We all have our quirky little obsessions and singer/actress Ashleigh Murray of the CW’s Riverdale is no different. She has fallen in love with a somewhat popular sport that originated in eighteenth century England.
Ashleigh Murray plays Josie, of Josie and the Pussycats fame, in the CW’s ‘Riverdale.’ (Courtesy photo)
Murray gushes that she currently spends much of her free time on roller skates. “I really just spend my downtime if I don’t have the ability to fly back home to New York or even sometimes down to L.A., I fill my time with personal care stuff,” Murray tells the AFRO. “I just recently fell in love with roller skating and I happen to be a natural at it so I’m obsessed. I just bought my first pair of roller skates. They should be arriving after next weekend so I’m geeking out over it.”
Kansas City born and Oakland raised, Murray also loves spending time with her fellow CW network actress and co-star of her latest film, Danielle Nicolette. Nicolette is one of the stars of “The Flash” and played Murray’s mother in the offbeat family comedy “Deidra and Laney Rob A Train.” They, along with Rachel Crow, who played Murray’s character’s sister, became friends on the set of the movie.
“We all actually are still very, very close.” She says. “It was wonderful working with Dani. She is so much fun. I couldn’t wait to work with her. I think she was actually shooting “The Flash” and she may have shooting “Central Intelligence” at the time. She was in and out of Utah and I was very, very excited. It wasn’t until the very end of production that that we were able to shoot that big scene between me and her at the jail and I was looking forward to that the most. She is just amazing.”
Murray’s petite, perfectly proportioned frame, smooth milk chocolatey skin and big brown Betty Davis eyes give her the appearance of a living doll. She reveals that home base is in New York City but doesn’t get more specific than, “I stay between Brooklyn or Manhattan.”
However, she lives most of the year in Vancouver, Canada where Riverdale shoots. The show is, of course, loosely based on the popular Archie comic books of the seventies through nineties that chronicled the young, restless, bold, beautiful lives of teens Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and of course Josie and The Pussycats. Josie and The Pussycats is the most sought after band in Riverdale and their music often punctuates the mood of the decidedly dark, enigmatic series.
It was crucial that the actresses who play the school’s heralded chanteuses be able to mimic in song the fictional town’s brooding, mercurial yet magical qualities.
Singing was part of the audition process for the part of Josie. Murray, whose singing idol was the legendary vocalist Whitney Houston, came to the art in a roundabout manner. She recalls, “My mom started to teach me how to sing when I was very young. But I was always very shy and hated singing in front of people. I had a very difficult experience as a child which freaked me out so I had a lot of stage fright when I was singing.” Things began to change as her performing arts horizons opened up.
She explains, “As I got older and started acting, I found out that musicals were a thing and I always loved musical movies so I started auditioning for those at school and then outside of school.”
Josie, so far written as sort of an alpha female, isn’t just the leader of the band. She is also the daughter of Riverdale’s Mayor, played by actress Robin Givens (“Head of The Class” “Head of State”). Murray describes Givens as “The sweetest, kindest person. She’s so lovely and she’s very very helpful. She’s a mom herself and she brings that energy.”
Audiences didn’t get to see very much of the dynamic between the two last season but Murray shares that, “You will be able to see a little more about Josie and her inner life and her relationship with her mother.” Murray indicates that we might be treated to a closer relationship between Josie and one of the jocks central to Riverdale’s narrative, Reggie Mantle.
The role was originated by Ross Butler (“13 Reasons Why”) but will be taken over by Charles Melton (“American Horror Story”) this season. She also says, “We’re also going to be building out more of her friendship with Cheryl.”
Cheryl is Cheryl Blossom from the richest, snobbiest, and scariest family in Riverdale. Both Josie and Cheryl have strong personalities so it will be intriguing to see how this turns out. It might be Dominique Deveraux and Alexis Carrington 2.0.
Riverdale’s new season premieres October 11th at 8PM on the CW network.