KJ Apa has been stealing hearts on screens everywhere for quite some time now. He’s been playing Archie on The CW’s Riverdale since 2017. Recently, Apa has also been making a name for himself in the box office. In March of 2020, his newest film was about to hit theaters until the COVID 19 crisis hit. Due to theaters shutting down, the film is available to rent On Demand.
In the movie, I Still Believe, KJ took on the daunting task of telling a real-life love story, one in which he portrayed the famous Christian singer Jeremy Camp. The story is about Jeremy and Mellissa Camp’s love that endured a heart-breaking terminal cancer diagnosis. Any nerves about the role went unseen on screen, as he told the heavy yet hope-filled story beautifully.
It was tough to narrow down, but here are the top 10 reasons to love “I Still Believe” star KJ Apa.
1. His acting skills
KJ Apa is an incredibly gifted actor. The characters he has portrayed have had wildly different life experiences and he embodies each one well. He’s committed to the art; KJ once broke his hand while filming a particularly emotional scene of Riverdale. He told On Demand Entertainment, that he “got a bit carried away and just went for it.” He makes the audience laugh, blush, fall in love, feel his pain and cry. KJ’s performance made the film I Still Believe as heart-wrenching as it was. He loves and grieves so intensely on-screen, touching the audience in a deep and meaningful way. KJ is building up quite an impressive resume of films and television shows.
We have no doubt that he will have a long and successful career. If you have not heard of him yet, you definitely will. This is just the beginning.
2. He is musically inclined
KJ is asked fairly often to put his musical skills to use while acting. Riverdale periodically loves to have musical episodes, which kind of pop up out of nowhere, but we love them all the same. KJ is in a band IRL called Legend. In his very limited free time, music keeps him busy. The star initially turned down his role in I Still Believe a couple of times due to reservations, some of which were the expectations for him to sing. He also was nervous about embodying Jeremy and giving the film the sensitivity it deserved. Kingdom Story Company, the production company for the film, posted this video of KJ to their Instagram. It shows KJ finding his voice during the making of the movie and warming up to the role.
3. His costars adore him (especially his best friend, Charles Melton)
The old adage “you are who you hang out with” definitely plays in KJ’s favor. His costars love him and the goofiness he brings along with him to every tv and movie set. From his classmates at Riverdale High to Britt Robertson, who has starred alongside him twice now, his friends love him to pieces. When the cast is shooting in Vancouver for long stretches of time, they can’t resist snapping a few adorably silly pictures together. His best mate, Charles Melton, who plays Reggie on Riverdale, even supported him by coming to the I Still Believe premiere. Photographers snagged a few pictures of the boys being silly on the red carpet together and we loved every second. The two are always causing mischief on and off set and fans can’t get enough of their sweet bromance.
4. He loves his dogs
People say that a dog is the best judge of character, and KJ’s dogs seem to adore him. He poses with his pups quite often on his Instagram, where he shows us little glimpses into his fun-filled busy life. He often says that he doesn’t like the idea of Instagram and social media being an unrealistic highlight reel that causes comparison, so he keeps things light and silly on his Insta feed. Keep the dog pics coming, KJ. We love to see it.
5. He is outspoken about his faith
I Still Believe is a faith-based movie about Christian singer Jeremy Camp, and the love story between him and his late first wife, Mellissa. The Erwin Brothers, who created the movie, did not know about KJ’s faith before casting him for the role. They said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, “…we came to find out KJ does have an incredible faith background from his childhood, and he drew on that in a very powerful way. I think there’s an added authenticity because he is close to the source material.” KJ also gave a sweet and playful shoutout to his faith in a WIRED autocomplete interview. In response to the question “is KJ Apa perfect?” he states “No. Nobody is perfect. The only perfect human being that walked the Earth was Jesus.”
6. His New Zealand accent…c’mon, everybody loves an accent
KJ was born in Auckland, New Zealand and he has a cute accent to prove it. In 2018, he sat down with Vanity Fair and taught fans some New Zealand slang words and it was hilarious. It is ridiculously dreamy– as if he needed more help with that! His accent stays under the radar and often surprises fans when he goes on press tours for his various projects. This is because KJ has perfected his American accent, which he uses in most of his acting gigs. His impression of Americans is quite impressive and definitely convincing! You’d never know he was faking, but he explained that he struggles to say a certain keyword that is necessary when playing a leading romantic man.
7. The meaning behind his name and tattoos
KJ often shares his full name and its significance in interviews because of the pride he feels for his family and his home. Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa is named after his father, who both share the traditional Samoan name. The tattoos, which often have to be covered for his roles, can be seen when he’s not filming.
In a WIRED autocomplete interview, he explained that a team of women spend 3 hours covering his tattoos before each of his shirtless Riverdale scenes. One of his shoulder tattoos represents his Samoan heritage. He revealed to MTV International that it was supposed to be a piece of a much larger sleeve, but his acting career kept him from continuing. KJ let People in on a little secret: “I love tattoos, I love the art of them, and I love the experience of getting them.” From his name to his tats, we love it all.
8. He rocks every hair color
While KJ’s natural hair color is a dark brunette shade, he spends a lot of his time lately as a redhead. His role as Archie Andrews requires a lot of time dying his hair an unnaturally bright shade of red. The comic book character is often called “Red” by his friends and foes throughout the show, but when KJ isn’t working he tries to “cover the red.” One of his essentials that he told GQ was a hat that would allow him to remain low-key when he wasn’t working. In other movies like I Still Believe, A Dog’s Purpose, and The Last Summer, KJ rocks a more natural shade of brown. No matter the color, fans obsess over this heartthrob’s hair.
9. He is goofy.
KJ is known for his goofy antics. One of his best tricks are the crazy faces that he can pull. Maia Mitchell, a previous costar, has reported that she is both impressed and terrified by his uncanny ability to contort his face. In a game of “Never Have I Ever” with MTV International, KJ shows off another funny party trick. Sometimes the plot of Riverdale becomes almost unbelievably silly, but KJ takes the critiques in stride. While being interviewed by GQ, KJ explained “we’re in a completely different universe. We’re not trying to create a real-life story. Our show is based off 75 years of stories from comics. So that makes it a lot easier to buy into the craziness.”
Whether on-screen or off, we love to see KJ being silly. Even if it means that Archie has to fight off a grizzly bear.
10. He’s ridiculously charming
There’s a swoon-worthy charm about this guy and everybody knows it. Between the smile, the eyes and that head of hair, its no wonder he’s a teen heartthrob. While he likes to keep his private life, well, private, lately he’s taking every opportunity to gush about his own love story. Another piece of news he shared in the WIRED autocomplete interview is that he is”very much in love right now.” His Instagram followers saw a glimpse of him and his boo when he posted a mirror selfie while on set. The little polaroid picture that he keeps in the back of his phone is enough proof that he’s smitten. His lucky lady has popped up a couple more times on his Instagram as of late. Though many fans are disappointed that he is taken, we could not be happier for him!
Well, there you have it! It was difficult to narrow it down to just 10 reasons because KJ Apa is just so lovable. We hope you’ve grown to love him too! What do you think, could he be the next Brad Pitt? We sure think so!
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