Before she played Betty Cooper, Riverdale actress Lilli Reinhart took on the role of a soulless murderer on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The CW star, 21, appeared in 2011's Season 13 of the NBC drama in an episode titled “Lost Traveler.” Lilli played Courtney Lane, a seemingly innocent teen with a sordid secret.
By the end of the episode, it’s revealed that Courtney and a friend named Emma kidnapped a young boy, tortured him, and then mercilessly killed him. Courtney and her pal tried to cover up their crime by blaming the boy’s death on a mentally challenged person. In a 2012 interview, Lilli opened up about embodying such a dark character.
“[Courtney is] the queen bee of school. She’s very mean. Obviously, she tries to control Emma in any way she can,” the actress said at the time. “And, overall, she’s just not a nice person. Courtney doesn’t really get affected.”
Lilli added, “She doesn’t get nervous, she keeps her cool, and she knows just what to say and how to play the cards. Overall, you can tell she has confidence in herself and she’s not really nervous. Emma and Courtney are opposite in that way.”
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Though playing Courtney on SVU was one of Lilli’s first major parts, it seems as though Betty Cooper might be her favorite role to date. According to the blonde beauty, she has especially enjoyed shedding light on mental health by depicting Betty’s struggle with anxiety on Season 2 of Riverdale.
"When Betty digs her nails into her hands, it’s kind of when things are happening with her family. That’s her trigger, whether it be her mother, her brother, or Polly. I think that’s something to keep in mind," she told Glamour about Betty’s issue with self-inflicted pinching, a form of self-harm. "She’s very curious to see if he has that darkness inside him as well. There might be some sister-brother bonding over mental health issues.”
Riverdale airs on the CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.