‘Riverdale’: Michael Consuelos Teases How He Approached Playing Hiram Lodge

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On tonight’s episode of Riverdale, a familiar character takes center stage, but with an only sort of familiar face: the series will head back to the ’80s yet again for a Hiram Lodge focused hour that stars Mark Consuelos’s real life son, Michael Consuelos.

The younger Consuelos has already appeared once on Riverdale, in Season 3’s “The Midnight Club.” But that was a brief, supporting appearance, and far different from the bulky flashback that anchors “Citizen Lodge.” Though it had been hinted to the younger Consuelos even back during “Midnight Club” that the show was toying with the idea of telling Hiram’s backstory, it was years before the series pulled the trigger. And when they did, he sprung into action.

“I immediately started taking more acting classes because I wanted to prepare,” Consuelos told Decider. “They had a lot for me to do this time around, and I wanted to make sure I lived up to everything they wanted.”

Though Consuelos comes from a performing family that includes his father, of course, his mother Kelly Ripa (who has also previously appeared on Riverdale), and brother (who took acting classes with Consuelos), his professional acting work has mostly been confined to voiceover roles on Duck Dodgers and Go Diego! Go!. So naturally, his process of becoming Young Hiram started with the voice.

“I worked on my voice,” Consuelos said. “That was a big thing for me, speaking with confidence, because Hiram, even as an unsure, young guy, he’s very firm. He stands for what he believes in and he makes you believe what he’s talking about. I needed to work on that.”

Once that was down, he was ready to hit the set. And thankfully, he had plenty of support from the cast and crew (“They took such good care of everyone. Everyone was so professional and, god, I learned so much,” Consuelos recalled), as well as his father, who actually appears in the flashback scenes as Hiram’s father, Javier Luna (Hiram is initially named Jaime Luna, something that’s delved into in the hour).

Other than his father, Consuelos worked pretty heavily with Camila Mendes, who appears in flashback as her character Veronica’s mom, Hermione Gomez (normally played by Marisol Nichols). “Cami’s … she’s awesome,” Consuelos said. “It was really cool to also explore what Hiram and Hermione were like… It’s like a Bonnie and Clyde thing at points.”

The episode also features growth for another character, Charles Melton’s Reggie Mantle, who is currently Hiram’s right hand man. But the main plot is all about defining — and redefining — Hiram Lodge. So given that, though Consuelos only appears in this one episode as Young Hiram, surely he knows the future for the character after this reevaluation… Right?

“My dad keeps everything completely quiet,” Consuelos said on whether his father shares spoilers for the show. “He is like a vault. I could not crack anything out of him.”

Guess we’ll just be watching to find out what happens, right alongside Consuelos.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. And head back here after the episode airs for a longer, spoiler-filled chat with Consuelos.

Where to watch Riverdale

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