Mark Consuelos Talks Coming Back to ‘Riverdale’ for the Last Season

Mark Consuelos returns to Riverdale as Hiram Lodge in episode 7×13, “Chapter One Thirty: The Crucible.” New episodes of the seventh and final season will continue to air Wednesdays at 9 PM ET on The CW.

HIRAM LODGE ARRIVES IN RIVERDALE / MÄDCHEN AMICK DIRECTS — Panic ensues after Archie (KJ Apa) and the gang learn that Mrs. Thornton (guest star Frances Flanagan) is accused of being a communist. Cheryl’s (Madelaine Petsch) father Clifford (guest star Barclay Hope) forces her to out gay students at Riverdale High or risk losing power over the Vixens. Meanwhile, Hiram’s (guest star Mark Consuelos) surprise arrival to town is quickly met with suspicion by Veronica (Camila Mendes), and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) devises a plan to get around a boycott of comic books.  

We discussed why it was a no-brainer to reprise his role, the one prop he wants from set, why Hiram was so fun to play, how much Riverdale means to the fans, and much more! Keep reading for everything he told me.

Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I’m so happy to have you back. Can you tell me about your decision to return? Obviously, we were all hoping you’d come back before the series ended.
Mark Consuelos: I just had a call with Roberto asking if I would be interested in coming back for an episode and I said, “You had me at, ‘if I was interested.’” Of course, I said, “Of course, I’d love to come back,” and, you know, at least get a chance to say goodbye to everybody because the last time I was there — no, I got to say goodbye, but it felt like there wasn’t complete closure. So it was such a good opportunity to come back and play with the cast and see old friends, a lot of the crew that I hadn’t seen in a while, some crew that came back from previous seasons that I was delighted to see. So, it was a no-brainer for me.

Are we going to see you in more episodes or is it only this one?
Yeah, it was the only episode for the season.

How did it feel to wrap this time? I know you left in season five, but the door was still open and now, there won’t be a chance to return.
I think it was understood between Roberto and I that it was just one episode anyway, so it was very, very clear between him and I, but I don’t know, I think any time I end a job, it’s like a benchmark, it’s a chapter in the book of my career. So, it was nostalgic, I was extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play such a great character. Hiram was so fun to play.

I loved getting a chance to have those scenes with Cami again and to be able to sit down in that set that I spent so many days and so many hours, specifically Hiram Lodge’s living room, the dining room, and what used to be my office. It was just wild, it was really, really wild to go back and spend some time there, and definitely reflect. It was funny, afterward I would get dropped off at the hotel, [and] the hotel had the residence that I used to live in for those last two seasons.

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And so, every time I got dropped off in the lobby, I would turn left as to go to my old apartment and I was like, “Oh, I’m going the wrong way, I need to go to the hotel.” I love Vancouver as well. I love spending time there and I got to go to some old restaurants that I so enjoyed spending time and so, it was nice. I got to spend time with my buddies and we had a blast.

Did you get to take anything from set? I feel like I would take so much from the Riverdale set.
You know, I did not. I know people that do, other actors that just take stuff and I always feel stupid not taking stuff, but no, I didn’t. The one thing I probably would take, there was this really obnoxious and completely egomaniacal self-portrait of Hiram that was displayed behind him, right above his desk, and in any shot in his office, there would be this self-portrait. I’m always amazed at people that have self-portraits of themselves in their homes or anywhere, I just think it’s hilarious.

Not to be judgmental or anything, but definitely in line with how Hiram thinks and it’s completely in line with who he is, but I still might ask Roberto if he wouldn’t mind — I know they have doubles of those — wouldn’t mind shipping one of those to me. I’ll put it in my current office in a not-so-ironic move that maybe I am one of those guys that likes pictures of himself in his office.

Photo: The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I have to be honest with you, that’s the answer that I was hoping for. You need that portrait.
Actually, when I get off the phone with these interviews, I’m gonna text Roberto to see if we can make that happen.

You’ve earned it. You’ve been the Big Bad of Riverdale for this entire time!
Yeah, I’m gonna use those words exactly.

So I’m a huge family person and I wanted to discuss the fact that both Kelly and Michael were on the show. What was it like to be able to share this really special experience with them and have them play those roles?
To give you a short answer, it was absolutely amazing and I was extremely just grateful for when it happened, and I knew how special it was. I, obviously, worked with Kelly before and we started our careers as actors and working opposite each other, so that was just so much fun. And the cast — she loves the cast, the cast loves her.

So we got to spend some time together and she loves Vancouver as well. It was really exciting to have her on the show and her scenes were with Cole Sprouse, who she’s had on the show when he was a little kid. It was just so meta, weird, amazing, and wonderful at the same time. But to have Michael on the show, I know how rare that opportunity was, and to be able to see him work and to see him do his thing… I don’t know, I think, it’s one of those moments, Riverdale definitely gave me a lot, Roberto namely was just so generous with storylines and just the beautiful bad, like you said, the Big Bad of Riverdale, what a great role to have on that show.

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But when he asked and gave Michael that role, I was just like, I couldn’t — I mean, again, if Roberto asked me to come back and play anything else on anything, I’d be like, I’m forever in his debt really because that moment, those two weeks that I got to spend with him and be such a proud dad, but also stay out of the way and not get involved because he had a lot of scenes without me as well, but definitely, definitely, definitely, definitely a bucket list moment for me as a father and just as an actor.

Yeah, I have to say, that episode is still one of the best in my opinion. I think it was so well done and you both were fantastic. I love that episode.
Yeah, and I forgot to say to have an origin story for the character also was such a cool thing to have, and to kind of understand why Hiram is who he is. I agree, I’m a little partial, but I thought that episode was one of the best episodes.

What was it like to be on the show for so long, and then come back and have it now be set in the ‘50s? How did you go about reinventing Hiram for the time period?
One of the big unsung heroes, or maybe not such an unsung hero of the show is the costume designer, Rebekka. She’s brilliant and her team, they are absolutely brilliant at what they do. I had a like marathon costume fitting when I came in and we laughed, and I’m like, “I’m not sure I tried on so many clothes my whole experience here,” but they’re all just really cool and they’re so specific. So that was great, it starts with the wardrobe.

Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

But what’s interesting is that the sets and everything else were kind of timeless. All that stuff was there, I’m not sure much changed from the time that I was there when it was present day to when it was now set in the ‘50s, which I think was part of the charm of the show. It was a time capsule. It was unlike anything else, which I thought was really interesting that the set, all the props, and all the things that were there were kind of similar and very, very reminiscent of the present-day stuff. But, I loved it. I think Hiram’s still Hiram, but he just had a little bit more of a twinkle in his eye, just maybe a different, happier but no less manipulative version of Hiram.

Lastly, looking back, what has it meant to you to see all of the fans you’ve made with this series and just the legacy overall? What has the experience been like for you? I feel like Riverdale is such an iconic show.
I think the word that comes up, I’m just grateful — grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be just a small part of a huge, huge show, like an iconic show that meant so much to a lot of people. I mean, I’m traveling right now abroad and people still know this show, it meant something to them. So, I was truly grateful to be part of this thing called Riverdale.

But also, I think mainly, the most gratitude I have is being able to make these lifelong friends and castmates that I got to work with, live with, and spend time with for the better part of four years. So, that’s also a little extra bonus of being part of such a great show.