Madelaine Petsch has grown into one of the most entertaining parts of Riverdale. The writers have clearly had fun figuring out her strengths and tailoring Cheryl Blossom’s smarmy batshittery to them. But I don’t actually know very much about Madelaine as a person, so this was an enriching read for me — and ironically, a big part of it deals with her own Covid-created identity crises:

“I really bury myself in my work because I—this is maybe a little sad, but—because I want to be other people all the time. I want to bring other people to life. And quarantine for me was—is—like, Whoa, I’m really just Madelaine all the time right now. When you’re always bringing other people to life, who does that leave you with? I feel like I have to be everything to everybody. And I don’t know what that makes me at the end of the day.”

She talks a lot throughout about her anxieties, and the effect sudden CW stardom had on them, in a way that is very sympathetic and self-aware — not that she should have to ask permission to be human. The profile backs that up:

I know, I know. This is a story you’ve heard before—The Ballad of the Anxious Young Hollywood Star. Madelaine gets it: At one point during our conversation, she pauses for a self-deprecating eye roll while she talks about “the trials and tribulations of being an actor.” She knows it’s hard to have sympathy for successful people who complain about their fame and how it comes with so many problems and stresses them out. But still, anxiety is anxiety, and being self-aware doesn’t always make it any easier.

It’s a good piece about someone I don’t hear much from, so! Success. However, I have beef with Cosmo’s cover questioning what we’re supposed to do with our sweatpants now. THERE IS NO EXPIRATION DATE ON SWEATPANTS, PALS.

[Photos by Eric Ray Davidson; the March issue of Cosmopolitan is on newsstands on February 16]