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‘Riverdale’ Star Vanessa Morgan On The Crazy Choni Ship

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Photo Via The CW.

And that whole Bughead thing

A little over a year ago, actor Vanessa Morgan was in quite the predicament. On the precipice of the biggest moment of her career, she found herself at the receiving end of death threats and online abuse for something she didn't even do in real life. Granted, just because it wasn't real, doesn't mean it wasn't serious: Her Riverdale character, Southside Serpent Toni Topaz, threatened to tear apart Riverdale fandom's favorite couple, Bughead—and if there's one thing die-hard fans of the show get really serious about, it's their shipping. 

However, little did the stans know that Toni would soon realize Jughead wasn't the one for her, and find love with none other than Cheryl Blossom—subsequently forming one-half of the show's hottest new couple, Choni. It was the perfect pairing of two snarky yet secretly tender teens, complete with a controversial gay conversion therapy plotline, and a brazen rescue mission ending in a passionate kiss. But enough about that, what's up next for Choni?

Unfortunately, Morgan has to keep pretty mum about everything in the pipeline—after all, Riverdale fans are notorious for their ability to sniff out a scoop or a spoiler. What she can confirm, though, is that we'll be seeing a lot more of Toni in Season 3—she's not only become Cheryl's official girlfriend, but she's also a regular cast member now, so get ready for some serious shipping and tons of fan theories—as we know, the one thing you can always count on in the town of Riverdale is an over-the-top amount of drama. 

Ahead of the premiere of the show’s highly anticipated third season, we caught up with Morgan to see what’s changed in Riverdale, how she handled all the hate, and, of course, what may be in store for Choni. Read our Q&A with her, below.   

Congrats on being upgraded to a series regular. How does it feel?
It's very good, of course, it feels like I've gotten the stamp of approval. I’m officially part of the family! 

Since joining last season, is there anything that surprised you about being a part of such an iconic cult show?
Just the fandom. People really seem to love the show, which is amazing, and the fandom just blows my mind. Like, [they] came with being on the show, and I'm super-grateful that people are loving my character, because it’s humbling.

The fans definitely did a big 180 about your character though. I remember when Toni was first announced, you kept getting death threats.
Yeah, I mean it kind of sucked at first… I was getting death threats even before [I got on the show], because of the love triangle with Jughead [and Betty]. But after I became his friend and we had our kissing scene, people were saying the worst things to me. So for people to [go from] hating my character to absolutely loving my character, it's great! It means I'm doing my job as an actor. I came in to stir up the pot a little bit, which I did, but ultimately show that Toni has a good heart and is a good character. She's a strong, independent woman who had a very rough upbringing.

But was it frustrating for you to deal with all the hate?
It did get to me a little bit. I had to stay off Twitter for a little bit, and I had to not read the comments or look at my at mentions because I was getting a lot of nasty comments. At the end of the day, it does get to you, and it does make me sad. But I realized that I'm doing my job, and it only means that I'm acting well because people in this situation aren't supposed to like that I kissed Jughead.

It was also very frustrating because I knew people would come around to my character. I'm not going to end up with him, I know the script. As she said, “I'm more into girls, don't worry.” I'm not after him in that way. I think it was one of those things... Sexuality is a spectrum, and Toni did maybe have a little thing for him in that moment, but when they kissed, [it was probably like], “Ah, we're better off as friends.” It was like a moment of weakness type thing. Obviously, she really has her eyes for Cheryl. 

I guess the thing that got to me though was how everyone was so eager to blame you though. Even though it’s like... on Jughead.
I know! People always love hating the girls. But you know, Jughead was clearly upset that I said that I was in a PG-13 grope session. But it wasn't just me, you know. I wasn't the one that ignored Betty's call and stuff like that.

What do you think it is about the show that has struck such a nerve? Like, I don't think I've ever seen people react to a show like to this.
It's pretty mind-blowing. I think it's because a lot of people grew up fans of the Archie comics, and to see that come to life with real-life characters... I think that's what a lot of people were excited about. And the cinematography is quite beautiful... But I don't think anybody expected it to be as big as it has become, but it's all very flattering.

It's an actor's dream to be cast in a show that gives you such a platform. I hope to use that platform to the best of my abilities and be a good role model to the younger generation. But I hope [I can] get more in-depth with my character, so I can really like [dive] into the role.

Is there something about Toni that you think will surprise people in Season 3?
I definitely think you're going to see a softer side of Toni, which might surprise people. Still, we've only filmed seven episodes, so I don't even know what the writers have for my character.

Contentious question now. Do you think Choni would ever overtake Bughead at some point as the Riverdale couple to ship?
It's pretty crazy, because we've barely had any Choni scenes together, and it's so crazy how much people want us together. Like, how much people want us to have scenes together and how many people ship Choni is actually crazy [for the amount of screen time we’ve had]. So I really hope we get more [screen time this] season. 

Well, you've got the full-blown relationship for Season 3.
Yeah. We're in a full-blown relationship now. We have the titles! We're girlfriend and girlfriend.

Is there anything else that you can tell us about the relationship? Do you think they’ll introduce another love triangle into the Choni subplot?
I mean, they better not. So far there's no trouble. But then again, you know Riverdale. I'm sure there's going to be something. But I also don't think Toni would let anybody steal Cheryl from her. I definitely think she'd have a hard time letting go. But I mean, we'll see what the writers have in store... 

Riverdale season three premieres October 10 on the CW.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

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Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

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Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

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After delivered the perfect pep talk

When Lena Waithe took over as a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live, her first time ever as a late-night host, actress and friend Halle Berry knew exactly how to pump her up. After Kimmel's security guard Guillermo Rodriguez hit the "Berry Button" (a large button on the wall that says just that), Berry came running out in a backless tee and boyfriend jeans to give Waithe a pep talk... and plant one on her.

Berry rolled in as if she'd just jogged from hanging out with her friends to come to Waithe's immediate aid, joking she wasn't dressed for the occasion; but, let's be real, she could wear a paper bag, and we wouldn't complain. Waithe requested the "Halle Berry juice," similar to her 2002 Oscars speech, and Berry immediately had the lights turned down low and jumped into inspirational speech mode.

"I know that you are a force of nature. You are a beautiful African-American queen going after everything that is hers," Berry said before going on to list Waithe's many titles and accomplishments. She jokingly concluded, "And you already winning, girl, 'cause you are dressed way better than Jimmy ever will," before asking if Waithe needed anything else. Clearly, Waithe thought that was all Berry was there to do, because she said no, but Berry insisted she needed one more thing before grabbing Waithe's face and surprising her with a kiss. "Wow," Waithe reacted after Berry pulled away, and honestly same!

Watch the video, below.

Lena Waithe's Guest Host Monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live youtu.be

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