Kiernan Shipka Was a Contender to Play Riverdale's Betty, But It Worked Out So Much Better

Imagine, if you will, another actress as Riverdale's Betty Cooper—specifically, Kiernan Shipka.

It's hard, of course, especially considering that we're three seasons in, but once upon a time, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa pictured just that scenario.

He recently told Entertainment Weekly that he originally thought of her for the part.

Roberto saw Kiernan in Mad Man, which ran from 2007 to 2015, and he thought she was "iconic." Then, when he was later thinking about casting Riverdale, it occurred to him she could be a perfect addition.

Kiernan Shipka in Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

(Chilling Adventures of Sabrina via Netflix)

"I was like, 'Oh I wonder if she'd ever do Betty,'" he told EW.

It's unclear why she didn't ultimately become Betty, but, as fans know, Lili Reinhart nabbed the role. And it's a good thing. She's fantastic on the show, and it also freed up Kiernan to star in Netflix'Riverdale spinoff, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

When Roberto was in the early stages of working on the show, he heard from casting director David Rapaport that the teen actress "might be interested." That was good news for him, because he felt she "was up for the challenge" of the "grueling" role.

"There was no script at the time, but from the second he said that, for me it was sort of like, 'Okay she's Sabrina. I'm writing this for Kiernan,'" Roberto said.

Having a character written for you is pretty awesome, and Kiernan made sure she was ready for it. She told HelloGiggles that she prepped in some interesting ways, like buying crystals and even going to a medium. However, her Mad Men background was also key. She noted that she grew up "watching women at work, playing characters that were multi-dimensional," which has helped play a strong character like Sabrina.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres Oct. 26 on Netflix.


There's another Riverdale spinoff in the works. Click HERE to read about the "very different" possible show.