KJ Apa reveals he feels 'ashamed' about not pursuing Samoan heritage more

Kiwi actor KJ Apa has striking red hair while starring as Archie Andrews on Riverdale, but he says people don't realise he's half Samoan.

Kiwi actor KJ Apa. Source: Getty

During an interview with a fashion magazine, the 22-year-old admitted he feels "ashamed" for not pursuing his heritage more.

"I’m half Samoan, but nobody knows it because I’m white and I have red hair," he told MR PORTER'S The Journal.

"My dad is a chief in Samoa. I almost identify more as a Samoan than I do as a New Zealander, just because I grew up with so much Samoan family and the Samoan culture is really close to me. 

"I feel ashamed of myself for not pursuing it more, for not spending more time with my Samoan side because I’m out there all the time.”

Apa is more commonly known by his initials, but his full name is Keneti James. 

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The American talk show host is married to an Australian. Source: 1 NEWS

His hair is dyed bright red for Riverdale, but his natural hair colour is a dark brown, close to black.

During the interview, Apa also revealed the challenges he had after actor Luke Perry, who played his on-screen father, suddenly died from a stroke.

"Last year was probably the hardest year of my life."

His latest film I Still Believe, hits New Zealand cinemas tomorrow.