Who Is Lili Reinhart?
Lili Reinhart portrays Betty Cooper on the CW drama Riverdale, a darker spin on Archie comics characters. Reinhart was bitten by the acting bug while growing up in Ohio; as a teenager, her mother would drive her to New York for auditions. Her early career includes indie films and TV guest spots. Though depression and anxiety cut short an initial stay in Los Angeles, Reinhart worked on these issues and returned to the city to resume auditioning — making it possible for her to land her career-breakthrough role on Riverdale.
Lili Pauline Reinhart was born on September 13, 1996, in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the middle of three sisters.
Growing up in Ohio, Reinhart appeared in a community play when she was around 10; by the time she was 12, she was more seriously pursuing roles (among the parts she played were Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory). She's said her parents' support was invaluable as she pursued acting: when a teenaged Reinhart needed to get to New York for auditions, her mother Amy would drive there from Ohio; her father's hotel points provided them with a place to stay.
Reinhart's battles with social anxiety and depression date from when she was in seventh grade. In an interview with Ocean Drive magazine, she explained why she speaks out about these issues: "I remember being in middle and high school and hearing Demi Lovato speak up about her mental illness and that was comforting. But I wanted more people to stand up. I needed more people to relate to."
Reinhart moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18 but felt isolated and depressed in between auditions. After five months on the West Coast, she returned home and worked with a therapist. However, Reinhart didn't give up on her acting dreams; shortly after her return to Los Angeles, she booked Riverdale.
Riverdale, which premiered in January 2017, offers a more mysterious and twisted take on the well-known world of Archie comics. Reinhart portrays Betty Cooper, a friendly, sunny character who also has a dark side. Getting cast as Betty was a career breakthrough for Reinhart; in an interview with V magazine, she admitted, "No one knew who I was before."
The series has allowed Reinhart to shine, and the onscreen pairing of Betty and Jughead — known together as "Bughead" — became a fan favorite. A musical episode — the cast performed songs from Carrie: The Musical — showcased Reinhart's singing talents. Yet the actress almost didn't get a chance to be in Riverdale, as she was initially turned down for the role of Betty (she's admitted her first audition tape fell short). Fortunately for Reinhart, she got another chance to read for the role.
In addition to changing her life as an actor, Riverdale introduced Reinhart to people who are now close friends. Among these are Camila Mendes (Veronica) and KJ Apa (Archie) and Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom); Petsch was Reinhart's roommate in Vancouver during Riverdale's first season.
Other Movies and Television
Earlier in her career, Reinhart guest starred on TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Surviving Jack. She also appeared in films such as Miss Stevens (2016), with Timothée Chalamet, and The Good Neighbor (2016).
Following the debut of Riverdale, Reinhart joined the cast of the thriller Galveston (2018). Next up for the actress was another decidedly adult role as a stripper in the comedy-drama Hustlers (2019), starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu.
On her various social media accounts — which include Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr — Reinhart has discussed everything from cystic acne breakouts to her mental health struggles. It was on Tumblr that she relayed how an older colleague tried to force himself on her while the two were on a date; she also revealed that though she was able to escape the encounter, she still had to work with the man.
When rumors swirled that Reinhart was pregnant, she used Instagram in late May 2018 to set the record straight (blaming an "unflattering photo" for the confusion, while also critiquing the excessive attention being paid to her appearance). She's also called out bodyshaming on Twitter.
One of Reinhart's hobbies is creating dramatic and eye-catching looks with special-effect makeup. She's shared some examples of this on Instagram.
Reinhart has seen online comments about her resemblance to the late actress Brittany Murphy.
Among Reinhart's tattoos are a rose on her right arm and an arrow on her left. She told People magazine the rose represented her wearing "my heart on my sleeve." She also said, "An arrow can only go forward by being pulled back, so when you're going through a hard time, being pulled back, it only means you're about to experience something bigger and greater."
Fans began speculating in the spring of 2017 that Reinhart was dating her Riverdale co-star Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones. This was partly due to their interactions on social media: Sprouse often featured photos of Reinhart on his Instagram. And on Sprouse's 25th birthday, Reinhart sent him a warm message.
The pair vacationed together in Hawaii in January 2018, and in April of that year were spotted kissing in Paris. A romantic trip to Mexico followed later that month. Yet the two were tight-lipped about confirming a relationship.
Sprouse and Reinhart attended the Met Gala together in May 2018; the outing served to confirm their romantic involvement for onlookers. The couple then turned heads again with their return to the famed fashion event the following year.
After Sprouse and Reinhart were seen keeping their distance from one another at a San Diego Comic-Con event in July 2019, it was erroneously reported that the couple had split. Rumors of their breakup surfaced again in May 2020.
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