Marisol wears coat by Nili Lotan @nililotan.

MARISOL NICHOLS

PHOTOGRAPHY & MAKEUP BY TINA TURNBOW
SKINCARE USING RETROUVE
MAKEUP USING OGEE
STYLED BY EMILY SANCHEZ
INTERVIEW BY KATINA GOULAKOS

You may recognize our next subject from the hit series Riverdale where she plays the complex and stylish Hermione. However, Marisol Nichols is much more than that. 

The single mother is also a jewelry designer and runs her a non-profit that fights against human trafficking. To say that Nichols is a superwoman would be an understatement. 

We spoke with her about her life on and on screen, both of which are very impressive.

Coat by Red Valentino @Redvaletino. Hat by Hat Attack @hatattackny.

Imagista: You have quite the impressive resume, can you pinpoint the project that you feel skyrocketed your career as a working actor?

Marisol Nichols: Right now it’s Riverdale. For me, there never was a skyrocket until now. I never had really big success, my resume is huge and I have been working as an actor in LA for years but I never had a real project that really took off. 

As an actor, when one project ends, you need to start over from the beginning so it can be tough. 

The first job that moved me from Chicago to LA is a project that changed my life so I guess that is what started everything.

Coat with faux fur collar by N’onat @nonatatelier. Boots by Dolce Vita @dolcevita.

Imagista: You play such an interesting role on the hit series Riverdale, what has this experience been like for you?

Marisol Nichols: I think like any actor, you want to do good work. As Hermione has evolved, it has been really amazing. Some people love my character, others hate her, I don’t mind as long as you think something. 

Imagista: She is such a complex character and has changed so much throughout the show. Had you set any goals for her at the start of her journey? 

Marisol Nichols: At first, we had this back-story that she was this fallen New York socialite who was starting her life over. I thought that she must have been very humbled, that she had lost everything and was starting fresh with her daughter and that dictated who she was for me. 

It’s up to the writers, I have zero input, my job is to transmit her motives and what makes her tick to our audience. Towards the end of Season One even I was surprised with the choices Hermione was making! I never know where my character is going until I get the script.

Coat by Red Valentino @Redvaletino. Hat by Hat Attack @hatattackny.

Imagista: It must be exciting to never know where the show is going to go and what the writers are going to think of

Marisol Nichols: It is amazing because I get to experience it as a fan also. When I read the script sometimes I am like “wait what did I do?”, which is funny. I always just roll with it and find a way of doing the writing justice. 

Imagista: How do you feel she evolved as a character and did you evolve as a person through this character?

Marisol Nichols: Oh yeah of course. For me, people saw my character one way and then all of a sudden she turned against her daughter. For me, it was such a hard turn of events for an actor to take because I didn’t know why and we never really explained it. I had to come up with my own backstory and check it with the writers to make sure it all made sense. 

My thought for Season Two was let’s make Veronica hate me so that she doesn’t go after her dangerous father- that was my reason. 

This role has forced me to evolve as an actor without any predictions of what’s coming or where my character is going. I learned that I shouldn’t think too much and be more spontaneous I guess.

Coat with faux fur collar by N’onat @nonatatelier. Boots by Dolce Vita @dolcevita.

Imagista: How is the dynamic on set, as one of the elders on the show, do you take on the role of “mommy” with your co-stars?

Marisol Nichols: That’s a good question. Sometimes, it kind of depends on the circumstances. These kids are smart and they are adults. No one likes unwarranted advice so I don’t like to push that on people. But, I do have a lot of experience, so if the situation arises; I take that opening to share my thoughts or experiences. 

Imagista: Are you working on anything that our readers should know about? 

Marisol Nichols: I am playing the lead female lead for Lionsgate opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock in the new Saw reboot. It comes out in May and I am so excited about it. We shot in Toronto so there was a lot of hard work and travel, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

Imagista: What can fans expect from this new character? 

Marisol Nichols: She is technically Chris Rocks’ boss and is the captain of the police department’s homicide unit. So, she is a lot tougher than my character on Riverdale and very different from her, she has a lot more street. 

Imagista: I also heard that you are involved in a jewelry line, can you tell me a little bit about that?

Marisol Nichols: I actually just got back from Milan where I launched my new jewelry line. I collaborated with a company called A Different Clasp, they have a few stores in Milan and the first collection is officially out.

Coat by Nili Lotan @nililotan.

Imagista: Your passion and devotion to raising awareness about sex trafficking are inspiring. How did you decide to start your own organization?

Marisol Nichols: It came about in 2012. I was hearing about human trafficking and I was horrified that this was going on in this day and age. The more I educated myself, the more horrified I was. I didn’t understand why this wasn’t a bigger deal to everyone on the planet. 

I started doing events to raise awareness. I traveled to DC numerous times and met various organizations. I wanted to learn all the aspects of this issue and all the ways that these organizations help out. I spoke to everyone I could and asked what they were doing to combat it, I even went to D.C to an executive branch of the White House under President Obama and talked to them about it. I dove in and would connect all these people through my events. 

Eventually, I realized it would be more beneficial if I started my own non-profit and that’s what I did and have been doing it ever since. I have gone under-cover several times and have traveled to Haiti. 

If I wasn’t an actress this would be my full time gig. 

Imagista: How can our readers get involved?

Marisol Nichols: My organization is slaveryfreeworld.org and you can find the entire history of trafficking. There are also links to other organizations that do this type of work. If someone wants to help out, they should educate themselves on what exactly is going on. Then, google “trafficking” in whatever city you live in and there will be an organization that will come up that needs help. This is a major issue. 

Imagista: You are clearly a very busy woman, what do you do to stay grounded?

Marisol Nichols: I am a single mom. I don’t have a choice! I have an 11-year-old daughter that needs me so I need to stay grounded. I wish I could say that I have it all together but yes, I have days where I want to pull my hair out. But, I want to inspire my daughter and show her that in order to get what you want, you need to work hard. Life isn’t easy and things don’t just happen. I am happy to know she sees that. 

Imagista: Can you tell me something about yourself that our readers cannot find on google?

Marisol Nichols: I am a major sci-fi nerd. I read every night and read a ton of science fiction and fantasy. Right now I am reading a book called Red Rising and it is incredible. I read all of the Game of Thrones books before the shows came out. I love fantasy and science fiction writers. They dream up a new world and a new reality and if they are a good writer I just dive into the story. 

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