Riverdale‘s Veronica Lodge is the most badass version of the Archie Comics character we’ve seen yet. And that’s largely because of Camila Mendes, the awesome actress behind the new Veronica.
In an interview with Glamour, Mendes explained why she refuses to conform to stereotypes in order to fit a role.
The actress explained that she’d been auditioning for various roles for roughly a year before Riverdale, which is her first acting role ever. Mendes, who’s originally from Miami and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, didn’t want to take a role that perpetuated Latina stereotypes.
“I’m a Brazilian — full blood, parents born and raised, and I lived there for a little bit — but I didn’t grow up there,” Mendes told Glamour. “I’m not as Latina as sometimes these castings demand you to be — this ‘urban’ idea of what a Latina is. I’m American; I was born and raised in America, and I don’t want to fake who I am to fit a stereotype. This came along, and I felt like I didn’t have to try to be anything that I’m not.”