He was working at an archaeology lab in Brooklyn, when his agent sent him the script.
"At first... I was immediately turned off," he told WWD. "But in more recent years, Archie comics have tried to stray away from the 'golly, shucks Arch, let’s go to the sock hop' thing."
The show is a lot darker than the comics, which TBH fits Cole and his personality a lot better.
However, originally Cole wasn't even up for Jughead. He was actually going for the role of Archie (cannot see it), but he fell in love with Juggie's character.
"He’s very much an outsider," Cole told WWD. "He has a pretty unique perspective because he’s seeing the town and the friendship and the friendships that are forming from a more objective point of view. He eavesdrops, he listens, he’s the guy with the camera, snooping, sleuthing, and in that way, he’s distanced himself from a lot of the people in the town, through his own fear of being vulnerable and his inability to cope with people."
Could you imagine a world where KJ Apa wasn't Archie?!