Marisol Nichols from 'Riverdale'

Marisol Nichols’ Next Project After 'Riverdale' Is Based On Her Wild True Story

by Ani Bundel
JC Olivera/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

What do actors do in their spare time? Most people don't consider that question when talking about celebrities. There's an assumption their lives outside the studio must be filled with expensive workout routines, trendy meals, and red carpet appearances. But that's not always true. In fact, for one Riverdale actor, there' enough downtime to have a whole other side-hustle of taking down criminals. Recently, Marisol Nichols revealed her undercover work against sex trafficking is going to coincide with her day job, because her story is being turned into a TV series.

Nichols is best known for her current role in Riverdale, in which she plays Hermione Lodge, mother to Veronica (Camila Mendes). Before that, she played Nadia Yassir on Season 6 the Fox series 24. But it turns out, between her time on set and auditions, she's been using her acting skills to work undercover.

Nichols went public about her law-enforcement dealings back in April of 2020 in an interview with Marie Claire. She said she was inspired to get involved after her stint on 24, plus research for her guest appearances on CSI, Law & Order SVU, NCIS, and NCIS: LA.

So, when her career slowed down in 2012, Nichols took advantage of her free time to get involved in a good cause. In 2014, she started a nonprofit, Foundation for a Slavery Free World, which connected her with Operation Underground Railroad and local law enforcement. That, in turn, eventually led her directly to the FBI.

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As Nichols told Marie Claire, it started when she invited to witness an undercover operation in Haiti, as a way for her to gain first-hand knowledge about the issue. Then the agent basically asked: "Hey, you’re an actor. Do you want to do an op?"

Nichols was given a backstory and was briefed on the setup. Then, armed with a camera and audio equipment, she headed in to get information. In Nichols' telling:

[It was] so that he could lead us back to the next party that’s in Mexico, the next party that’s in the Dominican Republic, and introduce us to the traffickers. I was pretending to be a girl who sets up the party... honestly, as soon as we got the first guy, I was like, 'Oh, let’s go.'

On Aug. 31, Deadline broke the news the Marie Claire story has been optioned by Sony Television Pictures to become its own series, with Nichols serving as an executive producer. Sony is still in the early development stages for this project, so there's no cast attached or premiere date as yet. Also, unlike some other production houses, Sony does not have an associated streaming service, so who will pick the series up is anyone's guess for now.