KJ Apa would cover himself in tattoos if he could. He’s already got seven tattoos, and he’d love to add even more. There’s just one thing holding him back.
As an actor, Apa needs to be able to change his look up on a dime. That’s why the naturally brunette actor dyed his hair to match the iconic red hue of his Riverdale character, Archie Andrews. Changing his hair color isn’t the only change Apa has undergone for his career. Though the 22-year-old New Zealand native confessed to People that he’s “addicted” to getting tattoos, he’s had to put a pause on adding anymore to his already impressive collection of ink.
KJ Apa is addicted to tattoos
In an interview with GQ Australia, Apa admitted, “If I wasn’t acting, I’d have tattoos everywhere.” He revealed that he’s “so jealous” of “Yummy” singer Justin Bieber, seemingly because the crooner is able to cover himself with tats without fear of losing out on opportunities. If it were possible, Apa continued, “I would have them all over my neck. And I want a sleeve.” Playing the less-tattooed Archie has put a damper on those plans, however. “I just can’t do it though,” he lamented. “I have to get these covered every day.” That hassle alone would be reason enough to avoid going too extreme when choosing a new tat.
Because of his Samoan heritage — his father is Samoan and chief of his village in Samoa — KJ Apa chose a tribal design as his first tattoo. Though it’s in a very visible position on his right shoulder, casual Riverdale viewers would probably never know of its existence since it’s covered up so well on the show. On Apa’s right forearm is the Van Halen logo as a tribute to his favorite band.
Each tattoo comes with its own story
There’s also a bee tattoo on that same arm as another tribute. This time, it’s to his grandmother, who “loves bees,” KJ Apa explained. “My grandmom and my mom both have the same bee, and I got the wreath around it when I was actually waiting for another tattoo that is on my left shoulder.”
One of Apa’s newest tattoos, the one on his left shoulder that he references, is another tribal design. The circular design is an homage to his Samoan heritage, as well as the Armenian and Maori heritage of his best friends, all linked together. There’s a smattering of other tats that the Riverdale actor has acquired over the years. “I love tattoos,” Apa explained. “I love the art of them, and I love the experience of getting them.” Clearly he does, otherwise why else would he subject himself to the sometimes hours-long sessions that tattoos require?
There is a downside to tattoos: They’re permanent and very difficult to remove once they’re inked. He’s got a trick to avoid regretting getting them, though. “I’m straight in there,” he said. “I don’t think about it, otherwise, when you think about it you might end up changing your mind.” It might seem counter-intuitive, but hey, if it works for him, then it works.