Hollywood star KJ Apa is coming home to Auckland for Christmas and says he misses his mates, their Kiwi humour and the banter with the boys.
"Grabbing a beer with my friends in Vancouver or in LA, compared with grabbing a beer with the boys I've known since I was four, just does not compare, " Apa tells Remix Magazine in their December issue out tomorrow.
"It's been a few years since we shot a guy for the cover of Remix, but we've been paying close attention to KJ and felt this was the right time to celebrate him as one of New Zealand's most incredible young talents," says the magazine's editor Steven Fernandez.
"I couldn't believe his energy, having worked all week in Vancouver and flown into LA for one day to shoot with us. He was professional well beyond his years and has a real enthusiasm for his work. KJ shoots for magazines all around the world, but we reckon he was pretty stoked to shoot with a crew of Kiwis again."
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The 22-year-old actor, who says he can't cook, spends 10 months of the year in Vancouver, shooting non-stop for his hit series Riverdale.
Every now and then he visits New Zealand for a weekend, but mostly spends any of his downtime in Los Angeles.
In the quintessential Remix Hollywood shoot, Apa dons Kiwi fashion and talks about getting his shirt off every two weeks on his hit show:
"I've been working out since I was 13. My earliest memories of working out are with my old man. My dad (Keneti) made me work out with him every day and he pushed me really hard, even when I didn't want to do it. It was great, because he taught me how to work hard," he says.
Apa also says his massive fan base thinks they know him, when it's his Riverdale character Archie Andrews they identify with.
Those who love Archie often hold a sense of entitlement but Apa always tries to accommodate them with a chat or a photo - reminding himself they're fans of the show and he's grateful for their support.
The actor, whose true passion is music, has recently finished filming I Still Believe, where he plays Christian music star Jeremy Camp.
He says he had a "pinch me" moment at a party in Beverly Hills recently, where one of his childhood heroes Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers was playing the drums.
When asked about his own band Legend, guitarist Apa says:
"Here's the thing – everyone asks about the band, but we don't have music ready to put out into the world yet. We've recorded some music, who knows if it's any good, but I love it. I'm Legend's biggest fan. I believe in the music, I'm proud of the music, and I can't wait for it to come out, so people can hear it. It's a huge rock and roll album that I recorded with my friends solely because I like playing that kind of music."