While some fans have a love-hate relationship with the character, her scheming ways come in handy when the gang needs to right a wrong or clean up a mess.
Between the show’s popularity and Petsch’s depiction of Cheryl, the actor hasn’t always received fair treatment from fans. At one point, Petsch tapped the late Luke Perry for some wisdom on how to cope with bullies.
Madelaine Petsch put her stamp on Cheryl Blossom
Born into a wealthy family as a twin, Cheryl Blossom established herself as the pushy, condescending “queen mean girl” in Riverdale who doesn’t always play fair. Petsch brings her to life with her trademark red hair, red lipstick, and rich vocabulary, which amplifies Cheryl’s bullying behavior and biting one-liners.
Petsch landed the gig after trying out for The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, and the casting director thought she’d perfect for the network’s new show, Riverdale. Although Cheryl’s pegged as a villain, she still is a fan favorite.
In spite of the self-absorbed character’s penchant to dictate and destroy, Petsch has been able to demonstrate Cheryl’s softer, charming, and empathetic sides. She has depth and feels things. Much of this is due to her traumatic upbringing made more complicated by her brother’s murder.
Now Cheryl’s in love with Toni and solely in charge of her family’s empire, and with the Riverdale gang living as grown adults from here on out, it will be interesting to see where Petsch will take her.
Petsch encountered online bullying over ‘Riverdale’
One of the issues Petsch has experienced while playing Cheryl is that some fans have difficulty separating the TV character from the real person. As a result, the actor has encountered her share of cyberbullies who don’t like Cheryl and have taken it out on Petsch. In earlier seasons of the show, social media became a huge problem, and she turned to Luke Perry for advice.
In a new interview with Cosmopolitan, Petsch discussed mental health, the merits of therapy, and how Perry helped her.
She described him as her oracle and said he told her, “You’re not a character we’re supposed to like, and that means you’re selling it so well that people think that must be who you are.” Petsch shared he also advised her to back away from Twitter.
Though that set her in a new direction, she also took things a step further to combat the Cheryl hate.
Petsch inspired to create her vlog
Shifting people’s perception of Madelaine Petsch versus Cheryl Blossom turned into another effort. After listening to Perry, Petsch checked in with her squad for more ways to beat the bullying. They suggested she start a YouTube vlog to show fans her real personality. A light bulb went off.
She started her channel in 2017 and it features Petsch’s everyday adventures, workout routines, tutorials, and guest appearances from some of her co-stars. One of the most recent videos chronicles a day on the Riverdale set.
Her only regret about the vlog? Petsch told Cosmopolitan she wished she hadn’t exposed so much of her romance with ex Travis Mills. She stated, “Moving forward, I will keep personal relationships like that off my YouTube.”