Riverdale: Your Guide To Casey Cott

Just like KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, and Lili Reinhart, actor Casey Cott became a household — well perhaps more like a teenage bedroom — name overnight when he appeared in the first episode of The CW's unashamedly insane adaptation of the Archie comic book series, "Riverdale."

The Ohio native will have played high school student Kevin Keller, the highly likable, openly gay son of the town's sheriff, for seven seasons by the time the show wraps up in 2023, with his popular character also pursuing a Broadway career, a baby, and a boyfriend named Moose along the way. But there's more to Cott than the crazy world of the heartthrob-spawning, self-aware young adult phenomenon.

From music video appearances and social media beefs with co-stars to Broadway ambitions and romantic relationships, not to mention the odd parental bribe, here's a look at 14 things you might not know about the adopted New Yorker's life story. 

There's another star in the Cott family

Casey Cott isn't the only member of his family to pursue a career in the showbiz world. Older brother Corey Cott is not only an actor, but a singer, too, and has combined both talents on Broadway in the likes of "Bandstand" (where he originated the role of Second World War veteran Donny Novitski) and "Newsies," (where he took over from Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly).

Corey also has several small screen credits under his belt. He has played heir apparent Eric Monreaux in the Gothic family drama "Filthy Rich," enjoyed recurring roles on "Z: The Beginning of Everything" and "The Good Fight," and guested on the likes of "Madam Secretary," "Evil," and "Law and Order."

In 2020, both of the Cott brothers shaved their heads to raise more than $15,000 for Charity: Water, an initiative which counts their sister as one of its employees. Carly Cott — their parents were obviously a fan of alliteration — posted an Instagram snap of her hairless siblings captioned, in part, (via Just Jared Jr.), "I've got the best brothers in the world and work for an organization that blows my mind and inspires me daily."

Casey Cott is a married man

Casey Cott may still look like he's not legally old enough to buy a drink, but in 2021, the fresh-faced actor, then aged 29, became a married man when he walked down the aisle with Nichola Basara, breaking the hearts of many "Riverdale" fans across the world in the process.

Cott broke the news on an Instagram Story (via People) with a loved-up selfie of himself and his bride taken shortly after the ceremony at the Four Seasons hotel in the Canadian town of Whistler. And in proof that the "Riverdale" cast do all get along in real life, KJ Apa, Drew Ray Tanner, and Madelaine Petsch were just a few of the castmates in attendance.

Many of the famous faces posted their own pictures and videos from the occasion on Instagram, with Camila Mendes describing the newlyweds (via ET) as "the cutest couple on Earth," and Lili Reinhart posting a TikTok video which merged footage from the ceremony with a 2018 clip of Cott saying, "Find my wife." The happy couple had previously announced the news of their engagement on Instagram a year earlier, once again much to the excitement of the "Riverdale" crew.

He was humbled to do drag

Casey Cott stole the show in the fourth season musical episode of "Riverdale" with a memorable performance inspired by the transgressive cult classic, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Indeed, the actor had to don full drag to play the titular hero. Judging by his enthusiastic response, you shouldn't be surprised to see him appearing on "RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race" in the near future.

In a 2020 interview with Variety, Cott stated, "It was very humbling to do drag for the first time, and drag is a pop culture sensation right now with so many incredible performers." The Ohio native went on to say "Obviously, RuPaul is unbelievable," before admitting that he wasn't fit to "tie the shoes" of any of his "Drag Race" contestants.

Cott certainly had to put in the effort, too. Before he could belt out musical number "Tear Me Down" and share an impromptu kiss with KJ Apa's Archie, the star had to endure a four hour make-up session. That also included putting on his pair of specially made platform boots and the wig that John Cameron Mitchell sported for the 2001 movie, something which Cott seemed honored to wear: "I was kind of nerding out at that. That was pretty sweet. I was like, 'There's a lot of sweat going into this wig right now.'"

His acting career began with a bribe

Casey Cott may have studied drama at Carnegie Mellon University, treaded the boards in numerous stage productions, and enjoyed a seven-season stint as "Riverdale" favorite Kevin Keller, but the actor wasn't particularly hellbent on pursuing an acting career in his teenage years. In fact, his path to stardom only began because of a bribe.

Yes, in an interview with Cleveland Magazine shortly after he bagged his most famous role in The CW drama, Casey admitted that he only agreed to sign up for his first school musical when his mom, Lori Cott, offered him $50 to do so. "That was my first paying gig," the Ohio native joked. Showbiz didn't exactly run in the Cott family. Casey's father, Rick Cott, used to be an Air Force fighter pilot before pivoting to the world of investment banking. But both the pin-up and his brother Corey Cott ended up becoming stars of the stage and screen.

Casey added that growing up in the picturesque Chagrin Falls helped him to prepare for his part in the Archie Comics adaptation: "'Riverdale' really pertains to small towns across the country. It deals with the complications of parents and high school relationships and the pressures kids put on each other."

Casey Cott got into a Twitter beef with a Riverdale co-star

Just like many of us did during the early stages of the first lockdown, Cole Sprouse made a questionable life choice while being holed up at home: He grew a mustache and beard combo that Twitter users reckoned made him resemble a cross between Leonardo DiCaprio and Terrence Howard. And one of his "Riverdale" co-stars was more than happy to join in with the social media mocking, too.

Yes, Casey Cott was one of the millions left scratching their heads after seeing his co-star display his new facial hair for the first time in a May 2020 showing on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." The man best-known as Kevin Keller tweeted (via BuzzFeed), "Why does he keep itching his awful chin beard during this interview?"

Of course, Sprouse, who'd initially started growing his fuzz for an acting role, wasn't going to take that lying down. He responded with the sick burn, "That hairy chin said more words in that interview than you did in the last four seasons." Ouch! Luckily, this back-and-forth seemed to have been taken in jest. Cott seemed more than happy to invite the former child star to his wedding a year later, and, as he appeared in several pics uploaded to his Instagram account, Sprouse seemed more than happy to show up.

He can't get enough of playing Kevin Keller

It looks as though at least one "Riverdale" star will be as bereft as its army of fans when the comic book adaptation draws to a close after its seventh season. Indeed, Casey Cott, who plays the town sheriff's openly gay son Kevin Keller, has described his role in The CW drama as the biggest joy of his life.

In a 2017 interview with Teen Vogue, Cott gushed, "Kevin is definitely my favorite character I've ever played. I think also it's the longest I've ever played a character because I've never done a TV show before. Kevin is such a joy. He attempts to spread joy to everyone around him. I think there's something so contagious about that kind of spirit and that kind of laughter. He's just such a bright little light."

Cott, who revealed in the same chat his favorite "Riverdale" character besides Kevin is Lili Reinhart's FBI agent Betty Cooper, also acknowledged how lucky he is to be involved in such a phenomenon: "It's important as an actor to understand whatever you do, you're going to have reactions from all kinds of different people, and be OK with that. With our show, the amount of positive reaction we've gotten to each character, and specifically Kevin, has just been amazing."

The actor auditioned for two other Riverdale roles

It's hard to envisage Casey Cott playing anyone else on "Riverdale" but the role of aspiring Broadway star-turned-teacher Kevin Keller. But the star had previously auditioned for two other parts in The CW teen drama. And two pretty big ones, too!

Indeed, Cott had initially put himself forward for Jughead, the town outsider played by Cole Sprouse, and Archie, the leading man portrayed by KJ Apa. Thankfully for the actor, who'd only just graduated from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama at the time, it proved to be third time lucky and the rest is "Riverdale" history.

Cott isn't the only show regular who proved the old adage, "if at first you don't succeed..." Sprouse also tried out for the part that would launch Apa to worldwide fame, while before Lili Reinhart made the role of FBI agent Betty Cooper her own, Madelaine Petsch, aka family farm owner Cheryl Blossom, was put in the frame. Casting director David Rapaport explained to Backstage, "I never quite know what's going to happen until I get on set or see the first edit of a pilot. We read people so many times to make sure that there are no questions left unanswered, so you know what to expect or what you're going to get."

He has appeared in several music videos

Casey Cott has been given the chance to showcase his dulcet tones in several all-singing, all-dancing episodes of "Riverdale," most notably the fourth season highlight in which Kevin Keller paid homage to cult classic "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." But his musical connections don't end there.

Cott has appeared in several music videos over the years. In 2017, for example, he starred as Sabrina Carpenter's love interest in the cinematic promo for her single "Why." The pair played polar opposites whose relationship is depicted by eating Chinese takeout, hanging out at their New York City apartment, and hitting a diner where Cott compares their yin-yang set-up to two condiments: "This is you [the salt] and this is me [the pepper]. At first glance it might not look like we go together but everybody knows that we belong together."

But Cott's next music video appearance was of a more blink-and-you'll-miss-it nature. In 2019, he and several "Riverdale" co-stars could be seen briefly dancing along with their favorite footwear in the promo for "Shoes" by Mina Tobias. Although the latter singer is a relative unknown, chances are you've heard of her mother. Mädchen Amick plays Betty's overbearing mom Alice Smith in the Archie Comics adaptation.

Casey Cott hasn't always played the nice guy

It's difficult to imagine Casey Cott as anything other than a clean-cut guy next door. Kevin Keller is pretty much the nicest man in "Riverdale" after all. But the actor has actually played against type several times throughout his burgeoning screen career.

In the same year he bagged his star-making role in The CW drama, Cott guested on an episode of "Law and Order: SVU" as Lucas Hull, a devout Christian who rapes a gay fellow church member in a bid to save her soul. And then in the 2018 pilot episode of another crime procedural, "Instinct," the Ohio native briefly appeared as Dino Moretti, a man who suffers a fatal drug overdose.

Interestingly, Cott has also played a similar role to the former on the big screen, too. In 2021, the CMU graduate was cast in the revenge flick "Asking For It" as Mike, a man who sexually assaults Kiersey Clemons' small-town waitress. Thankfully, his following film credit pertained to something a little lighter: In 2023's "The Mascot," Cott stars as a failed quarterback who, as the title implies, tries to make an impact on his former team by wearing a furry costume.

He will follow wherever Lili Reinhart leads

As well as naming Betty Cooper as his favorite "Riverdale" character, Casey Cott also appears to have named the woman who plays her as his favorite "Riverdale" castmate. In a 2021 chat with Us Weekly, the CMU alum revealed that his friendship with Lili Reinhart is so strong that he'd literally do anything she said.

Cott explained, "Lili is also incredibly hilarious. Lili's the person who can make me do something that no one else could make me do. She could be, like, 'Hey, we're going to dance to this Britney Spears video right now.' And I'm, like, 'Oh, I'm in. Why would I ever not do that?' But if anyone else asked me, I would feel like it's weird. With her for some reason, it just always works, and we have a great time."

Cott, who will have spent seven seasons on the show by the time it wraps up in 2023, also spoke fondly of several other co-stars, describing KJ Apa and Charles Melton as "two of the most funny people I have encountered in my life." Referring to Cole Sprouse, he then added, "I think there's definitely a fun joke mentality happening throughout the backstage, behind-the-scenes [area]. He will definitely make you laugh if you're feeling down."

He has Broadway ambitions of his own

Although his brother Corey Cott appears to be the musical theater star of his family, Casey Cott looks like he has aspirations to follow in his all-singing, all-dancing shoes. In 2019, the actor took some rare downtime from the "Riverdale" set to spend a week living his best life in a production of The Who's rock opera "Tommy."

Casey played the titular role in the musical staged at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and, judging by his interview with Playbill, he blatantly had a blast: "I've been familiar with 'Tommy' since I was in high school; if you're a theatre nerd, 'Pinball Wizard' is just one of those songs that everyone knows, and that's how I was first introduced to it. Plus, my dad is a huge classic rock fan, so The Who has been played throughout our stereo system since we were children. There's something really fun about the first act of the musical and getting to play someone who addresses the audience directly, I really enjoy that kind of intimate experience."

This wasn't Casey's first brush with the art form, either. He regularly appeared on stage during his theater studies at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. The star was even selected by the college in 2015 to represent its next centenary due to his Tony Award-winning potential.

Casey Cott has been romantically linked to several other stars

Before getting together with — and marrying — the love of his life, Nichola Basara, in 2021, Casey Cott was romantically linked to several other famous faces. In his first year as "Riverdale" favorite Kevin Keller, for example, the Ohio native was said to have been dating Stephanie Styles, a fellow actor who later showed up in the likes of "Booksmart," "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," and "Loot."

Neither party has ever confirmed or denied the speculation. However, the fact that Cott rocked up to the premiere of his brother's Broadway production "Bandstand" in 2017 with Styles in tow suggests that there was at least some truth to the rumors. But things between the pair seemed to go quiet soon after, and that's when the attention turned to Sabrina Carpenter.

The Disney Channel graduate had, of course, asked Cott to play her love interest in the music video for her single, "Why." The pair even locked lips in the romantic promo. But Carpenter insisted during a Radio Disney Q&A that their on-screen chemistry was all for show: "That was the first day I met him, was the day that we shot the video. A lot of what we did had to be very natural, and it had to feel like we were growing together in this relationship even though we'd just met that day."

The actor doesn't appear to have an ego

It seems as though Casey Cott doesn't have to dig too deeply to play "Riverdale" nice guy Kevin Keller. Indeed, judging by his interview with Out in 2018, it's unlikely we'll ever hear of the actor engaging in any spoiled Hollywood brat behavior any time soon. Even after two seasons of appearing in The CW drama, the star still seemed humbled by his situation.

Referring to how he won the fan favorite role, Cott said, "I am either the luckiest actor in the world, or maybe they really just had no other actor to cast." The CMU graduate also discussed flying out to Vancouver just 24 hours after bagging the part: "I remember sitting there, knowing I'm going to be there for six months and thinking, like, 'Holy smokes, I have a job and it's going to be on TV and I'm working with these actors that are really good.' Just that I have a job in acting is super cool, and to be on a job that millions and millions and millions of people are watching — I geek out about it."

Cott later got the chance to showcase his musical skills alongside his acting during his seven-season stint in the Archie Comics adaptation. So is there anything he isn't good at? Well, yes. The star added, "I always wanted to be good at sports but I just wasn't — my dad always says I'm a late bloomer."

He has a reported net worth of $3 million

Casey Cott may only have roughly a half-dozen major screen credits to his name, but according to certain sources, he's already a millionaire several times over. And there's no doubt his seven-season stint as Kevin Keller in The CW's premier young adult drama has been mostly responsible for his impressive bank balance.

Indeed, Cott reportedly earned $55,000 for each episode of "Riverdale" he appeared in, which explains why Celebrity Net Worth claims he now has $3 million to his famous name. So how does that compare to the rest of his castmates?

Well, the show's lead KJ Apa apparently has a similar-sized fortune, Lili Reinhart's film career has helped her to amass twice that amount, and Camila Mendes' fortune is said to be somewhere at $4 million. But the title of the show's true moneybags belongs to the man who plays Jughead. Having previously earned megabucks during his child star days, Cole Sprouse allegedly has a cool $8 million to call his own.