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KJ Apa

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KJ Apa
K.J. Apa (44563642331) (cropped 2).jpg
Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa

(1997-06-17) 17 June 1997 (age 25)
Auckland, New Zealand
  • Actor
  • singer
  • musician
Years active2013–present
PartnerClara Berry (2019–present)
RelativesMichael Jones (uncle)
AwardsFull list
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano

Savae Keneti James Fitzgerald Apa, Moata'a[a] (born 17 June 1997) is a New Zealand actor, singer and musician. He has received various accolades, including a Saturn Award and nominations for an MTV Movie & TV Award, two People's Choice Awards and two Teen Choice Awards, and was appointed the matai title of Savae chief of his village Moata'a in 2022.

He began acting playing Kane Jenkins in the New Zealand primetime soap opera Shortland Street from 2013 to 2015. In 2017, Apa was cast in the lead role of Archie Andrews in the CW drama series Riverdale.[2] In film, Apa has starred in A Dog's Purpose (2017), The Hate U Give (2018) and I Still Believe (2020). In 2021, he released his debut solo album, the indie folk-rock album Clocks, which received some attention on Spotify and TikTok.

Early life

Apa was born on 17 June 1997 at Waitakere Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand,[3] the son of Tupa'i and Tessa Apa (née Callander). His father is Samoan and a matai (chief) of his village in Samoa;[4] his mother is a European New Zealander.[5] He has two older sisters and is the nephew of former rugby union player and coach Michael Jones.[6] He attended high school at King's College in Auckland before beginning his acting career.[7]


Early work and breakthrough (2013–2017)

Apa in 2018

From 2013 to 2015, Apa starred as Kane Jenkins in the New Zealand prime-time soap opera Shortland Street. In 2016, he was cast as Archie Andrews in the CW drama series Riverdale, after a four-month worldwide talent search.[2]

In 2017, he starred as teenage Ethan Montgomery in the comedy-drama film A Dog's Purpose, which was released on the same day as Riverdale premiered on television.[8]

Further films and critical fluctuations (2018–2020)

His next film role was replacing Kian Lawley in the 2018 drama film The Hate U Give.[9] He starred as Griffin in the Netflix film The Last Summer, which was released on 3 May 2019.[10] He also starred as singer Jeremy Camp in the biographical romantic drama film I Still Believe, which was released in March 2020.[11]

Apa in 2019

Apa starred in Adam Mason's critically panned 2020 thriller film Songbird, produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes.[12] The film was accused of using the COVID-19 pandemic to create a thrill plot. In May 2021, Lionsgate Films announced he would appear in a military based drama West Pointer.[13]

Music ventures (2021–present)

In 2021, he independently released his debut album, Clocks, which explores the folk rock and indie genres. It gained some attention on Spotify and TikTok.

Personal life

Apa at San Diego Comic-Con with Riverdale costar Camila Mendes

Apa was involved in a minor car accident in Vancouver in September 2017, but was uninjured when the passenger side of his car hit a light pole. The late-night crash was reportedly the result of him falling asleep at the wheel after a long day of filming.[14]

Apa leaving San Diego Comic-Con in 2018

Since 2020, Apa has been in a relationship with French model Clara Berry.[15] Their child was born in September 2021.[16]

Apa was raised in a Christian family and has stated that he is a Christian.[5] In April 2018, he publicly criticized Australian rugby player Israel Folau for claiming that it was God's plan to send gay people to hell, describing Folau's comments as "disappointing".[17]

Moata'a rule

In September 2022, he was awarded the matai title of Savae by his village of Moata'a.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
2017 A Dog's Purpose Teenage Ethan Montgomery
2018 The Hate U Give Chris
2019 The Last Summer Griffin Hourigan
2020 I Still Believe Jeremy Camp
2020 Dead Reckoning Niko
2020 Songbird Nico Price
TBA One Fast Move TBA


Year Title Role Notes
2013–2015 Shortland Street Kane Jenkins Series regular (381 episodes)
2016 The Cul de Sac Jack 6 episodes
2017–present Riverdale Archie Andrews Main role
Fred Andrews (young) 2 episodes
Archibald Andrews (ancestor) 1 episode


In addition to soundtrack work on Shortland Street, Riverdale and I Still Believe, Apa has released independent music.

  • The Third Room (2012)
  • Clocks (2021)[18]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Riverdale Nominated [19]
Breakthrough Performance Won [20]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Star Nominated [21]
2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Kiss (with Camila Mendes) Nominated [22]
People's Choice Awards Drama TV Star of 2018 Nominated [23]
Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Nominated [24]
2019 People's Choice Awards Male TV Star of 2019 Nominated [25]
Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series Nominated [26]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Drama TV Actor Nominated [27]


  1. ^ In September 2022, Apa was appointed Savae, an esteemed matai title of his native New Zealand Samoan village of Moata'a.[1]


  1. ^ a b Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong (1 September 2022). "Savae title bestowed on Hollywood actor". Samoa Observer. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (24 February 2016). "Riverdale Finds Its Archie & Josie: KJ Apa To Topline CW Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Get to know KJ Apa". Television New Zealand. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ Jung, E. Alex. "Riverdale's K.J. Apa on His Dye Job, Becoming a Sex Object, and Why He Ships Archie and Betty". New York. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b Morris, Jessica (10 November 2017). "KJ's key to success". Salvos Warcry Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  6. ^ Gidlow, Steve (9 January 2017). "Everything's Archie for Riverdale Star KJ Apa". MediaVillage. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  7. ^ Jones, Bridget (13 November 2014). "Our little brother the Shortie star". New Idea. Yahoo! New Zealand. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (5 August 2015). "Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid join DreamWorks' A Dog's Purpose (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (3 April 2018). "Riverdale's K.J. Apa Set For The Hate U Give As Fox 2000 Reshoots Kian Lawley Scenes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  10. ^ Osifo, Ehis. "The Trailer For Netflix's Newest Summer Romance Is Here And This Gal Is Excited". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  11. ^ Piña, Christy (14 January 2020). "K.J. Apa Encounters Love and Loss in 'I Still Believe' Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  12. ^ Kit, Borys (13 July 2020). "KJ Apa, Sofia Carson to Star in Michael Bay-Produced Pandemic Thriller 'Songbird'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (26 May 2021). "'Riverdale's KJ Apa To Star In Rod Lurie-Directed Military Academy Drama 'West Pointer' For Lionsgate". Deadline. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  14. ^ Johnson, Scott (21 September 2017). "Riverdale Star in Late-Night Car Crash After Working 16-Hour Day". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  15. ^ Chung, Gabrielle. "Riverdale's KJ Apa Expecting First Baby with Model Clara Berry: 'She's Pregnant". People. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  16. ^ "KJ Apa's Girlfriend Clara Berry Gives Birth, Welcomes Their 1st Child". Us Weekly. 26 September 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  17. ^ McNamara, Brittney (11 April 2018). "KJ Apa Clapped Back at an Athlete Who Said Gay People Go to "Hell"". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  18. ^ "KJ Apa – Clocks". Apple Music (NZ). Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (2 March 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  20. ^ Staley, Brandon (29 June 2017). "Supergirl, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange Win at Annual Saturn Awards". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  21. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (13 August 2017). "Teen Choice Awards 2017: Riverdale, Fifth Harmony Shut Out Competition". Variety. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  22. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (3 May 2018). "MTV Movie & TV Awards: 'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Top Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  23. ^ Macke, Johnni (11 November 2018). "People's Choice Awards 2018 Winners: The Complete List". E! Online. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  24. ^ McNary, Dave (15 March 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  25. ^ Hahn, Jason Duaine (10 November 2019). "People's Choice Awards 2019: See the Complete List of Winners". People. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  26. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (16 July 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame', 'Game of Thrones' Lead the 2019 Saturn Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  27. ^ Moreau, Jordan (19 June 2019). "Avengers: Endgame, Riverdale, Aladdin Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 19 July 2019.

External links