Josie McCoy has big dreams of becoming a famous singer. The actor who plays her, however, isn't quit as sure. Though she's already had plenty of practice showing off her vocals on both Riverdale and Katy Keene, Ashleigh Murray says singing isn't her favorite thing to do. But as both Murray and her character get more time in the spotlight on The CW, it's an aspect of performing she's only going to get more experience with.
When Murray first auditioned to play Josie on Riverdale, she didn't even think she'd book the role, so she wasn't that preoccupied with singing for millions of viewers. You'd think she'd have gotten used to the idea after three seasons on that show, but even now as she plays Josie again — this time in a starring role — on the spinoff Katy Keene, she's still not fully comfortable with it.
"I always get nervous when I have to record, because I'm worried about what people are going to think, and I'm really critical of it, the same way I am of my acting," Murray tells Elite Daily. "It's still very scary for me. There will be 10, 20, 50 more positive tweets about my voice, but I'll see that one [negative one] and it will affirm my own insecurity."
You'd never guess this when watching any of Josie's many on-screen performances. ("It's my job! I booked it so now I gotta do it," she says matter-of-factly). In fact, many fans are hoping Murray's experiences as Josie will inspire the actor to make some music of her own.
Murray isn't sold on the idea. "It's never been anything that I ever really wanted to pursue, and I know part of that is because I think that I won't really succeed at it. Like, I know I'm good at acting; I don't believe that I'm great at singing," she says. But she's also not totally ruling it out, either: "I could feel different tomorrow. Tomorrow I might be trying to record an EP in my closet."
Murray is much more certain about what she wants to do with her acting career. Making the leap from Riverdale to Katy Keene was a step in the right direction.
"It's great, because I get to work more. There wasn't a lot of room for Josie in Riverdale, and now there's so much space for her to really spread her wings and stretch out." she says. "I'm also hoping that, because I didn't really get as much transparency on screen through Riverdale, with Katy Keene, that will also reintroduce me as, like, a full actor to the world."
But even though Murray is getting a lot more screen time now, she's still playing Josie. "I feel like I worry about being seen as Josie, and then not as anything else I do as an actor," she says. In addition to her star turn on The CW show, she's setting her sights on other genres.
"I really want to get back into film. I love indie films — I think that's where a lot of really great writing and stories tend to be," she says. "I want to do a comedy, but like a dark comedy, because I don't get to be funny often. I can be funny and sassy and witty and snarky."
That doesn't mean she wants to leave the beloved Archieverse behind, though. She's hopeful for a Season 2 pickup of Katy Keene, and if that happens, she'd love the chance to dig deeper into Josie's backstory and explore what her character did between leaving Riverdale and arriving in New York City. Plus, just as Josie went from her hometown to the Big Apple (and time-traveled five years in the process), Murray is excited for other Riverdale characters to do the same. Her shortlist of dream crossovers includes Veronica, Kevin, Cheryl... and Josie's ex-boyfriend Archie, of course.
"It'd be really cool to have Archie pop over and get pizza, and — I don't know — accidentally make out drunk at Molly's Crisis."
Who knows — maybe the Pussycats will also come to New York and give Murray even more reasons to sing.