Pop Tate, we're not in Riverdale anymore. Lucy Hale wants you to know that her upcoming Riverdale spinoff, Katy Keene, is a far cry from what you've seen of her in Pretty Little Liars, and nothing close to the dark twists and turns Riverdale is known for. Hale, whose CW show Life Sentence was canceled before she snagged the title role in Katy Keene, is prepping for the world to see the next addition to the Archie Comics television universe. This spinoff naturally begs the question: Will a Katy Keene and Riverdale crossover happen? Hale tells Elite Daily to never say never.
Set a couple of years into the future, Katy Keene documents the life of, you guessed it, Katy Keene. Played by Hale, the title character was Veronica Lodge's best friend before Lodge moved from New York City to Riverdale. The show, Hale tells me, will follow Keene and her three best friends, a group of fashionable women in their early 20s who are just trying to figure themselves out. Where Riverdale is full of crime, drugs, murder, and betrayal, Hale's new gig will have a much happier vibe.
"Katy Keene is definitely way brighter, lighter," she says. "It’s about four optimistic 20-somethings trying to make it in New York City. So there’s no murder, there’s no killing, none of that." Phew, that's a relief. I feel like no one is safe on Riverdale! Hale notes, however, that the only similarities Riverdale, Katy Keene, and Pretty Little Liars have are the fashion and dialogue style.
"It’s still the same creator, so you still have that sort of dialogue between the characters," Hale says, referencing the CW shows. "That soapy dialogue which makes it so great. But totally could not be more different."
When it comes to PLL, Hale's new gig has even less in common with the show that shot her into stardom.
"Pretty Little Liars had such fun clothes, and Katy Keene is such a fun fashion show, but as far as anything else, no, they’re really different," she says. "I think that’ll surprise a lot of people, actually, when they watch it because I think they’re expecting it to be really similar. But they’re quite different."
The show's first teaser dropped on May 16, and in just the short 30 seconds, you can feel how different the lighthearted tone of Katy Keene is compared to Riverdale's moody vibe.
As you can see in the teaser, Josie (Ashleigh Murray) from Riverdale will be one of the main characters in the new show (Murray will be leaving Riverdale as a series regular in order to reprise her role of Josie in the spinoff). Katy and Josie, according to Deadline, will meet and become fast friends as they work to achieve their respective fashion and music dreams.
But could an even bigger Riverdale crossover happen? Fans of the show are hopeful that those two worlds could collide. The popular Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is also part of the Archie Comics universe, so fans want a crossover there, too. Hale thinks a Riverdale/Katy Keene crossover is a viable idea, especially since they're on the same network. She even kind of-maybe hinted that Cami Mendes (aka, Veronica Lodge) could make a cameo on the show.
"I’m all for [a crossover]," she says excitedly. "The only thing that would make it hard is that Katy Keene is in the future. It’s a flash-forward from Riverdale, so the characters would be, like, mid-20s if they came on our show, which would actually be kind of cool."
Hale says that because Murray will still be in some episodes of Riverdale while she's playing future-Josie on Katy Keene, she doesn't see why Mendes couldn't do the same.
"They don’t say exactly how old we are. I think we’re, like, 23, 24," she says, "but it would be cool because Katy is really good friends with Veronica. So we thought it would make sense to have Cami come be on the show." Is this an accidental drop that Veronica will actually make an appearance?! Unfortunately, Hale follows this up by clarifying that no such plans have been put in motion... yet.
"We’ll see," she clarifies. "It would get tricky with the logistics, but yeah! I love a good crossover moment." Same, girl. Same. There will never be another crossover thrill quite like That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana, but god damn it, if I don't love to see shows try to top that classic.
Hale's new starring role has left her schedule packed. She tells me that finding ways to stay centered throughout her crazy schedule is finding at least 25 minutes in her day to focus on exercise and/or meditation.
"You find different ways for your self-care [on set]," she says. "Because usually my way of self-care is through fitness, but life doesn’t always allow for that. It really is trying to squeeze it in whenever you can, even if it’s for 15 minutes."
She says that she really started loving fitness over the last couple of years. Now, she's taking in part in the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival on July 20 in Santa Monica, California, as a way to help people get excited about fitness by learning new and engaging ways to exercise. Think of the event like a music festival, but for working out.
You know what is also some great self-care? Binge-watching new TV shows. Katy Keene will be coming out in 2020. Hopefully the town of Riverdale still exists by then.