Lili Reinhart on Painting, Discovering New Music, and Nursing Her Dog Milo Back to Health

Reinhart has made herself more accessible to her fans than ever, sharing glimpses into her days spent writing and painting.

Lili Reinhart. Photograph courtesy of Lili’s Instagram @lilireinhart

To coincide with the launch of W’s stay-at-home Instagram challenge, we reached out to the people for whom a shelter-in-place order is an opportunity for creativity, a call to action.

During a moment when so many celebrities and public figures have been getting it wrong, this eclectic crew has managed to hit all the right quadrants of empathy, humor, creativity, and realness. They’ve been lifting our spirits between all the dark news and the somber moments, reminded us to laugh, provided us with a much-needed distraction from the very real fears and tragedies, and been caring and thoughtful about what they’ve put out into the world. While we can’t compare them to the doctors, nurses and essential workers risking their lives daily, the people who have pivoted to making charitable contributions, stepping up as entertainers, and sharing mental health resources have added something positive to the conversation.

Lili Reinhart was in Vancouver filming the new season of Riverdale before stay-at-home guidelines were put in place. She’s currently shacked up in an Airbnb there with her dog, Milo, who is recovering from surgery after being attacked by another dog on the street. Reinhart has just released a book of poetry called “Swimming Lessons,” and is continuing to write in quarantine. She’s also made herself more accessible to her fans than ever, reaching out directly to them, giving love to fellow artists, and sharing glimpses into her days spent painting.

How’s Milo doing?

He is ok, he’s a little skittish around pretty much everyone that is not me right now. He was my little shadow to begin with, and now he follows me everywhere. His head wound is pretty big and I’m trying to make sure nothing gets infected. I am his own little personal nurse, just making sure he is doing ok. He is sitting right next to me so I’m giving him some scratches. I actually just frickin’ spent $200 on this specially made CBD oil for dogs that are experiencing pain. So I am gonna get that tomorrow.

Are you quarantined just with Milo or are you with other people?

Just with Milo. Just he and I.

How do you foresee the nature of your work changing after coronavirus?

I think I will have more appreciation for it. I was working so intensely, non-stop, leading up to this. We were almost at the end of our season. I was working six days a week. So even though I was praying, “I need days off,” this was really not what I meant. I think the whole industry is obviously impacted by this; it’s weird because half of it is thriving, like Netflix and streaming, and the other half of producing content and filming things are actually completely dead. I am trying to produce a movie right now that I would star in, but there is only so much I can do at home—so lots of phone calls and future Skypes. You do what you can until the world is capable of going back to somewhat normal.

What does a typical day look like for you right now?

Milo wakes me up, he tells me to get out of bed. I let him out and feed him then I’ll eat breakfast then start my day by taking him for a walk in a local park with my gloves and my mask on. I answer my emails, have some phone calls, I clean. I have been painting a lot, I just find it relaxing. And then before I know it’s 5 PM and that’s when I am ready for a nap. I’ll take a nap for an hour and a half then it’s 6:30 PM and it’s dark outside or it’s getting dark. For some reason I enjoy the night time during this quarantine a little bit more than the day time, because I feel like I don’t feel as guilty for just sitting on my couch and just watching a movie. But I have been doing puzzles as well. I’ll sit on the floor and do a puzzle for three hours and then realize my back hurts so bad I can’t move, so then I’m like, “Maybe I need to take a break for this.” It’s really thrilling.

How have you been connecting with people during all this?

I feel like I have been talking and having good deep conversations with people in my life over Facetime. There are no distractions, so you’re actually able to nurse the relationships in your life. That has been really, really cool and wonderful. I have definitely had great Facetimes with my therapist. I had a really good Instagram live talk with Charlie Howard, a plus-size model who lives in London, about body image and mental health. And I was also on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram show she is doing, “Bright Minded,” where I read some of my poetry from my upcoming book. It’s just been cool to communicate with people I probably normally wouldn’t.

What kind of music has been inspiring you?

I’ve been writing in my journal with Spotify on in the background, discovering new artists. There’s this girl High as a Kite that I love, and I’ve been doing a deep dive into a Norwegian singer named Susanne Sundfør—She has the most beautiful, haunting voice I have heard in my life. A lot of War on Drugs, and a lot of Willow Smith. Holy shit, she is so talented.

Do you have any plans for what you’ll do with all the paintings you’ve been making?

They’re just for me, just for fun. I painted my mom—I was sending her a picture of what I was doing one day and she was like “I love that. I want that.” So I am going to give one painting to my mom, but other than that everything is in this book that I have been doing little paintings in. So it’s just a little collection of my own paintings that I will keep in my little book. Right now I am in an Airbnb, but I can’t wait to have a house of my own and have, like, a painting room where I can actually leave all of my stuff and not worry about destroying someone else’s house with all of my paint everywhere. The Airbnb I’m at has this insane view in the backyard of a canyon, so I will just sit there at the table and paint and sit outside and watch. That’s better than Tiger King if you ask me.