Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse were at Comic-Con last weekend for Riverdale. Some say they barely interacted which set off the alarm. And then a few days ago E! News reported that they’d broken up earlier in the summer, that they’re no longer living together, and keeping their distance at work. But E!’s source also said that “they could be heading back in the direction of getting together”.
Then yesterday W Magazine released its new cover story and according to writer David Amsden, while Lili and Cole were photographed together for the feature and were still dating at the time (back in May), they wanted to do their interviews separately.
“I’m so glad we’re making your job more difficult,” Sprouse said, laughing, when I broached the subject. Two months later the two would part ways romantically, lending credence to my suspicions that the separate interviews might have been connected to the two of them being uncertain about their future together. But when we met, Sprouse, an affable 27-year-old who carries himself with a kind of beatnik swagger, he explained the choice with the same nonchalant diplomacy that Reinhart had exhibited when I had met her a few days earlier at a nearby coffee shop. “We’re not fighting with the idea that people group us together, but we are paired up a lot,” she had told me, meaning both as the celebrity couple that had spawned an awkward hashtag (#sprousehart) and as Riverdale’s Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones, or “Bughead,” in fan parlance, an avenging duo that has become the dominant romance on a show with no shortage of dewy entanglements. “We’re acknowledging that we’re in a relationship, but it’s a small part of who we are as people. We want our own separate identities.” On the roof, Sprouse offered up a similarly polished nugget of discretion. “Lili is an incredibly talented individual who speaks for herself and deserves her own voice box in every single way,” he said. “That alone is justification enough for me to do it like this. I don’t think we’re weaving two different narratives here.”
So on the surface, it looks like the timing worked in the magazine’s favour, to have their story land the same week that news spread that Lili and Cole had broken up, making their article seem almost like an exclusive on the split.
But then both Lili and Cole went on Instagram to…
… confirm that they’re still together?
Deny that they confirmed that they broke up?
Deny that they confirmed that they’re still together?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN!?!
Maybe Cole’s second post clears things up?
“An incredible pleasure to shake all your beliefs in tabloid media.”
Wait, so the tabloids were wrong and they haven’t broken up? WHO ARE WE MAD AT!? Like, it’s one thing to call the tabloids out on their sh-t. But it’s another to be deliberately ambiguous. I’m not complaining and I kinda think it’s fun, but playing it this way also extends the game, it makes them a participant, it adds to the intrigue … and I’m not sure you can be like, boo bah f-ck off, stop talking sh-t about us when you’re giving them more to talk about and obsess over? Whatever it is that’s happening, the fans have been given some hope. I think?
As for wanting to do their interviews separately and whether or not that tells us anything about their romantic status – this I can get behind, especially for her. Lili is 22 years old. She’s an ambitious actor. So far, her career has been defined by one show, one character, and one relationship. Eventually and maybe already, she’ll want to move beyond Riverdale and Betty and it’s hard for anyone to break out of where the industry and the audience wants to box you, particularly for women. If I were her, even if I was still in love with my boyfriend, I wouldn’t want to be interviewed with him either. She has a movie coming out in 6 weeks: Hustlers will screen at TIFF before opening in wide release. It’s her first major high profile project since she started on Riverdale. If she has good management, they’d also be in support of her building an identity independent of Riverdale and Cole.
Read the full Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse cover story here.