Written By: Hayley Bradbrook
Photo: Play Management
If someone asked you who run the world you’d probably say Queen B, but right now it’s fiery and the ever so talented Asha Bromfield. The Toronto native has worked alongside Hollywood’s elite including Whoopi Goldberg, Regina King, En Vogue and has appeared in numerous projects such as Nickelodeon’s Max and Shred, Lifetime’s original movie The Gabby Douglas Story, and Full Out.
You can currently can catch Bromfield on the small screen playing Melody Valentine, a legendary member of Josie and the Pussycats in CW’s teen drama series Riverdale, based off of the Archie comics. No big deal.
JossBecause sat down with the 22-year-old actress to talk about the importance of representation of black women in television, Riverdale, and of course, the 6ix God Drake.
How big of an Archie Comics fan were you growing up and who was your favourite character?
I feel like everyone is kind of a fan of Archie comics. My mom was a huge fan when she was younger. They were always comic lying around around the house, and my brother was absolutely obsessed with them!
And for my favourite character I would have to say is Veronica, I thought she was super fiery, really fun and she brought something different to the comics for me. I definitely admire [Veronica’s] confidence, and is sure of herself which is just like the actress that plays her Camila Mendes. It’s also interesting that they made the character Latina in Riverdale because I feel like growing up and reading [the comics] I always kind of pictured her to be ethnic.
On Riverdale, the Josie and The Pussycats are now an all-black girl band compared to the comics where it was two white women and one African-American woman. How important was it for you to have that representation of diversity in television, specifically for black women?
I think it’s huge and it means so much to us. I feel like we almost don’t fully believe it. I saw the news that Ashleigh [Murray] had gotten cast as Josie, and Hayley Law was audition as well and I remember going into the audition thinking they’re not going to want see three black girls in one group. It’s just so funny how we’re conditioned to think these things because that has just been a pattern of what’s been seen.
When I got cast, it literally was life changing. When we all met we kind of just looked at each other and thought wow things are changing, and you don’t just have to have that one black girl character. You can actually have three different people of colour and we can also all be different three-dimensional characters. We get to have our own personalities and different characteristics as opposed to being the sassy black girl. People think this is so groundbreaking but this is what the world looks like, we’re such a diverse world.
Photo: Jenna Berman
Obviously acting in a girl group you are constantly working together, what did you three do to help create that bond that is portrayed on screen?
We actually didn’t see a lot of each other due to schedules but Hayley and I drove to set together. It was so great being with three different women and I pull so much from each of them. We went out a few times like dancing and all that fun stuff.
At the moment, what girl band can’t you stop listening to?
I’m obsessed with Fifth Harmony! I love everything about them. They embody girl power and are so badass. I hope moving forward the Josie and the Pussycats get to add that element like dancing, and we can all dance too! I also obviously love Destiny’s Child, as a kid I would just have their album on repeat.
In episode four one of the band members Valerie Brown, looks to have a little connection with K.J. Apa’s character Archie Andrews, can you hint if there will be any romance blooming with the other band members?
I cannot hint. But I would love to see what they do with Josie, and Melody; especially in with sexuality for Melody because I know that in the comics she was kind of undefined, very fluid very flee. There were hint’s at the character Melody being bisexual.
You also got a chance to work with former Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse, what was that experience like?
That fan girl part in me was thinking “this is so cool!” But you kind of have to get over that you grew up watching him on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Cole is really cool and was definitely a lot of fun to be around! He’s a funny guy; him and K.J. are always making jokes on set, and Cole always has a punchline. He’s super super smart and it was just cool being around that energy.
The first four episodes were such a whirlwind filled with drama and suspense, can you give us any hints for what can fans expect for the upcoming episodes?
Yes I can! Episode six is a huge pussycat episode! That episode will be touching on Archie and Valerie’s relationship which will be very interesting. Robin Givens who plays the character of Josie’s mom Mayor Sierra McCoy, you get to see their relationship between Josie and her mom play out. You also get to see how Josie’s father relates to her and is in her life.
In the band Josie is the tough one and there are times when she kind of overcompensates within the group. I think you’re going to see a bit more of how the other band members react to that. In the earlier episodes we were more timid in terms of not wanting to step on anybody’s toes and I don’t think it was that we were scared of Josie I think it’s just that were were very calculated. We’ve grown up with Josie and I think in this episode you’re going to finally see that interaction.
You recently did a cover of “Black Beatles” with KJ Apa, how did that collaboration come about?
I hit him up and asked him to play guitar for me, and I think he actually learned [the song] that day. We went into the studio and kind of just fooled around. It’s also funny because we actually had the cover done for a few months before we put it out. The response to the song has been amazing, and I can’t believe so many people took to it. It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing more work with KJ because he is so friggen talented and so effortless on the guitar. He told me, me “the next [cover] we do has to be way better you know” which is funny because we really thought this cover wasn’t good.
Who is one artist you would love to collaborate with?
For a rapper, I would love to collaborate with J.Cole or Drake. I think they are both absolutely incredible artists. I would also want to write with Drake because I’m from Toronto. For a singer, I would love to collaborate with Hayley [Law] because she is so talented or Halo because she is so talented at creating melodies and authentic sounds.
What advice do you have for any actor who is just starting out?
I think you have to be your biggest fan. Especially with actors coming from Canada or any small town like me you just have to really believe in yourself. It sounds so cliche but that literally is the first ingredient because you’re going to have so many people tell you “no” and “you can’t do it.” I think it takes a strong mind and a fierce determination to kind of bypass all of that and keep going. If I would have listened to those people I would not be where I am now.
Favourite Film of 2016?
Stranger Things vs. The Crown?
Archie vs. Jughead?
Betty Vs. Veronica?
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Riverdale airs Thursdays at 9PM EST on the CW and a new episode is available on Netflix every Friday.