When a celebrity starts dating someone, people care. When a celebrity starts dating another celebrity, people really care. When a celebrity starts dating a costar, people go nuts. But when a celebrity starts dating a costar who plays their onscreen love interest in a pairing that also happens to be the most popular ship on the show? Well, then you have the fan insanity around Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse's relationship.
For anyone not religiously watching Riverdale, Lili and Cole play Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones on the hit CW show and their love (both onscreen and off) is shipped 'round the Riverdale fandom. Rumors that Lili and Cole were a thing IRL have been circulating since at least mid-2017, but the actors were very secretive about their relationship status for a long time.
In the fall of 2017, Cole gave a cryptically vague answer when asked about the relationship:
"Since the show began, people have wanted Lili and I to be together. People have wanted Lili and Camila [Mendes] to be together. People have wanted KJ [Apa] and I to be together. People have wanted every actor on this show to be in a union that they could make real. Truthfully, it's very pleasing that people talk about Lili and I in that way. Because it means that we're resonating so strongly that people really want that to be true."
By spring of this year, however, keeping the open secret must not have been worth it anymore because Lili and Cole confirmed they were dating in April by stepping out in Paris together, holding hands and kissing. In May, they attended the 2018 Met Gala together.
Lili and Cole came out on the other side of the secret Hollywood relationship wormhole with a very good sense of humor about all the questions they've had to endure.
Last night, Lili shared a shirtless picture of Cole on Instagram, which she captioned, "I hope you don’t mind."
Obviously, no one minds. At all. Keep them coming, Lili. Cole jumped in to the pic's comments, jokingly trolling their own relationship secrecy and the fan reaction to it by writing, "Are you guys dating?"
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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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