There’s a dead body bleeding out on the floor of Alice Cooper’s kitchen, and it’s not a good look. “I love how casual she’s cleaning up the blood,” Mädchen Amick (Alice) jokes of that shocking final scene from last week’s Riverdale. “And then she says [to Betty], ‘Did you lock the front door?’ That’s just a classic Alice reaction to complete and total mayhem.”
Yes, “complete and total mayhem” is one way to describe the events that unfolded after a shady-looking “friend” of Chic’s showed up at the Cooper doorstep only to meet his maker. The whys and whodunnits are still unclear, but Amick says you will slowly start getting answers. And then, she says, “just when you think you understand, another surprise comes around the corner.”
In typical Riverdale fashion, a dead body doesn’t stay secret for long, and more people will get involved. “Alice does things very instinctually and for the right reasons, but she’s going to have to come to terms with her decision and how that affects everybody long term,” Amick explains. For now that extends to her estranged husband Hal, long-gone daughter Polly, newfound son Chic, and current daughter-in-crime Betty. “All Alice can do is be the nucleus that tries to survive through the next step. When you’re in that kind of crisis mode, you don’t always make the best decisions. And I think Alice Cooper’s style—and Betty’s—they make some decisions that don’t necessarily pan out.”
Speaking of Betty, the fact that she had sex for the first time—with Jug!—right before coming home adds another layer to the complex mother-daughter relationship. Amick says Alice will find out about Betty’s first time in the near future, but of course “it happens at the complete wrong” moment. “Now that [Alice] knows, [Betty’s] getting even deeper into the serpent world and is in love with one, too. I think she’s the most tormented character on the show!” Understatement of the year, perhaps?
Imagine how tormented Betty will be, though, if she finds out that Jughead’s dad, F.P., is the father of one of Alice’s children—and not Hal. While Amick obviously can’t reveal that crucial plot point, she will admit that she does know for certain if Hal is the father of Alice’s three children or not. “Yes, [I know if it’s Hal’s children or someone else’s],” she says. “[Creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and I] are in cahoots on that one!” Fortunately, viewers won’t be kept in the dark for too long. “It gets out there for all to see in season two,” Amick cryptically says. “The ramifications of that are going to linger for a long time, so just when we think we understand and we know what’s going on, there’s a whole other layer that’s revealed toward the end of season two.”
Regardless, Amick is just grateful to inhabit a role that is way more nuanced and complex than the typical parent on a teen drama. “In the beginning when the project was first being cast, there was a definite knee-jerk reaction of ‘Oh, it’s going to be a parent on a kids’ show.’ That was my first reaction to it. And then I went in and sat with Roberto, and he pitched me Annette Bening’s character from American Beauty as the inspiration for Alice Cooper. I immediately realized what kind of relationships he was trying to build, and I was immediately excited. Roberto honors his word and is not just invested in the younger characters, but the older characters as well. I get in there and get as deep as I can with it.”
And as only Alice Cooper could say, Amick quips, “I think it’s just a really good collaboration between the two of us to make Alice as f-cked up and complicated as you possibly can.”