Erinn Westbrook portrays Tabitha Tate in The CW’s Riverdale. The hit series is based on the characters from the Archie Comics. New episodes of the sixth season will continue to air on Sundays at 8 PM ET.
Ahead of Tabitha’s big episode airing on April 24, I had the chance to chat with the actress about what she wants fans to take away from her character, strong female friendships, Jabitha, dream storylines, and more! Plus, an additional interview discussing spoilers for 6×11, “Chapter One Hundred and Six: Angels in America,” will be released right after the episode airs!
Since Tabitha was introduced, there has been an outpouring of love for both the character and actress on social media from fans. I was sure to share with Westbrook just how much the character means to audiences, and she had the sweetest response. “I do tend to see some of the messages that are directly linking me to them and I am always so appreciative. I love being part of a show that has such a passionate, vocal, and opinionated fanbase, really,” she said. “So I’m grateful that I get to be part of the show and that people love Tabitha almost as much as me, it sounds like.”
When it comes to our favorite TV characters, most of the time they stick with us long after the show ends. “I think something that really drew me to Tabitha is she’s this strong and smart,” the actress expressed to me. “I always say she’s strong, smart, ambitious, she’s highly motivated and tenacious. I always use that word because when she sets her mind to something, she will stop at nothing to make it happen and to get it done. She’s so perseverant and I think if there’s any takeaway from the character, if there’s just one, it’s to fight the good fight, to stand up for what you believe in, and to keep going.”
It’s no secret that television needs more strong female characters for viewers to relate to and feel represented with, and Tabitha has proven to be exactly that for so many, myself included. “Tabitha is such a strong woman, and I love what she brings to this town and I love what she has brought to the world of Riverdale at large. So I hope people continue to find her to be as positive an addition as the rest of us do, for sure,” she mentioned.
On the topic of strong women, I had to ask her about Tabitha’s amazing relationships with the other females on the show, specifically Toni, Betty, and Veronica. She answered, “It means the world to see girl power in all of its forms, especially here in Riverdale. I think that this show is filled with strong women and strong female characters, so why not explore those relationships?”
Will we get to see more of these friendships going forward? Westbrook assured me that we will, while also taking the time to talk about working with the other females on the show: “I 100% love that you see more of Tabitha with Betty, Veronica, and Toni. There was a scene where Archie had sort of sat down with Tabitha and Toni, and he’s like you guys are the strongest, most powerful business leaders in Riverdale along with Veronica. And it’s like, ‘Heck yes, we are,’ right? So it’s like just owning that through and through has been really awesome. I absolutely love working with all my female classmates. We always have such a good time and we love bringing stories about strong, powerful women to life, especially when we feel like we are strong, powerful women in our own lives. So it’s been great.”
Another one of Tabitha’s important relationships is with Jughead. The two have formed a beautiful and loving bond, which we had to discuss. “Well, I love that you brought up Jabitha. So it’s Jabitha because I’ve sometimes seen Tughead so it is Jabitha for sure, right?” Riverdale fans, Erinn Westbrook and I are setting the record straight: the official ship name for Jughead and Tabitha is Jabitha. “I’m also gonna text Cole right after this, I’ll let him know that this is the official ship name,” the actress adds.
“But in terms of my view, my favorite thing,” she begins before talking about her favorite aspect of the couple. “Obviously, they’re in a romantic relationship, but I love their friendship. I love their partnership. I love the fact that they really are there for each other and we’ve seen them sort of lean on each other at various points. I do believe that they have grown closer through those times. Cole and I often talk about how beautifully mature their relationship is and stable it is. It’s very adult and I feel like it’s what they both need. There is so much in flux, and there’s so much changing and shifting in the world around them that to have this sort of consistent solace that they find in each other, it’s really beautiful to witness and I’m really happy that they have each other for sure.”
Riverdale recently received an early renewal for a seventh season. So what does Westbrook consider a dream storyline for her character? “I would love to see elements of Tabitha’s past and her sort of life outside of Riverdale come into play a bit more,” she told me. “Obviously, we met her parents last season. We know that she went to business school, we know that she was at this sort of high power consulting job prior to coming to Riverdale. I know that there’s more to her outside of this town and I would love to see elements from those worlds sort of come and sort of merge with Riverdale or just meet more people from her life outside the town.”
But as one of Riverdale’s most powerful business owners, she would also like to see Tabitha’s dreams for Pop’s come true, and honestly, so would I. “Then, she had big dreams for Pop’s and I think right now she’s so focused on protecting Pop’s from Percival and all the other sort of negative forces that abound in the town. I just hope that we can move on from having to protect Pop’s and Pop’s gets like a little bit of peace at some point, so that she can get back to her dreams of franchising Pop’s and making it sort of the booming business she feels it deserves to be. So I hope that we get to explore that more as well,” the actress explained.
Naturally, everyone loves a good crossover, but I was curious which TV show Westbrook would want to see do one with Riverdale. Her answer was as amazing as you’d expect: “Maybe Glee, only because Roberto and I both have a connection with Glee. He was a writer on Glee and I played Bree, who was the captain of the Cheerios. First of all, I would love to play Bree and Tabitha simultaneously, and how they would interact. But I would love to see how all the Glee kids and how the Riverdale kids, and how those worlds would sort of go together. I think Roberto would have the time of his life writing something like that, even though Glee is not on the air anymore, maybe people would come back for it.”