The last time Marisol Nichols chatted with the Sun-Times, just over a year ago, her “Riverdale” TV series had yet to air on the CW network, and she had no idea it would become the hit it has become. In a call earlier this week from Vancouver, where the show films, the actress exclaimed, “I’m so happy! It’s so nice! For an actress, this is about the closest thing you can have to job security!”

When Nichols first heard about the show, inspired by the old Archie comic books, she reminded me that “I didn’t even want to read the pilot script.” Though the creators planned to take the characters in a new direction, “I didn’t think it was for me. I was looking for something that I could really sink my teeth into. But my manager convinced me that this was special and told me to take a look. Once I did, I got it.”

Nichols plays Hermione Lodge, mother of teenage Veronica, and this week appears in what the actress says is her most dramatic and important episode to date, but she can’t give away too many details. Airing at 7 p.m. Wednesday on WPWR-Channel 50, “the episode is very timely, given what is going on with women’s empowerment in this country right now. Also, we finally get to see what’s behind the character of Hermione and what she really is all about and what has caused why she’s like she is,” said the actress, describing the once rich and powerful woman whose husband went to prison and who has faced a series of humiliations — both personal and financial. “I think this is important, because up to now, the audience has been questioning a lot of things about her, and what makes her tick. So now, we get to take a deeper delve into her personality. … Plus, it’s just a bad-ass scene, so I’m really excited for people to see it. It’s a fun reveal.”

While Nichols’ only recent return to her Naperville roots was over Thanksgiving, she did share thoughts about “how that town has grown. My God! Naperville is now huge! I remember when the downtown was just one block long. Now it’s humongous. The borders of Naperville reach out so far, I don’t even know where they end!

“The Riverwalk is kind of amazing. I love that area,” said the actress, who also reminisced about her love of the College of DuPage. “After all, that’s where I discovered my love of acting. That’s where it all began for me. In a way — compared to so many of my other actor and actress friends — that makes me something of a late bloomer, because they knew they wanted to act as little kids. But I don’t care. I’m just glad I finally figured it out.”