Actor Charles Melton recently reflected further upon his seven-season run as Reggie Mantle on the CW’s controversial yet captivating “Riverdale,” based on the Archie Comics. Following the show’s recent wrap, Melton starred in the critically acclaimed “May December” alongside Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore. The film follows a marriage similar to the real life Mary Kay Letourneau scandal, and Melton is already receiving Oscar buzz for his emotionally moving performance. As fans new and old of the actor continue to comment on his most recent breakthrough performance, many are left surprised at how the actor transitioned from a teen supernatural soap to a major drama film so seamlessly.
In a new interview with iD, Melton stated that “‘Riverdale’ was his Juilliard.” Juilliard is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious acting schools in the world, and while many actors who have gone on to become recipients of major awards like Golden Globes and Oscars do have traditional training, Melton’s performance and commentary on his creative process continue to start conversation.
Social Media Reactions
Some X users are glad to see the actor reflecting positively on the lessons he learned on the set of the teen show. By contrast, fellow newly acclaimed actor Jacob Elordi recently reflected negatively on his role in Netflix’s “The Kissing Booth” franchise, saying that he “never wanted to make those movies before he made those movies.” Elordi recently starred as Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” and as Felix Catton in Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” following a successful run as Nate Jacobs in Sam Levinson‘s “Euphoria.” Now, fans appear to be drawing comparisons between the two actors’ differing reflections on their previous work.
His sharing is very good and meaningful.
— Việt Nam – Quê Hương Tôi (@Tungdv2019) December 19, 2023
See? He's classy. Compare that to what Jacob Elordi said about The Kissing Booth.
— Mr.Floppy (@MrFloppy) December 19, 2023
Many hope that Melton’s role in “May December” will earn him the coveted Oscar nod, and that it gives way to further acting opportunities.
that’s the way we love to see actors talk about their work especially when it might be made for teenagers
— B. pjo era (@xuuwho) December 19, 2023
maybe i’m being delusional but with may december having a Moment right now i think there’s a chance charles melton might genuinely get the gold when all is said and done IDK IDK pic.twitter.com/If9dhZyFaB
— Zoë Rose Bryant (@ZoeRoseBryant) December 7, 2023
Why “May December” Is Attracting Praise
The relationship between the real life Filaau and Letourneau began in 1996, after Letourneau had taught a young Fulaau in both her second and sixth grade classes. The teacher had previously been married to her college boyfriend Steve Letourneau from Arizona State University, and went on to have four children with him. They officially divorced while Letourneau was imprisoned in 1999 after being convicted of child rape.
Following her release from a six month prison sentence, she violated a no-contact order and conceived her second child with Fulaau, resulting in a longer prison sentence. The ordeal caused a young Fulaau to drop out of high school and struggle with alcoholism. Letourneau passed away from colon cancer in 2020, and is survived by all six of her children (four from her first marriage, and two daughters from her second) and reportedly left much of her estate to Fulaau.
The scandal was the subject of a global tabloid frenzy for its shocking nature. The case was among the first in recent decades to involve a female predator, and the implications of how it was handled by the mass media and onlookers alike continue to linger. “May December”, while loosely based on the real case, offers a rare glimpse into the emotional trauma that Fulaau could have experienced, and men who are survivors of sexual assault and emotional abuse at large.
“May December” is streaming on Netflix.