Lili Reinhart’s first performances were much smaller than the ones she does now. They mostly involved her trying to get a laugh out of her family as she frolicked around her childhood living room. “I grew up performing little skits for my family. I was such a goofball as a kid.” These little performances were the building blocks to Reinhart’s career. Now, she stars in the popular TV show Riverdale which is watched by millions across the world.

Reinhart grew up performing wherever she could. Acting was a way for her to have fun and express herself; “It was very natural. I was really born with a want to entertain. There was always a part of me that was a performer, but I think I really harnessed the craft doing theatre.” Plays were the first “official” acting jobs that Reinhart ever had. Theatre was a way for her to explore her ability to act and perform outside of her living room. As a child and as a teenanger, Reinhart had roles in many different plays, but the one that stayed with her was her role as Alice in Alice in Wonderland Jr. when she was 12. Reinhart recalls, “It was pretty amazing, as a twelve year-old, being the lead in a show. It rocked my world; I felt like a little star! It encouraged me and my parents that I had enough talent to pursue something bigger.” And so she did.

When Reinhart and her parents realized her full potential, they decided to start looking for representation. “At first [acting] was for fun, but then I started looking for an agent, someone who could help me really get out there.” Reinhart and her mom began their quest for an agent. They found a local agency in Cleveland, but soon realized it didn’t have the capability to get Reinhart the work she wanted. Unable to find anyone in the area that could fulfill their wants, Reinhart and her mom took the matter in their own hands and began looking for parts themselves. Reinhart’s mom has been one of the most supportive and influential people in Reinhart’s career. She maintained full hope and support for Reinhart, including driving her from Cleveland to New York for auditions whenever she could. These long trips often produced nothing for Reinhart. “I spent most of my career not in LA, being in Ohio or North Carolina, trying to make my career work by doing self tapes at home with my mom. People are always going to want to book someone that they see in the room versus a video taped audition. So, I was struggling for a really long time trying to get work and feeling really discouraged by never booking anything and not making any money.” The stress and continuous rejection often made Reinhart question what she was doing. “It was hard. I had to ask myself, do I want to have an unsure career my whole life? I was really grappling with the idea of going to college and studying something else. I didn’t know if acting was something I could really handle.” These feelings of uncertainty and confusion lived in Reinhart for a couple of years as she continued to do self tapes at home to try to book a role. Eventually, Reinhart decided to move to Los Angeles alone to pursue her acting career more seriously. This didn’t go exactly as planned for her as the stress only intensified when she left home. “I moved home from LA after five months because I was so depressed and I didn’t have any money. But then I wanted rebuild myself, get back into my passion and grow more as an artist because that’s what I wanted to do. So, I didn’t go to college because I didn’t want a plan B. I didn’t want to have something to fall back on. I didn’t want to settle for anything else.” The new and improved Reinhart went back out into the world auditioning, and this eventually led her to land the role of Betty Copper in The CW’s Riverdale.

 

PHOTOS & STYLIST ALLEGRA MESSINA
HAIR RYAN RICHMAN using ORIBE at TMG-LA
MAKEUP KERRIE URBAN using MURAD & HOURGLASS at TMG-LA
FLORIST SARAH SIEGEL at THE FLOWER METHOD
STYLIST ASSISTANT EMMA CONNELLY
CREATIVE DIRECTION ANNA ZHANG
WORDS ANA SANDOVAL

Read more in Volume III, Issue No. 001 – Winter 2018.

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