you prepared for this really emotional breaking point and turning point for the character of Alice?
Mädchen Amick: Yeah, I mean, I think the preparation has been coming for a lot of seasons, so it was pretty easy to slip into it and be prepared for it, but I think what’s fascinating and why I love to play Alice is she’s had so many rollercoasters in her life and in Riverdale. She’s had so many different losses along the way and she deals with it so differently every time. It’s just fascinating to watch and I think very accurate to watch someone navigating their way through trauma and what they try to do to overcome it. Sometimes she’s just pretending it never happened and life goes on as normal, complete denial, then sometimes she joins a cult, you know? The things we do. So, to actually have something that was so devastating that she just can’t move past, it’s sort of her only way to deal with it is to just slip into an alternate reality. It’s just too much and it throws her to mental health break and technically throws her into psychosis, and she just creates a world that she can live in because she can’t live in the other one.
The musicals are always such fun episodes for the fans to watch and I imagine the cast has a lot of fun with them too. How did you feel when you found out that not only you were going to be the focus of the musical, but which musical the show would be doing?
Yeah, I knew, like there were inklings along the way in the season that it was going to be focused on Betty and Alice, didn’t quite know what it was going to be since Roberto is so very secretive until the very last second, because he didn’t want to break it to us that Polly was really going to be dead. He wanted to save that for our performances, but once we knew for sure that we were doing the musical and what it was going to be based around, he sent me the soundtrack and man, it was just so beautiful and gut wrenching. I immediately reached out to him and I was like, “Oh my gosh, Roberto, this is so beautiful and it so meshes with what’s going on in our family dynamic,” it was just such a perfect melting. It was almost like it was written for us, it was just so beautiful and I loved performing it. Of course, absolutely terrified, I’m not a singer. Let me just say, that just in itself, like all the insecurities that come up and I just had to say, “Okay, I have to not focus on my ability to sing, it’s more about the emotion that I’m conveying.” So I tried to forgive myself as much as I could.
You did absolutely fantastic with the singing! It was perfect. I want to let you know, I have the joy of covering the show for The Nerds of Color and because of that, I get to hear about everything the fans love. I always see so much love about Alice and you as an actress. Do you get to see and feel the love from the fandom?
I think so and I think it’s through social media. I did a show right before Riverdale called Witches of East End and it was me very, very cautiously and fearfully stepping into the social media world. I was like, “What is a 45 year old woman– why does she belong on social media? This is crazy,” but then it actually happened at a time in my personal life that we were dealing with mental health struggles in our family and it became a tool. I saw that could be like, “Oh, this actually could be a really great platform for me to spread mental health awareness and being an advocate,” and I started connecting with fans in that way. Then when Riverdale happened, it was this great opportunity to just like you said see their love and appreciation. I definitely do feel it, I mean, do I have any context of how much love there is overall? I’m not sure, but I absolutely feel the love and appreciation for Alice and how I perform her, so it’s such a great way to connect with the fans and get immediate thoughts and emotions from them, so I’ve really enjoyed it. I still feel a little weird being a 50 year old woman on social media, but hey, it’s fine. That’s right, age representation.
You have also gotten to direct multiple times on Riverdale so far. What is it like taking on that role on a show you also star in and are we are we gonna get to see you do it again in season six?
Well, you’re gonna have to ask Roberto that one. Just waiting to be invited back. Super, super excited, hope I get to, but yeah, it’s a really great experience because it’s family, you know? It’s like we’ve been together for these five years and now going on six, and I feel incredibly supported by the cast, the crew, Roberto, and the writers. It’s just a really, really great experience and I’m so grateful to Roberto for giving me that opportunity and trusting me with his baby and his material, but I think we have fun doing it. I think they allow me to bring a different take, whether it’s performing something with the actors or shooting it a little bit differently than what we normally do, so it’s fun to play in a world that I know so well, just try to push the boundaries, and try to bring a fresh take on it as much as possible. It’s incredibly satisfying. I love it and I definitely hope to film in this next season, for sure.
Of course, there is one question I have to ask you. A still has been released of Alice and Frank, and there is a rumored romance happening there. We have not gotten any hints or teases of that as of yet, but what can you tell us? Is Alice getting some romance in her life?
Well, you know, Fralice isn’t that far off from from Falice, I can say that. It’s been seven years, FP left her seven years ago, and I think it’s time that Alice has a little romance. So, I’m for sure rooting for her and yes, there may be some little flirty bits between Frank and Alice was coming up, we’ll have to stay tuned.
The season five finale is coming up and fans are dying to see it, myself included. So what can you preview about the episode?
There is an absolutely major character that turns their back on Riverdale, I can give you that one. Big, huge ending to someone that we’ve come to love and possibly hate as all the characters, we love and we hate them all at the same time.
It has also been announced that the show will have a five episode special to kick off season six. What was your reaction when you found out the plot of these episodes or even read the scripts?
Well it’s actually very, very fun. I mean, Riverdale always surprises us, even as actors as we read the scripts, we’re like, “I thought the last conceptual story was out of this world,” and he’s managed to come up with yet another one that blows our minds. But I can leave you with one word to tease the first few episodes, and that word is Rivervale. We’re gonna make #Rivervale go viral now?? Yes.
How did you feel about getting to do a time jump with the character of Alice and getting to really explore her in a different time?
Yeah, she had to figure out how to exist without Betty. I mean, that was her biggest worry as we left her and jumped forward in time. She was left alone, she was, “I don’t have anyone and now you’re leaving,” and as much as she wanted Betty to go off, live her life, and do something that she didn’t do because Alice never left Riverdale, so she was rooting for her and yet devastated at the same time. So to see the time jump forward and see, okay what has Alice done to move on, put on her big girl boots, and figure out how to be an adult? It’s been fun just exploring that and even though Betty comes back to town, what is their dynamic? Now, Betty’s an adult, she comes and goes, and Alice can’t really tell her what to do anymore. So to see their relationship mature instead of being sort of– I always looked at Alice and Betty, even though Alice is the mom, it’s basically like she was a bickering sister. Most times, Betty was the mature one, making the mature decision. So seeing Alice have to grow up a bit was kind of fun to play, to see where she’s gotten to, and how Betty and Alice are a little more standing side by side, navigating the world together more as equals than this amateur little bickering thing that was happening when Betty was a high school student.
You and Lili broke hearts with that end scene in the last episode when Alice and Betty found Polly’s body. People are definitely going to need tissues for your performances in the musical. What was it like to lean on each other and bring this mother-daughter relationship to a new level in the musical?
Yeah, luckily, I have Lili Reinhart as my as my costar. I mean, for the most part, it’s mostly been Alice and Betty, and I get to not only work with a human that I love, adore, and lean on in my personal life. We lean on each other, emotionally, texting each other in the middle of the night saying, “I’m not doing well,” “I’m sad,” “I’m depressed,” or “I need to get out, let’s go do something.” We have a great relationship in general, so to have that just very genuine trust with each other, we can get to where we need to get to emotionally very easily, and I think Alice and Betty’s performances heavily rely on the love that Lili and I have for one another. There’s no way I could have given the performance that I did in the way that I did without Lili by my side.
Lastly, if you could give Alice one message of hope, what would you tell her?
I would say, you’re doing the right thing by being the strong, fierce, wonderful woman that you are, even though you have broken moments, you will survive. And don’t worry, there are still cute men that live in your neighborhood.