‘Riverdale’ Star Camila Mendes Had ‘Panic Attacks’ When Starting Season 5

Riverdale is back for season 5, and fans couldn’t be more thrilled. But coming back to film during the pandemic took its toll on some of the cast members, including Camila Mendes. In a recent interview, the Riverdale star revealed that she went through some rough times when season 5 started production. 

Camila Mendes on 'Riverdale'
Camila Mendes on ‘Riverdale’ | The CW Network/Youtube

‘Riverdale’ films in Vancouver, which has strict Covid-19 protocols

Season 4 of Riverdale was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with production on the fifth season picking back up in late 2020. However, due to the virus’s ongoing spread, the cast and crew returned with several safety precautions in place. 

And because the show is filmed in Vancouver, they also had to follow the guidelines set out by British Columbia. According to Global News Canada, the state requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone (cast or crew) coming in from another country. 

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“We have an outstanding infrastructure here, the workforce in the film and television sector here is second to none, Hollywood loves coming here because of the skilled workers,” B.C. Premier John Horgan suggested. “But they normally bring Hollywood talent with them, and they’re going to have to self-isolate if they want to work in British Columbia.”

‘Riverdale’ star Camila Mendes started having panic attacks 

When Mendes returned to the Riverdale set in Vancouver, she wasn’t able to visit with any of her family and friends. And feeling isolated from her loved ones, the actor began having panic attacks.

“When we first started shooting season 5, I started having panic attacks, which was strange for me,” Mendes told People. “I think it was because I was in Vancouver and borders were closed — no-one could visit us — You start to miss your home and your life, and you don’t have your friends or community with you.”

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Camila Mendes says self-care helps

Mendes figured out a way to deal with her panic attacks. She revealed that taking baths and giving herself downtime helped.

“I also learned in those moments to put down my phone and take a break from technology and get in the tub with some music on and a book,” she told People. “I never did that before the pandemic, and now I love that I’ve learned to do that for myself.”

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Despite her busy work schedule, Mendes knew she had to find time for herself. And upon reevaluating her priorities, the actor realized she needed to pay attention to her health and diet. 

“As soon as I started listening to my body and eating what my body needed — which sometimes is eating the things I used to think were bad, like sugar and bread — I noticed a big change,” Mendes said. “The crazy lesson was that your body tells you what it wants and needs; you just have to learn how to listen to it. It takes a while to learn that — it’s hard.”

Mendes plays Veronica Lodge on Riverdale. New episodes air Wednesdays on The CW.