K.J. Apa is taking full responsibility for the car crash he was involved in after a 16-hour workday on The CW’s Riverdale.
“That was just a one-off accident, and it was a mistake on my part,” the 20-year-old says in a new Esquire.com interview. “I should have pulled over and gone to sleep instead of battling my way home. But I learned from it. It was a blessing in disguise. I came out unscathed, and I thank God that I’m OK — it could have been a lot worse.”
As previously reported, the New Zealand actor fell asleep at the wheel while driving a 45-minute trip home after midnight. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he allegedly hit a light pole but didn’t suffer any injuries.
“It puts things in perspective for actors on other shows; when you’re driving home, you’ve got to be mindful and make sure your mind’s right and that you’re not tired,” he tells the outlet. “I was really lucky the production was there for me and helped me the whole way, which made me feel looked after.”
Following the incident, Warner Bros. released a statement to Us Weekly. “The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio. Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild–mandated turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members,” the September statement read. “KJ has repeatedly been informed about making production aware if he is tired or feels unsafe, and if so, either a ride or hotel room will be provided for him.”
Production wasn’t delayed after the accident, either. “The schedule didn’t change,” Apa tells Esquire.com. “It’s still a requirement for the actors to drive to work, which is fair enough. The crew works longer than we do, and they have to drive back and forth to work every day.”
Apa plays Archie Andrews in the series, which became an instant hit. Season 2 is underway and debuted last month.
“This whole thing has been moving so quickly, and the show has blown up in a way that no one really expected it to,” Apa says. “Before I started shooting the show, I had my questions about it; I wasn’t really sure how it would go. It felt like we were in this bubble. No one had seen it yet, and we couldn’t even imagine it coming out.”