The Riverdale teens have chased down serial killers, busted drug trades, and orchestrated prison breaks, but they may have finally met their match. After looming over the town unseen throughout Season 3, cult leader Edgar Evernever, played by Chad Michael Murray, has arrived at last. And Riverdale may never be the same.
Edgar has been a mysterious figure all season, and fans are clamoring to find out exactly what he wants. Murray knew getting into Edgar's mind was going to be difficult, but he was determined to rise to the challenge. By watching documentaries about people like Charles Manson and Ted Bundy, Murray strived to learn what makes a cult leader tick.
"A lot of it has to do with having the charisma and charm to get people to immediately let their guard down," he tells Bustle. "You have to be able to lead people in a way where you know every single person's wants."
We have already seen glimpses of Edgar's charm at work, like last week when he recruited Cheryl Blossom to join the Farm, even though she'd initially gone there as a spy for Betty. But considering so many characters have fallen under the cult's spell, Murray knew he had to think not just about who Edgar is, but what led his followers to him in the first place.
"Where did they zig when they should have zagged that brought them to join this group? What is it that they're searching for that they found in this cult?" he says. "The Farm is giving them answers that they can't find anywhere else."
Unfortunately, the Farm isn't giving Riverdale fans any answers, but while Murray wouldn't let any spoilers slip, he promises all of your burning questions will be answered soon enough. He also promises that Edgar will be anything but boring. "He says some of the [weirdest] crap I've ever said. In Episode 22 you're going to hear the weirdest paragraph come out of my lips that you've ever heard," he says.
But Murray is loving it. Although he jokes that he would constantly ask himself "what am I talking about," he says the experience has been an "absolute pleasure," if a bit "surreal." Like many of the Riverdale parents, Murray was himself a teen show star as Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill, which makes his role as Edgar sort of a full circle moment. He says he's enjoyed getting to pass on his experiences to young actors like K.J. Apa and Cole Sprouse, though he doesn't really think they need his advice.
"They're so much smarter and savvy than we were, holy cow," he says, adding that, unlike the Riverdale stars, he used to have a reckless streak. "I'm that guy when I was younger who, you know, someone says, 'hey, that fire is hot. Don't touch it.' I go, 'no, it's not,' until I burn myself."
Murray has since mellowed out, but he's excited to inflict some chaos on Riverdale. Edgar has already lured multiple main characters into the Farm, and it seems like things are only going to escalate. "Buckle your seatbelt," Murray teases, "because things are about to get crazy."