Classic Archie Comics character Jughead Jones won't be depicted as asexual when "Riverdale" premieres on The CW, but it's not for actor Cole Sprouse's lack of trying.
“Jughead will have romances with women ... and burgers,” the 24-year-old actor told Hollywood Life during the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. He emphasized that he fought unsuccessfully for the character to be portrayed as asexual, "But at the end of the day, I still had to do my job.”
Archie's longtime best friend was confirmed as asexual last year in "Jughead" #4 following comments made by writer Chip Zdarsky at New York Comic Con 2015. "My view of Jughead is, over the 75 years [of his existence] there have been sporadic moments where he has dabbled in the ladies, but historically he has been portrayed as asexual," Zdarsky explained. "They just didn't have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater. But he's not a misogynist -- he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I'm writing Jughead, because I'm very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I'm continuing to write him that way."
Sprouse said there yet may be a possibility of Jughead being asexual on "Riverdale," and pledged that he will keep “fighting for this pretty heavily.”
“I think there’s still a lot of room in Riverdale for that,” he said. “Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and vey unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes. I think sexuality especially is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives."
“If Season One is one of those events or something like that needs to happen in Season One for Jughead to eventually realize that kind of narrative, I’d love to play with that too," he added.
Premiering Thursday, Jan. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, “Riverdale” stars K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller and Ross Butler as Reggie Mantle.