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Camila Mendes Gave Boyfriend Rudy Mancuso a “Riverdale” 'Crash Course' — and He 'Loved It'! (Exclusive)

The 'Música' creator tells PEOPLE he's well-versed in the world of 'Riverdale', thanks to Mendes' "crash course"

<p>Cindy Ord/Getty</p> Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso visit the SiriusXM Studios on April 3, 2024 in New York City.

Cindy Ord/Getty

Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso visit the SiriusXM Studios on April 3, 2024 in New York City.

Camila Mendes made sure to give her boyfriend a proper Riverdale education.

When asked if he’s seen the hit CW series, Rudy Mancuso tells PEOPLE he “sure” has, and Mendes, 29, shares she gave her boyfriend a “crash course” on the show.

“He watched the first and the last season,” she says. “I remember I did a quick skim through of certain moments each season. I'm like, ‘All right, you should probably see this scene. Okay, and then there's this scene.’”

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“Yeah, she gave me a crash course on Riverdale,” Mancuso, 32, agrees, though he admits there’s “a lot of episodes that I haven’t [seen].”

As the show’s seventh and final season was airing in 2023, the couple — who have been dating ever since they met on the set of the Vine star’s directorial debut, Prime Video’s Música, in 2022 — tuned in as the show aired. “He watched it with me as I was watching it for the first time,” Mendes shares.

“And I loved it,” Mancuso adds.

Related: Camila Mendes Says Riverdale Stars' Group Text Is Still 'Lit' and Dishes on What They Chat About (Exclusive)

When casting Mendes for the role of Isabella, his love interest in the semi-autobiographical flick Música — which tells the story of him growing up in the predominantly Brazilian community of Ironbound, New Jersey and grappling with synesthesia — Mancuso admits he watched a few Riverdale clips and “compilations,” but he mainly relied on interview footage.

“I didn't want to watch it before casting her because I didn't want it to influence my judgment and perception of her as an actor and as a person,” he says, noting that he “knew she was talented.”

<p>The CW Network / Courtesy Everett Collection</p> Lili Reinhart, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes in season 6 of 'Riverdale'

The CW Network / Courtesy Everett Collection

Lili Reinhart, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes in season 6 of 'Riverdale'

“How did you know I was a good actor?” Mendes asks him, prompting him to share the research he did prior to casting her.

“I watched interviews. I like to watch interviews of actors more so than their actual performance because it allows me to kind of see them in a more authentic light, and it gives me ideas on what to pull from,” Mancuso admits. “Because I knew Isabella was meant to be this really grounded character who I wanted to tailor to the actor, so it was Cami I really wanted to see, not Veronica [Lodge].”

“There's nothing about Veronica that would be like Isabella, so I'm glad you didn't watch it before picking me,” Mendes says, referring to the differences between her Riverdale character and her Música one.

“I was like, ‘All right, acting-wise, I know she can act. I want to know who she is,’” he adds.

Related: Inside Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso's 'Intense' On-Set Love Story: 'Chemistry from the Moment We Met' (Exclusive)

<p>Kailey Schwerman/The CW</p> Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge on 'Riverdale'

Kailey Schwerman/The CW

Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge on 'Riverdale'

Mancuso’s method — albeit untraditional — worked, seeing as he admittedly had chemistry with the Upgraded star “from the moment we met,” and their relationship blossomed from there.

“It worked out because we were getting to know each other off-set and we got to play out that dynamic in real-time in front of the camera, as we got to know each other as our characters,” Mendes says of how the real-life chemistry with Mancuso led to an off-screen relationship. “There was this natural kind of charismatic chemistry that existed in that scene.”

Mancuso adds, “I don't think either of us expected it to be as intense and move as quickly as it did. But yes, as we were spending all day in our characters, lines began to blur between Rudy and Isabella and Rudy and Cami.”

<p>Amazon MGM Studios</p> Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso in 'Música'

Amazon MGM Studios

Camila Mendes and Rudy Mancuso in 'Música'

Their “shared culture,” both being Brazilian-Americans, only exacerbated the connection. “It felt like I'd known him for so much longer than I had because we just understood things about each other that I think it's hard for other people to understand,” she says, admitting that “accelerated things.”

Mancuso agrees, raving of his girlfriend, "There's no one more fitting for this role than Cami. That's the truth. She was always, I think, number one on the dream list. There's only so many Brazilian-American actors who speak both English and Portuguese and are beautiful and are talented and are smart and also have all these producorial skills. So she ticked every box and more."

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Riverdale can be streamed in full on Netflix, and Música is now streaming on Prime Video.

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Read the original article on People.