‘Riverdale’: Michael Consuelos on Taking on Young Hiram’s Villain Origin Story With Dad Mark

Plus: The CW guest star tells TheWrap he’s also wondering when the heck Hermosa fits into this backstory

CW Network

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s “Riverdale,” titled “Citizen Lodge.”)

The CW’s “Riverdale” dove into the past of its biggest bad, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos), this week with a long-awaited origin story for the villain to explain, well, why he’s such a villain. For this special installment, Mark Consuelos’ real-life son, Michael Consuelos, reprised his role as Young Hiram, which he first took on for the Season 3 episode “The Midnight Club.”

The episode, titled “Citizen Lodge” sees present-day Hiram tell Reggie (Charles Melton) the story of his youth, flashing back to the days when young Hiram was Jaime Luna (Michael Consuelos) and his father, Javier (played by Mark Consuelos) moved the family to Riverdale in search of the precious metal palladium.

See TheWrap’s discussion with Michael Consuelos about taking on the role again and what it was like to work with his father this time around.

TheWrap: When you first played the younger version of Hiram, it was for “The Midnight Club” episode and you did not interact with your dad on screen. But in this episode, the flashbacks have Mark playing Hiram’s father, Javier, meaning you were working with him for the first time on screen. What was that like playing a younger version of his character in front of him?

I went into it kind of nervous because, well, for just a little family history, I can’t drive in the same car as my dad because my dad is kind of a backseat driver. And I was worried that would carry over — but he’s not a backseat actor at all. Any worries I had went away when we started rehearsing together because we practiced a bunch of lines together and he was a big support for me going into it. It was really fun. I didn’t even, you know, because we didn’t really see I was like family dynamic. And it was really cool to explore that with my dad and see any similarities there might be between us and our characters and the differences. There were a lot of differences. It was really cool to take Dad’s character out for a spin and kind of see how he was as a teenager before he became the mastermind.

Michael Consuelos as Young Hiram/The CW Network

What was your reaction to learning Hiram’s origin story, as Jaime Luna, and the death of his father at the hands of Jaime’s mob-king boss, Vito (Louis Ferreira), which led Jaime to kill Vito’s crew and seek out Vito for the rest of his life, setting him on the path that turned him into the villain he is today?

I think in past seasons, they’d made reference to Hiram’s background and the humble beginnings and why he chose the path he did. And I was particularly surprised to see how much like Archie he is, kind of, in a way. Hiram is like Archie, if Archie didn’t really believe in himself, I think. Hiram thinks he needs all this money and success and all these things to fill a void and to feel like he’s actually someone of substance. And I think that’s part of the resentment between Hiram and Archie, is that Archie kind of realizes he doesn’t need that. And Hiram kind of hates that Archie succeeded without selling his soul to the devil, metaphorically. And Dad and I had a lot of talks about that. It was really cool just to really pick this character’s brain, because there’s a lot going on there.

At the end of the episode, after adult Hiram smothers Vito to death, he decides to let his right-hand man Reggie (Charles Melton) go, because Reggie’s father had earlier pleaded with him to cut the boy loose, just like Javier tried to do for young Hiram with Vito — but Vito killed him for that. Why do you think Hiram forced Reggie go after first refusing Reggie’s father, with Hiram originally saying that he’d let Reggie stay if he wanted to be there?

That was a really big moment, I think. And I don’t know what comes next, so this is just me speculating, I think that Hiram is sort of going down a redemption path, of sorts. I think he realizes, I don’t want to continue this cycle. I mean, he almost did with Archie back in Season 2. Remember, he bought Archie a car, similar to how Vito got him a fancy car. And Archie was smart enough to kind of sever the ties by himself. And that kind of insulted Hiram, but he realizes now with Reggie, “Shoot I’m doing the same thing over and over again, the cycle is going to repeat. I can’t let that happen. Reggie has to make amends with his dad and break this cycle.” And back on the Vito of it all, I don’t think Hiram really wanted to kill Vito, because I think deep down, Louis, who plays Vito, we would often talk about this. And he sees that Vito really regretted killing Hiram’s dad. So it was a really kind of emotional moment there. And I think there was regret on both parties there.

Two questions here: Hiram is on the phone with his eldest daughter, Hermosa, at the end of the episode, talking about his plan to collect the palladium that eluded his father and his plans to get back what he’s lost, while he’s watching Hermione and Veronica on TV. What do you think his plan is and, also, why did we not see the birth of Hermosa and how Hiram met her mother in this flashback episode, but we did see him get together with Hermione and Veronica?

OK, so to answer the first one first, I think it kind of goes back to how Hiram can’t really– I think part of his problem is he has trouble accepting responsibility. He caused a lot of tragedy in his life and I think, unable to face that, he kind of blames everybody else for taking his dad and losing his family and putting him in prison back in Season 1. So I think that he thinks that, whatever he’s planning, I think he’s got a lot of beef to settle with the town. And I think, in doing so, he’ll be able to get his family back. I think that’s what he thinks. And on the Hermosa of it all, I have no idea when that happens. Who knows? Maybe they’ll explain it some time.

Did you try to mimic your father’s performance as Hiram at all?

For mimicking, we didn’t really do much of that, I think, because we wanted to show that Hiram is a different guy. Jaime, he’s kind of like a dork. He’s like a lovesick little guy. And I don’t think he’s really got this mastermind in him yet, until the end. I kind of did my own thing with Hiram this time around. He doesn’t have the confidence, he doesn’t have the money, and he’s kind of idealistic and maybe a little bit naive and in over his head. So it was pretty separate.

What was the hardest scene in the episode to shoot and which one was the most fun?

On the scenes that are hard to shoot, he has that big argument with his dad. That’s really hard. Dad and I have a great relationship and it is acting, of course, and you separate. But it was a really, really great scene to do because a good performance is what every actor wants. And he had plenty of stuff to work with. The script was awesome. That was a really tough scene, but it was also incredibly fun. We had a great time trying different things and screaming at each other. That scene is probably one of my favorites. That and the shootout was really, really cool. All the choreography that went into it. “Riverdale” has got some amazing people working in their prop and stunt and action departments. It was really, really fun to do the shootout and the argument with Javier. Both the hardest, but both the most fun and gratifying to shoot.


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