Marisol Nichols loves the darker, criminal side of Hermione Lodge during Riverdale Season 2.
She's embraced Riverdale's devious mob wife/accomplice for what she's done and what she plans to do. She likes exploring this "Godfather" feel to her character's storyline. And, based on what we've seen of Hermione so far, and our chat with Marisol, Hermione might be more involved than meets the eye.
We got the chance to chat with Marisol about her character and all things Riverdale, as well as her acting career. Though, keep your eyes on Riverdale Season 2 Episode 13, Riverdale fans: Marisol teases it's going to be a HUGE episode for Hermione.
Enjoy the interview below!
What drew you to the character of Hermione Lodge?
So, in the beginning, Hermione was written as this very well-to-do woman out of New York, and she was basically broken when she came to Riverdale.
I liked the idea that you didn't have to see the snobbery and the rich, superficial side of the character. You got to see her broken and what she would be like starting over again and kinda try to run away from her sins, so to speak. So, that I was really excited about.
It's funny you should say that because Hermione has had one of the biggest shifts in her character development...
Oh my God, yes!
Ever since the beginning of the pilot of Riverdale, she has gone from this concerned matriarch to this more cold and manipulative mastermind, when do you think this big shift happened for your character?
I think that, as I was mentioning before about running away from her sins isn't really possible even though she's tried to trick herself into believing that she couldn't [Laughs], as soon as Hiram starts coming back and we feel his presence again, I think she had to go back to do what she has had to do to survive.
And that isn't exactly the best choices, it isn't necessarily the most moral path, but at the end of the day, she's going to do whatever she can do to protect her family, and so it's in her mind if the Lodges win...Veronica wins. Period. So yeah, that ruthlessness that she does have, she learned over the years being married with Hiram.
At least that's what I'd like to say, but then this episode (Riverdale Season 2 Episode 13) reveals a completely different twist [Laughs]. She's ever-evolving, I would say that.
It was hinted a little bit before, do you think she actually loves Hiram?
I think she used to. I think now it's more...a respect for what he's willing to do and admiration for his savvy business sense. But no, I don't think she has that...sincere love at all, I think she had that for Fred. With Hiram, it's more of a game, it's a cat and mouse and they're good at it. They have the knowledge that they're good at that game, but it's not based on love.
Speaking of Veronica, in the beginning, Hermione and Veronica had a great mother-daughter relationship, and it seemed like it was one of the strongest on Riverdale. But, you've hit a lot of bumps in the road. Why do you think your relationship has devolved into this cold back and forth?
In the beginning, it was me and Veronica against the world kinda thing. It was me and Veronica together surviving what happened to our family, surviving Hiram, and we're going to make life go right. We had a common enemy, which was the rest of Riverdale.
Once Hiram kinda stepped into the picture, and Veronica started making him the enemy, Hermione had to make sure she treads carefully because, you know, in Riverdale we've learned [Laughs] that parents are fairly ruthless aka Jason Blossom's dad.
And it's not like Hermione would think Hiram would do something like that but he's not a man to be challenged, and so when she started going after Hiram, Hermione had to step in and be "nuh uh, " you're going to go after me next. You're going to hate me because we're not going to do that because that's a path you don't want to go down.
And it seems like now that Hiram and Hermione have started to open up more to Veronica and get her more involved in the business, do you feel that them being more open and involved will essentially make Veronica and Hermione closer again?
I think that's her hope. I think she's done lying to her daughter and I think she wants to bring her in as much as she possibly can, so they can be together again. Honestly, I think she's learned and watched Veronica to know that she's not going to let something go and she's no fool. \
So, lying to Veronica and pretending nothing's going in wasn't working anymore, so she has to change tactics. If something doesn't work, you have to change.
We've seen that Hermione has great business acumen and she's just as involved in these dealings with Hiram. Is there more to this business side, or her involvement with these illicit deals, than what we've seen so far?
Oh, you've so hit the nail on the head. [Laughs] I can't say too much; otherwise, I'm going to give away everything, but I would say you're going to get an answer to that question this next episode.
Well, this is a safe space to tease anything.
Oh right! Well then, you ARE going to get an answer to that question, you ARE going to see just how involved she is in the next episode. It's so badass! And honestly, when I read it in the script, I was like, "Oh, I can't wait to shoot this!"
So far, of what we've seen of Hiram and Hermione's business dealings and their involvement in the redevelopment of Southside, do you think that they might be in a little over their heads at the moment?
I think they know the long game they're playing and the obstacles they have to overcome. I think they're surprised by Riverdale and its population. They kinda thought they would maybe just roll over and we could fool them really easily and you know, nobody would ask any questions.
They're particularly surprised by Jughead, and Veronica honestly, and Fred, and like the opposition they got. And it will continue to build against the Serpents and all of that.
So I think I'm going to shift gears to your acting and the season overall, with Riverdale Season 2 entering the second half of the season, was there anything you were excited about you'd get to explore with Hermione?
Yeah! I was excited with the whole Godfather and mafia aspect to the Lodges, and kinda bringing that out even more, which we've been able to do for the second season, which is sorta what the second season is about.
The first half was mainly about The Black Hood and trying to survive that, and therefore it was just building the second season, we really get to dive into it more and more and more as the season goes on. So, I love that, and I love a good mafia and godfather story. Those sorta things interest me and I've been SUPER excited to play all these beats that are coming.
Has there been a scene, or a quote, that you've done that's been your absolute favorite so far?
Yes! Next episode! A hundred percent. You'll see, and you'll know why because it's just awesome. That's been my favorite scene so far. That, and the episode where I was drunk at the table with Veronica and putting her in her place. I mean, that was super fun.
I wish it wasn't Veronica that we saw that ruthlessness, but I like filming Hermione with drinks and her ruthlessness, and that she's not just Hiram's lackey by a mile. So, I like any time I get to show that.
As I was doing research and background before this interview, I realized that you've portrayed a lot of great characters from shows I've watched, and even now it blows my mind, like for example you played Chris's girlfriend from the future on Charmed [She laughs], and you played a character on GCB, which I loved.
Oh yeah! I loved GCB, that was so fun. Are you kidding? Comedy, southern accents, Dallas, Kristen Chenoweth. We had a blast.
It was such a shame that show got canceled. I was rooting for you.
You know, it was so weird because we were a hit. Like, we were a bonafide hit. And it was just the...you know, it should've never honestly been on the network. ABC is not the channel for, you know, a show called "Good Christian Bitches," let's face it. It should've been HBO, or Netflix, or Showtime.
It was my guilty pleasure on Sunday. It's so sad to miss it.
Yay! Yeah, we really loved it.
Is there a favorite role that you've done that you absolutely loved?
Let's see...yeah, there's several. One of my favorites only lasted one season, but it was Steven Bochco, and I starred in a cop drama called Blind Justice with Ron Eldard. I played this extremely jaded, bitter, New York homicide detective and it wasn't a glammed up version of a detective, which was based on the time.
This was gritty; it was real, I got to go along and research, and go along with Brooklyn Homicide and Manhattan Narcotics. Do all of those things that I felt like I really got to play a character that was how an actual cop would be portrayed if you had to look at nothing but s*** for humanity day in and day out. It takes a toll on you.
And I loved portraying that character because I felt like I could do that, and she had a bite to her. I liked it because it was gritty and it was grounded. That was probably my favorite, and I got to do a really thick New York accent, which is always fun.
Because it's your favorite, is there anything you've taken from that role and applied it to Hermione?
I would say the only thing is just the research part because they're such opposite characters it's not even funny. But the research part I did for that show, like what I said it was that it wasn't a character version of a cop, it wasn't a glammed up version of a cop, it was real.
And so with Hermione, I watched the Bernie Madoff HBO special with Michelle Pfeiffer, of what would be like if your husband embezzled a bunch of money and the whole world knew about it, and you didn't (or did know). So I researched a lot to know about Upper New York society because that's so not where I'm from.
So, I would just say in the approach to the role, when I did that other role on Blind Justice with Bochco, I really learned how that research can shape the role, I did that for Hermione.
Shifting back to Riverdale and the upcoming episode because it's a big one for Hermione and it's been teased, and you've mentioned a little bit of that, is there anything you'd want your fans to know going into the episode to be prepared?
Well, I don't want them to be prepared at all actually; I want everybody to be thrown for a loop [Laughs]. But I would say no matter what Hermione is or what she does, at the core of it of that relationship you saw with Veronica is still what drives her. Period. Always. So that doesn't go away.
It's sorta like any mother would take a bullet for their kid; Hermione may be a little different where she may expel a bullet [Laughs]. She would never for her kid.
What can we expect of Hermione for the remainder of Riverdale Season 2?
You can expect that she's gonna play a more prominent role in securing SoDale and the Lodges aid. And you're going to see a more politically correct side to her that you haven't seen. Yeah, it's fun. Oh my God, it's so fun.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
And don't forget, you can watch Riverdale online via TV Fanatic to get caught up on all the drama.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.