You know Charles Melton best as Reggie on Riverdale, but this Friday he jumps to the big screen alongside Yara Shahidi in The Sun Is Also a Star. The movie, based on Nicola Yoon’s bestselling novel, centers on a student, Natasha (Shahidi), who meets and falls in love with a med student hopeful named Daniel (Melton) in the span of a day. Their relationship has a shelf life, though, because Natasha’s family is being deported to Jamaica. It’s a deeply-moving love story that got me thinking about romance in general. So I hopped on the phone with Charles Melton to discuss all things love—both in The Sun Is Also a Star and real life. Here’s what he had to say.
Glamour: Your character in this movie, Daniel, wants to be a poet, but his parents want him to be a doctor. How did your parents respond to your dreams of becoming an actor?
Charles Melton: My parents have always been very supportive in what I’ve wanted to pursue in my life. They really didn’t understand me wanting to be an actor, but they supported it 100 percent. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my parents.
The Sun Is Also a Star feels like a classic romance film but with a modern twist. What are your favorite romance movies?
CM: I love Before Sunrise [directed by] Richard Linklater. A beautiful film that takes place in the span of one night, one day. Such a beautiful story. The Notebook‘s a classic. The Time Traveler’s Wife is pretty good, too. Just Friends is good—romantic comedies are always good. Like Crazy is phenomenal. Love Actually. Pretty Woman.
What are some of your favorite love songs?
CM: Coldplay has some really good love songs. It’s hard to say; there are so many different artists. I really love Usher. Old-school Usher, all his songs. I love his voice and how soulful he is with his music. Do you remember the Confessions album? “Let It Burn?” [Proceeds to sing “Let It Burn”]
At the end of the movie Daniel is working at a coffee shop, presumably as he’s pursuing his dreams. Did you ever have a job like that?
CM: I was walking dogs and working at a Chinese takeout restaurant while pursuing my dreams of being an actor. With the dogs, it was picking up a lot of poop, walking a lot of miles. I made the best of it.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Daniel does private karaoke with Natasha (Yara Shahidi). What’s your go-to karaoke song and why?
CM: “Halo” by Beyoncé. I pull 100 percent every time at Korean karaoke. Things happen. My face changes. I hit pitches I never knew existed. It’s a fun song. I literally become Beyoncé when I sing that song.
That karaoke scene leads to a streamy makeout session between Daniel and Natasha. Where is the strangest place you’ve ever made out with someone?
CM: I mean, where haven’t I made out with someone in real life?
If you had one day to spend in New York City with a crush and you had no plans, like in this movie, what would you do?
CM: Hop on the train, find out where the best pizza was, and explore. I’m dying to go skydiving in New York.
Your character does a lot of romantic things for Natasha. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done in your current relationship [with Riverdale star Camila Mendes]?