The upcoming fifth season of Riverdale will feature a time jump several years into the future.
Ahead of Wednesday's premiere, star KJ Apa opened up about the experience of playing an older version of his character.
The 23-year-old actor, who plays Archie on the CW teen drama, told Entertainment Weekly that it's been "refreshing" to play a character who is closer to him in age.
"It's nice, honestly, it's really refreshing," he said. "Coming back to the season, that was something that I didn't realize it'd be nice to be able to play, to add that certain level of maturity to the character that wasn't necessarily there before."
In first episode of the new season, the characters attend their high school prom and graduation before the timeline jumps forward. As such, the first episode "has to be" almost like a series finale, Apa said.
"Although we are still in Riverdale and we are still tied into the school in certain ways, in the time jump I feel like we had to refresh our audience with a new theme, which is the fact that we're all a lot older," he said. "And I feel like that in itself, the fact that we're all older and a lot of time has passed, no one's really kept in touch over that six years, it adds a lot more things to play with."
Apa, who was 19 when he first started filming Riverdale, also said he could relate to the changes Archie experiences during the show's time jump.
"He's been through a lot in that little period of time. And I feel like he really has matured," he said. "I think years 17 through to 25 are life-shaping years for any young adult."
He continued, "At least for me — and I know my circumstances are different, being on a show and stuff — but most of the tough things that I had to go through and am still going through were in that short little period of time. Who knows, it's still going though, so maybe that's just life."
Riverdale season 5 premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.
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