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'Riverdale' star Marisol Nichols dishes on co-stars, playing Camila Mendes' mom

Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermione Lodge on "Riverdale," reveals her favorite moments from the show, who's most like their character and why she'd like to play Betty Cooper for a day.
/ Source: TODAY

Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermione Lodge on “Riverdale,” shares a strong bond with her TV daughter in real life.

“It's very funny, because she looks like she would be my daughter, completely,” Nichols told TODAY of Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica. “In fact, I was just seeing a picture of me younger, when I was her age, and I'm like, ‘We look alike.’ It's scary. We get along very, very well. I love playing Cami's mom. She is very close with her mom in real life, and I'm very, very close with my daughter in real life. So that bond I think is automatically there. And I hope that it comes through in our performances on screen, that history of a relationship that happens between mother and daughter.”

While Nichols refrains from giving Mendes acting pointers, the two actresses do open up to each other.

“I think more than anything I just try to be a listening board. And same with her with me. But I think we have a very good relationship off screen as well, that sort of, by default, morphs into a bit of a mother/daughter sort of thing. I feel very protective of her. And I think that she loves me and I think she has a respect for me. And she's certainly wonderful with my daughter.”

While Nichols acknowledges that Hermione “straddles that line between good and evil,” she said it's “for the right reasons.”

“As an actress, I can justify the things that she's doing with the sole goal to protect her daughter, protect her family,” she said. “Even if it's, ‘I'm gonna teach my daughter a lesson because in the long run it's going to protect her.’ She goes about it in not the best ways, but the through line for me has always been she loves Veronica and will do anything for her.”

CW via Everett Collection

Nichols said if she were to play a character other than Hermione for a day, she’d pick good girl Betty Cooper.

“I have never really ever gotten to play the girl next door,” she said. “I think it would be really fun to play a Betty.”

We asked Nichols, who chatted with us while promoting the launch of Vicks DayQuil and NyQuil SEVERE with VapoCOOL, which cast member is most and least like their character — and she named herself as the latter.

“I’m kind of more of a tomboy,” she said. “I’m more of a streetwise, grew up in Chicago kinda thing, where Hermione is more from money, and very much of entitlement and power.”

K.J. Apa, who stars as Archie Andrews, is most like his character, according to the actress.

“K.J.'s such a beautiful person,” she said. “He comes from New Zealand, so he grew up outside of the pop culture of America, and didn't fall prey to all of the stuff that American kids sort of have in their lives. He wasn't a video game kid. And because of that, I think he's got an innocence and a purity to himself that I love seeing in other people. And he brings that to Archie, and so I think that's a perfectly cast role.”

CW via Everett Collection

Of the parental figures, Nichols said Luke Perry is most like his character, Fred Andrews. “If Luke wasn't an actor, he'd be on a tractor somewhere plowing a field, on a farmland, and be as happy as can be. And that's kind of Luke in real life, and I think he brings a lot of that to Fred.”

Nichols said the actors playing the parents of Riverdale all get along “very, very well.”

“We love it when all of a sudden there's a scene where it's just the parents, which we've had a lot of this season,” she said. “There's just a certain reality level that we all have from being in the business for so long, and doing this for so long. We all respect each other. There's a support that we give each other that I really, really love, that I think just comes with being with your own sort of age group and your own experience.”