Kiernan Shipka on playing a feminist Sabrina, Riverdale crossovers and her favorite fictional witches – Metro US

Kiernan Shipka on playing a feminist Sabrina, Riverdale crossovers and her favorite fictional witches

Kiernan Shipka Sabrina

Set in the same universe as the CW’s hit “Riverdale” series, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is an updated take on the Spellman story that’s a bit darker than the ABC comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart. The laugh tracks have been replaced with terrifying horror elements and some serious teenage drama.  There’s still a bit of humor, though, and, of course, Salem the talking cat is involved (although he may not be as chatty this time around). Ahead, we spoke with former “Mad Men” star Kiernan Shipka about becoming Sabrina, if she’d ever want to do a crossover with “Riverdale” and more.

Kiernan Shipka talks playing a feminist Sabrina, Riverdale crossovers and more

Kiernan Shipka Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Why did “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” feel like the right project for you?

Kiernan Shipka: Everything felt perfect about it, to be quite honest. I was really excited to get back to TV. It’s such a comfortable format for me and I really love it. It feels like home in a lot of ways, so that was fun. And also just getting to playing a character I was truly so passionate about and loved so much. It’s really fun when a character feels like it just kind of fits like a glove. From day one, I felt like I was Sabrina.

This version of the Sabrina story is definitely of the times, as your character is an outspoken feminist who isn’t afraid to stand up for women and fight the patriarchy.

Kiernan Shipka: That was one of the first things that really drew me in about the script was that you could tell that it totally had a feminist core to it, which I loved. I love that we have women in the writers room telling a teenage girl’s story. It makes a big difference, it really does. I really love that the show manages to be an escape from reality while also mirroring so much of reality. It kind of feels like it achieves both simultaneously, which is pretty interesting.

I’m just really happy that the show has a message and, at the end of the day, a really strong, solid foundation in being a good person, fighting for what you believe in, sticking up for your friends and standing up for justice. I think that’s so important and I couldn’t be happier to be on a show that completely highlights it in a beautiful way. And there’s also like witchcraft and fun things too, so it’s the best of both worlds.

Since this Sabrina is poised to be an icon and hero for this generation, did you feel any pressure taking on this role?

Kiernan Shipka: I guess I felt some excitement, a lot excitement, and was up for the challenge of the role. But I can’t really ever say that, I’m not really the type to feel pressure for some reason. I feel like that’s a negative emotion to a certain extent that I choose to not bring on myself, which is nice. But definitely more of a responsibility, I would say more than anything, to make the character believable and strong and just all around a good role mode, to a certain extent, for the young people that are watching. So definitely felt a major responsibility to make the show tick all the boxes that it 

Aside from the witchcraft and teenage drama, the series still has some humorous elements that are reminiscent of the original show. Did you look to the old series at all for guidance?

Kiernan Shipka: I pretty much stayed in my own lane, to be quite honest. I never watched the original series and, when I was prepping this, I was so in it as far as just like, “This is my Sabrina and my only Sabrina” kind of situation. That was sort of where I’ve gone with the character as far as drawing from stuff. I kind of stuck to the more recent comics, as well as just the scripts to really focus in on it.

You’re allergic to cats, so that must’ve made working with Salem a bit difficult.

Kiernan Shipka: It’s a bit of an obstacle, but that’s OK. Salem and I can’t really touch, but we can be in the same room, which is a positive step in our relationship. So it’s all good.

Kiernan Shipka Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Reboot netflix

Can we expect Salem to be as chatty as the original?

Kiernan Shipka: I mean, he may or may not talk, but he’s definitely not the Salem that you’re used to seeing. Definitely a bit more subdued.

Since Sabrina lives in the universe of “Riverdale,” would you be down for a crossover with Betty, Archie and the gang?

Kiernan Shipka: Oh it would be wonderful. Honestly, I feel like Sabrina would get along with pretty much everyone on Riverdale really well. I just find that Archie, Bettie and Sabrina have so many similarities, I feel like they could become a little power trio that I’m really into. I feel like they’re all fixers. They’re all like fed up with their town and society and want to fix it. I think that they could something really fun. I’m always down for a crossover.

Since Halloween is coming up, we have a few rapid fire questions for you too. What’s your favorite horror movie?

Kiernan Shipka: “The Shining.”

What’s your favorite Halloween candy?

Kiernan Shipka: Snickers.

What’s your biggest fear or phobia.

Kiernan Shipka: I would say large crowds of people.

If you could make a super coven of fictional witches, who would you want to team up with?

Kiernan Shipka: I would definitely want Hermione to be part of my super coven, personally, because I think we look alike too and that could be really funny and cool. And I feel like we should get all the witches of Eastwick in there just because they’re a very powerful trio in my opinion and I love Susan Sarandon and would love to have her as apart of my coven too.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” debuts Oct. 26 on Netflix.