Save for the lucky few, most actors will know what it feels like to be seriously broke at one point or another. In fact, it’s a truth in which we can all find comfort when, yeah, maybe it’s Cup Noodles for dinner again tonight; We’ve all been there—even TV megastars.
Lili Reinhart, currently shooting her fourth season of the CW smash-hit “Riverdale,” can attest. Sure, she’s on one of the hottest shows currently, but it was not too long ago that the life she lives now seemed a far-off fantasy.
“Only three years ago, I was eating $2 hot dogs from 7-Eleven every day,” Reinhart tells W Magazine in a recent profile (in which she shares the spotlight with her co-star and now-ex-boyfriend Cole Sprouse—awkward). “I applied to Urban Outfitters and a tanning salon before I booked ‘Riverdale.’ It’s not like I’m used to this life.”
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While the step up in the dinner department is certainly welcome, Reinhart admits that she’s grappled with other aspects of television success.
“I don’t handle it super well,” she says. “I am a very paranoid person now because of it. I watch people watching me. I look at their faces to see if they’re looking at me, if they know who I am. It’s not because I want to be recognized; I’m just trying to prepare myself. It can be startling when they come up to you when you’re not expecting it.”
However, through living and learning, she has found ways to enact privacy in her life and to combat the stressors of celebrity. “At first, I didn’t want things private,” she explains of her then-fledgling relationship with Sprouse. “Now that I’m X amount of years in, I do appreciate the privacy we have, that he’s encouraged me to take. No one knows how long we’ve been together, and no one will until we’re ready to say it.”
Ultimately, like everyone, Reinhart finds that time to recharge—especially during the show’s hiatus—is crucial to her mental and physical health. In any case, she adds, the stressors of her job are worth the rewards. “I won’t lie, I am exhausted by it,” she says. “Luckily, I love the people I work with. I can’t imagine how miserable I’d be if I hated them.”
This interview did occur before the co-stars’ breakup—so here’s to hoping that remains true.
Done with $2 hot dogs? Check out Backstage’s TV audition listings!