If you're a fan of Riverdale, you likely noticed that Reggie Mantle looks, well, a lot different this season. The second season of The CW series replaced original star Ross Butler with Charles Melton, which, at the time, led fans to suspect that Butler's other teen drama, 13 Reasons Why, would be picked up for a sophomore season. Ultimately, the Netflix series was, and Butler's character Zach was given even more screen time than during the first season.
But the real reason Butler decided to drop Riverdale for 13 Reasons Why? According to Butler's new interview with Vulture, he simply chose quality over quantity.
Per the new interview with Vulture, Butler was given the choice between a reduced presence on both series (in order to accommodate his busy schedule) or a meatier role on 13 Reasons Why. He chose the latter, which is what gave us that cute Zach and Hannah (Katherine Langford) rom-com montage.
"Before season 2 was confirmed for [13 Reasons Why], I had to make the decision of whether I wanted to focus on one character or split two characters and have a smaller role on both shows," Butler told Vulture. "Reggie’s a great character, but it’s a different tone. I connected with Zach on a much more real level where I didn’t have to create so much of a character for him. Reggie’s more outspoken, like that jock archetype."
Despite Butler's confidence in his decision, he wasn't sure if 13 Reasons Why would definitely get picked up for a sophomore season.
"I was in this weird floating space where the CW had recast Reggie, but Netflix still hadn’t confirmed that season 2 of 13 had been picked up," Butler admitted to the outlet. "Thankfully, it did. I had lunch with Brian Yorkey, the head writer and executive-producer, and he dropped the news of what was gonna happen with Zach."
Melton is now crushing it as a more vengeful version of Reggie, and Butler is making us ugly-cry on 13 Reasons Why. Clearly, things happen for a reason.
One part that Butler didn't score? The role of the leading man in Crazy Rich Asians... which, he told Vulture, may have been a bit unbelievable to fans who watch him play a junior in high school.
"I mean, I was still playing a teenager so I can’t be a professor at a college. I don’t think I was anywhere close [to being cast] because I was still playing a 16-year-old!"
Guess we'll have to wait a bit longer for the Butler romantic comedy... or just re-watch season 2, episode 5 of 13 Reasons Why.