Riverdale's Veronica Lodge is the most badass version of the Archie Comics character we've seen yet. And that's largely because of Camila Mendes, the awesome actress behind the new Veronica.
The actress explained that she'd been auditioning for various roles for roughly a year before Riverdale, which is her first acting role ever. Mendes, who's originally from Miami and graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, didn't want to take a role that perpetuated Latina stereotypes.
"I'm a Brazilian — full blood, parents born and raised, and I lived there for a little bit — but I didn't grow up there," Mendes told Glamour. "I'm not as Latina as sometimes these castings demand you to be — this 'urban' idea of what a Latina is. I'm American; I was born and raised in America, and I don't want to fake who I am to fit a stereotype. This came along, and I felt like I didn't have to try to be anything that I'm not."
Mendes said that she liked the role of Veronica Lodge because "she was Latina, and they weren't trying to push any stereotype on her" for Riverdale. "She just was Latina, which is how I feel," the actress told Glamour.
The actress also noted some of the high school characters she grew up watching on TV and considered strong role models. Mendes cited The O.C.'s Summer Roberts and Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf as examples of female characters who are "in control and are confident and have a lot of pride." It's safe to say we can add Veronica Lodge to that list, too.
And, if you're curious, Mendes believes her character is "really good for Archie."