Riverdale's Ross Butler (Reggie) Talks about Breaking Asian Stereotypes

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On challenges faced when auditioning at the beginning of his career: "This is something that has been a core of me as an actor, ever since I [became one]. We're a very underrepresented population in Hollywood, but we are the majority population of the world. It's a weird dichotomy that we have here. It's starting to get better and we are starting to see more Asians in roles, but we're not seeing a lot of Asians playing roles [that are] not specifically written for Asians. So when I first started out, I was being sent on auditions for "the geek," "the techie." Let's be honest guys, I don't look like a techie.

"I told my agents, 'Don't send me out for [stereotypical roles].' For a while, I didn't get any auditions, or I'd get very few... But then I started to pick up momentum and started booking roles that weren't [necessarily written for] Asian actors. For K.C. Undercover, my role wasn't written for an Asian actor, and I was the only Asian in the audition room. That's a trend I see today, when I go out for non-Asian roles: I'll be one of the only Asian people in the room, if not the only one."

On recent roles: "When I was a kid, there wasn't an Asian-American Ryan Gosling, or an Asian-American Robert Downey Jr. that you would look up to... Now, [on Riverdale] I play kind of a jerky football player, and on Thirteen Reasons Why I play a nice basketball player who does a bad thing, and on Teen Wolf I played a lacrosse player. Asians can be athletic, we don't have to fit into this image that [the media] has for [us]. Booking these roles that aren't necessarily [for Asian actors] is something I'm proud of and, hopefully, will keep doing."

He also promotes his upcoming Netflix show, Thirteen Reasons Why (based on the Jay Asher novel), which drops March 31. And when asked what dream adaptation he'd like to be in, his answer was Cowboy Bebop (which is his twitter banner) or something with Neil Gaiman.

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