Veteran television star Mark Consuelos loves being the bad guy on the CW drama series Riverdale, a show that has given him the chance to portray a completely different type of character.

Based on characters who appear in Archie Comics, Riverdale features Consuelos as the villainous Hiram Lodge, a wealthy mob boss who wants to grow his criminal empire inside the titular town. He is the father of Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and the character often clashes with Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), who dated Veronica.

Consuelos got his start on daytime soap opera All My Children, where he met his wife, Kelly Ripa, of Live with Kelly and Ryan fame.

"For so long, I played the boyfriend of the girl who has the father who is kind of mean, but now I am playing the father," Consuelos told UPI. "Being the bad guy, I really leaned into it. I've played so many good guys early on in my career."

He added: "It's awesome. You always get the girl, but I gotta say playing the bad guy is just so much fun."

Riverdale also has allowed Consuelos to act alongside Ripa, who is set to portray a mistress of Hiram's in a future episode, as well as his 12-year-old son, Michael Consuelos, who previously appeared as a younger version of Hiram.

"That was so cool," Consuelos said about his son being featured during a flashback episode. "He was really into it. He jumped at the chance, took a chance. I'm so proud of him. It was such a treat in so many ways."

Consuelos says that the dedicated fans of Riverdale -- whom he compared to the fans of All My Children -- will be surprised to see what happens next during the third season.

"If you think it got crazy and you're on a wild ride, buckle up because it's going to get crazier and darker," he said. "You guys are in for a treat, it just gets better and better."

The 47-year-old former soap star said he looks back at his time on All My Children fondly and hopes that daytime soap operas can continue to run.

"I will always have an affection and respect for where I started," he said. "I grew up on that show. I literally became a young man on that show."

The actor played Mateo Santos Sr. on the soap from 1995 to 2001.

Consuelos is looking forward to taking on the new year by committing to his resolutions -- including getting better sleep, reading more books and continuing his meditation practices -- and by starting off each day on the right foot by drinking a cup of coffee. He partners with McCafe at Home.

"I love coffee. It's a big part of my life," he said.

Riverdale is televised at 8 p.m. Eastern on Wednesdays on The CW.
By Wade Sheridan, UPI.com

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Before They Were on Riverdale