charles melton

2019 Already Has a New Heartthrob

Charles Melton
Charles Melton. Photo: Getty Images

Hear ye, hear ye, for I have a proclamation that will cause your cool teenage cousin to either agree vigorously or else deride me in group chats for a week straight (please, dear God, I hope it’s the former). 2019 needs a new Heartthrob, and I now predict that this year will be the Year of Melton.

Melton, as in Charles Melton, currently plays high-school jock turned speakeasy bartender turned Clyde Barrow wannabe Reggie Mantle on the CW’s Riverdale, a show so completely off-the-wall that its improbability is its selling point.

The 28-year-old Melton joined the show in 2017, replacing Ross Butler as Archie’s football frenemy. Since then, the show has only ramped up Reggie’s presence, which is a good thing because the guy looks like this:

Am I truly supposed to believe this is what a 17-year-old looks like? No, not really, but also, according to the CW, yes!

Just as 2018 saw the return of the Heartthrob Hair, so too are good, old-fashioned heartthrobs coming back in full force. Last year saw the ascent of one Noah Centineo, who rocketed from 700,000 Instagram followers to a solid 16 million with the utterance of a single “whoa.” And now, my dear, sweet Noah, it is time to hand over your crown. Who is this man you will be seeing everywhere, especially if you are related to a member of Generation Z? Allow us this brief primer:

Where do I know this guy from?

Riverdale, for starters. (Ask your aforementioned cool younger cousin for a recap of the show, because I could truly not do its plot twists justice. Five words: juvenile detention facility fight club!) He plays Reggie, a hotheaded football star who also harbors a thing for Archie’s ex, Veronica Lodge.

You’ll also see him in theaters this May in The Sun Is Also a Star, an adaptation of the Nicola Yoon YA novel of the same name. He’ll play the appropriately-named Daniel Bae, a hopeless romantic and wannabe poet, who believes he has found love at first sight with Yara Shahidi’s Natasha. Her family is being deported the next day, so theirs is a seemingly doomed romance … or is it? The trailer debuted on Wednesday; please watch it if you like your heart swelling and bursting while two very attractive young people flirt with each other.

No, wait, I know him from somewhere else.

Perhaps that’s Ariana Grande’s new music video, “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored”? The clip dropped Friday morning, alongside the release of Grande’s new album, Thank U, Next. He plays the boyfriend to the song’s titular girlfriend, and spends about half of the video’s three minutes and 24 seconds channeling pouty eyes at Ariana and her look-alike, model Ariel Yasmine.

Prior to Riverdale, Melton appeared on two episodes of American Horror Story: Hotel, and one episode of Glee; before that, he was a model. Or you may know him from a minor 2018 scandal, in which fans unearthed fatphobic tweets he posted in 2011 and 2012 (he has since apologized for the comments).

So, like, what’s his deal?

Melton is currently dating his Riverdale co-star Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica. The two are Instagram–official and red carpet–official, two very important metrics by Young Hollywood relationship standards. They also traveled to South Korea for New Year’s Eve 2018, making them both vacation-official and meet-the-grandparents official, too. (It’s like meet the parents-official, but with far higher stakes!)

Does he have heartthrob hair?

Yes. Next question.

Coachella, baby! Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for H&M

Isn’t it a little early to proclaim it ‘The Year’ of someone? It’s only February.

I see your point! But January lasted approximately five years, and who knows if we will make it to March, so let’s place early bets just in case. Be prepared to see Melton’s cheekbones everywhere. Practice your contour technique if you get jealous.

2019 Already Has a New Heartthrob