by David Cutting
VANCOUVER – This rainy city entices many rad people, and Hayleau is no exception. The beautiful ingenue released her self-titled debut EP last fall, taking the world by storm with its sneaky hooks, and we are all better for it. She has also been cast in the Netflix original adaptation of the Archie and friends universe, Riverdale, as Valerie, the bassist for Josie and the Pussycats. We sat down to talk to Hayleau to get a feel for what she is up to and her thoughts on the all-so-sudden public recognition.
BR: What is it like to play an iconic role like one of the Pussycats in this brilliant new take on the comics?
It’s crazy and amazing to be able to play Valerie! She’s always been my favourite character in the comics because I felt like she was the most like me.
BR: How do you handle your fans now that Riverdale is on the air?
H: I try to respond and interact with everyone that supports the show. It’s been so great to see how many people are excited about the storyline and characters! I’ve gotten some messages about people going through hard times and learning through Riverdale. It’s humbling to have the support that I’ve been getting and I feel very grateful.
BR: How does your family feel about this amazing Riverdale opportunity?
H: My family is stoked! It’s great. My mom collected Archie comics when she was young so we have a bunch of older comics. My dad will always be my number one fan, recording the episodes, telling people about the show and my character. I tear up about it sometimes; it really makes a difference having a good support system. We were all surprised that it happened so fast, but the excitement never ends.
BR: What is it about music/acting that you love?
H:I’m a creative and being able to express myself through music was my first love. Going through a breakup or being pissed off at someone or situations is hard to express and to get over. Writing music is the best way to get it out of my system, to vent, and to tell my side of the story. I love acting because it allows me to play a character that has traits that I don’t have and really get to run with it. I feel like Valerie in Riverdale is much like me but has the balls to be a little more forward and aggressive when she needs to be. It’s fun to do scenes like that because I feel like I learn about myself through the character. Being Valerie is me getting to go back to high school and do it over how I actually wish my high school career went.
BR: Where did you study music?
H: My living room. [Laughs.] Constantly studying, always learning!
BR: What do you want to be known for as a Vancouverite who is getting her start in acting?
H: I want people to know it doesn’t matter where you’re from; that opportunity comes and you need to be ready to knock it out of the park. I was working at a breakfast restaurant when I auditioned for Riverdale and I still mentally am that person. Just excited and ready to work for this opportunity!
BR: What should people know about you that they don’t already or that they get wrong about you?
H: I don’t know if this is something people don’t know or want to know, but I’m really proud to be from this city. I feel like Vancouver gets a little bit forgotten about in regards to entertainment and it’s our time to show what the F we’ve got. I want to support and lift up other creatives and really do some amazing shit here.
BR: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
H: Invisibility. I just watched The Incredibles (one of my fave Disney movies) and Violet’s powers in the movie are so sick. It would be nice to be able to sneak into a room or walk around naked and no one know.
BR: What is next for Hayleau?
H: Who knows. I have so many ideas and goals that I’m putting in motion for the year. Definitely new music within the next few weeks. I just started shooting a show that will be on Netflix next year that I’m super excited about.Hayleau, Riverdale, Vancouver, Working for the Weekend