From 2013 to 2015, KJ Apa played sporty young Kane Jenkins on Shortland Street. The model — with no prior acting experience — used the show to launch a screen career. After performing in sci fi family drama Cul de Sac, he got a US break, acting as a teen quarterback with Dennis Quaid in feature A Dog's Purpose. He also scored a lead role as Archie in Riverdale  — a dark US TV take on the classic Archie comics.

Coming from New Zealand and playing just an iconic American character, I was nervous ... The fans are so aggressive. I was thinking, ‘Man I hope I don’t get too much stick from these guys.’ The feedback has been really well, really good. So, I’m really pleased with it. Apa talking about playing Archie, at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Emertainment Monthly