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The Riverdale Scene That Almost Went Too Far For Lili Reinhart

The CW's teen drama Riverdale brings the world of classic Archie comic books to a contemporary setting, and the premise has resonated with the audience to the tune of four seasons so far, with season 5 on the way. The show's success has much to do with its charming willingness to fully embrace the weirdest, most ridiculous plots the writers can conjure — like storylines about the terrifying Gargoyle King, a serial killer known as the Black Hood, and an organ-harvesting cult that called itself "the Farm." What's more, Riverdale has been unafraid to experiment with genres, and a single episode of the show could go from a full-on crime series to a musical, a comedy, a regular teen drama, or even a horror show.

While Riverdale is more than happy to take the plunge into the strange and surreal, it's always been anchored by the flexibility and chemistry of its capable stars who've had to perform scenes ranging in tone from super-lighthearted (all those sweet musical moments!) to dangerous (chasing down serial killers!) to downright risqué. KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, and Cole Sprouse have all excelled in their respective roles of Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Jughead Jones — but the actors sometimes feel that certain scenes are a bit much. 

In a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times, Reinhart discussed one particular Betty scene that she had trouble with, as the moment almost went too far outside her comfort zone.

A season 4 underwear scene was nearly too much for Lili Reinhart

Stick-winged monsters and balaclava-wearing killers are one thing, but the scene Reinhart found difficult was a very different and vastly more personal beast. According to the actress, she struggled with one particular Riverdale season 4 scene that required her to show more skin than she was comfortable with — particularly since society and the entertainment industry alike have long pressured women to look a certain way, and she felt she didn't fit that standard.

"I don't have the CW girl body — tiny waist, nice-shaped legs, skinny, small, tiny," Reinhart told The Los Angeles Times. "I had to do a bra and underwear scene in this last season [season 4], and I felt really insecure about it. I really, really didn't want to do it."

She then went on to say that while no one forced her to perform the scene, the experience of filming it wasn't exactly pleasant: "I wasn't pressured into doing it. I did it because it was my job. But I felt bad about myself doing it. I really did."

Why Lili Reinhart chose to do the scene in spite of her discomfort

Reinhart is fully aware that her decision to shoot the scene despite her considerable discomfort might strike someone as odd. However, she's a proponent of body positivity, and as such, she's quick to point out that she felt the need to shoot the scene to show the world that not everyone needs to look like a finely sculpted fashion model. 

"I can't preach body positivity if I don't practice it," Reinhart wisely said. "So even if I'm not feeling amazing about my body, I felt it was important for me to do the scene anyway, in my bra and underwear, so people could see my body as it was. I did it for the people who feel like they need to look a certain way."

In general, the actress isn't a fan of the way our culture and social media promotes a certain type of perfect body. "You go on Instagram, and I'm like, 'Oh, look, all these people with these beautifully toned bodies' and then go to the beach — does anyone on the beach in the real world look like that?" noted Reinhart. "I don't see anyone looking like this. Instagram and Victoria's Secret runways are not a portrayal of how people look in real life." 

Lili Reinhart has been candid about her body image and the pressures of Hollywood

Historically, Reinhart hasn't been afraid of taking the bull by its horns when it comes to discussing her struggles with body image. She told The Los Angeles Times that she considers her own body "average," especially compared to her Riverdale co-stars. In the past, Reinhart has also criticized the body image pressures of the industry, noting that she has witnessed several actors going without food for 12 hours in order to appear in scenes that involve little in the way of clothes.

In February 2020, Reinhart opened up about her insecurities in more detail on Twitter, responding to another user's now-deleted tweet that, presumably, was criticizing her appearance and/or the appearance of her Riverdale co-stars. 

"Actually, not everyone on this show is perfectly chiseled," she wrote. "And even I feel intimidated by the physique of my surrounding cast mates sometimes when I have to do bra/underwear scenes."

Reinhart also revealed that she struggles with things like cellulite and weight gain, and her history of depression and the fact that people often draw comparisons between her and other women don't exactly help matters. However, she's perfectly aware that the problem ultimately lies with the skewed beauty standards of the entertainment industry, rather than her: "This industry struggles with accurate representation of female and male bodies. So I commend the women who have helped our industry take a step in the right — and authentic — direction."