Madelaine Petsch Talks About Facing Her Fears On-Set of Riverdale After A Near-Death Experience

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Madelaine Petsch was hanging out with Rob Lowe and Kelly Clarkson on The Kelly Clarkson Show and got to spilling about her character, Cheryl Blossom on Riverdale, and how she conquered her fears on-set after a near-death experience she experienced as an eight-year-old in South Africa.

“When I was in South Africa as a kid, I was in the sea, as you do, and a tide got really big and it took me under,” she revealed. “I literally thought I was going to die. I was eight years old. And my mom ran and saved me, apparently, this is what my dad tells me.”

She continued, “Ever since then, I’ve been kind of scared of large bodies of water. [So] when I booked Riverdale — you don’t get scripts when you audition for stuff, typically — and I went to shoot and we had just gotten the script and I saw that we were shooting in water. I was like, ‘I’m sure it’s a studio, no big deal.’ They put me in the middle of a giant lake in Vancouver in a boat with somebody who had never rowed a boat before. It was so scary. I was totally fine, I conquered my fear, which is why I started my thing which is called ‘I Try’ on YouTube.”


Season one of The CW show must have been hell for Madelaine and her fear of water. Cheryl starts the season by Sweetwater River after her brother, Jason Blossom, drowns, and by the end of the season, she’s drowning after falling through the ice in a lake. Of course, Archie Andrews, played by KJ Apa, comes to her rescue, but that must’ve been difficult for someone with a fear of water to film!

Elsewhere in the interview, she talked about how Cheryl is the “creepiest” character on Riverdale. “My character is probably the creepiest of them all, but it’s so fun… even if there’s not much of a villain thing happening in that scene, you still have a little evilness in your eye. She’s so sassy, too, and she’s got all of this bite and fire.”

You can watch Madelaine’s full convo with Kelly and Rob in the clip below:

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Riverdale season four re-commences after its mid-season hiatus next Wednesday. Hallelujah. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen any Choni action and we’re thirsty for it.

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