Who was wondering why Reggie Mantle got a facelift between seasons of Riverdale? The original actor, Ross Butler, now reveals why he left Riverdale for 13 Reasons Why.
Season 1 of the CW Network’s Riverdale saw Reggie Mantle played by Ross Butler. However, in Season 2, Charles Melton replaced him. As Refinery 29 points out, while fans initially speculated this was because 13 Reasons Why was being renewed for a second season, it seems there is also another reason why Ross Butler decided to drop Riverdale.
According to an interview Ross Butler did with Vulture, he was initially given the opportunity to have both roles toned down so he could participate in both series. However, Netflix also offered to give him a more substantial role in Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why. And, it was this opportunity that made up Butler’s mind when it came to decision time between the two series.
“Reggie’s a great character, but it’s a different tone. I connected with Zach on a much more real level where I didn’t have to create so much of a character for him.”
Along with his preference for the role of Zach in 13 Reasons Why, Butler revealed to Vulture that the show’s head writer and executive-producer, Brian Yorkey, had told him about Zach’s upcoming storyline in Season 2, giving him another reason to drop Riverdale.
In Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, it is revealed that Hannah (Katherine Langford) and Zach had a summer romance that no one knew about thanks to Zach wanting to keep it a secret. While Ross didn’t know about this relationship when filming Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why, he had suspected some sort of a deeper relationship between the pair and drew on that for inspiration.
“I had created this relationship between Hannah and Zach as being really strong. It was really ambiguous, but I knew I wanted something very loving about it. I don’t know if it was love or not, but I definitely wanted something there.”
Along with this revelation, the actor also revealed that the sex scenes between Hannah and Zach were the first ones he ever had to film. While he had filmed scenes leading up to sexual encounters and those from after the act, the moment where they lose their virginity was the first time he had to film such a scene. He credited the show’s director, Eliza Hittman, with the success of those scenes.
While it was a shame to see Ross Butler leave Riverdale, as Refinery 29 points out, the new actor, Charles Melton, is now creating his own version of Reggie that is more “vengeful.” So, without Butler dropping the role on Riverdale, viewers might have missed out on this version of Reggie.
Riverdale has just concluded its second season on the CW Network. Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why is currently streaming on Netflix.