Madelaine Petsch Talks How #Choni Love Story Helps Riverdale Fans
Madelaine Petsch and her IRL BFF Vanessa Morgan talked about the impact of Choni and Cheryl Blossom‘s coming out story during Madelaine’s weekly YouTube vlog on Wednesday. The on-screen couple was answering tons of fan questions from Twitter when a fan asked the dynamic duo how it felt knowing that Cheryl and Toni Topaz had helped so many people accept themselves for who they are, and Madelaine’s response showed just how life-changing Cheryl’s sexual fluidity has been for the Riverdale actress herself.
Madelaine said that the fan response to Cheryl coming out has been the most unexpected and beautiful part of playing the Archie Comics character.
“I didn’t realize that because I played this character that helped them through so much, that would then translate into meeting me having helped change their lives in some way because I brought that character to life,” Madelaine gushed, talking about her first convention appearance after Cheryl came out. “It is crazy and wonderful, and so rewarding and enriching.”
“I would get the same [thing] at conventions with people coming up to me that would just start bawling their eyes out like, ‘Thank you so much, because of you I was able to come out to my family,’ ” Vanessa added. “I would start crying, seeing those responses because that’s huge.”
Madelaine called the experience a dream come true and said that her art helping someone embrace who they truly are is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. She also addressed the duty she feels to accurately portray a relationship between two women.
“We think about the responsibility we have to our fans all the time when we’re doing a scene, about the authenticity of being in a female-female relationship,” Madelaine said. “We’re very aware of that and we always stay very true to that, or at least we try to stay very very true to that.”
Vanessa has portrayed a queer character on multiple television shows, but this is the first time she’s been able to contribute to a storyline where a character comes out for the first time. Madelaine sees that Riverdale resonates with so many people in their demographic of young adults, and because of that it’s important to show the entire range of the human sexuality spectrum, from female-female relationships and male-male relationships to representing fluidity in sexuality.
In addition to their thoughtful answers about Choni’s impact on Riverdale‘s fans, the actresses also answered some fun questions about their characters’ relationship.
“What was the song you were singing earlier by Kehlani?” Madelaine asked Vanessa while the pair debated their perfect couple song. “You were like this is Toni’s song to Cheryl.”
“‘Honey’ by Kehlani,” Vanessa responded, showing that she has phenomenal taste. “But ‘Bullet’ by Ann Marr wins. When that comes on, I think of you.”
They also said they had to “laugh it out” before their first on-screen kiss, and that they’ve had on-set arguments about who’s the “top” or “bottom.” (P.S. gals, it’s TOTALLY fine to be both!)
BRB, we’re going to go make our perfect Choni playlist while we petition the Riverdale writers to add more footage from Toni and Cheryl’s epic cross-country motorcycle road trip.