Riverdale Cast Recalls Making 'Difficult' Luke Perry Tribute Episode: 'His Spirit Is Still with Us'
Members of Riverdale continue to remember their late costar Luke Perry, who died in March at age 52.
Following a screening of a new trailer at the 2019 New York Comic Con on Sunday, the cast discussed the making of season 4’s first episode, which addresses the death of Perry and his character, Fred Andrews.
“It was very difficult for us all,” Skeet Ulrich, who plays F.P. Jones said, according to Deadline. “To me, in some ways, it meant reliving something incredibly painful. We felt the need and the want [to pay him tribute], but I don’t think any of us wanted to live in that again—[the first episode of the season was] a beautiful episode, but incredibly hard to perform.”
Molly Ringwald, who plays Fred’s ex-wife, said that it was a “cathartic” experience for her to say goodbye. “I think we all dealt with it in different ways. I didn’t get to go to Luke’s memorial so [this episode] was really like my good-bye to him,“ she explained. “It was kind of what I needed. He was my guy. It felt like a nice goodbye for me.”
Mark Consuelos, who portrays Hiram Lodge, added: “It just puts a lot of things into perspective.”
While his death may have left a void, Marisol Nichols, who plays Hermoine Lodge, said they can still feel his presence on set.
“It’s funny, Luke passed, and we had two episodes after that and when you come back you’re right back in the incident,” Nichols said. “It’s like, you expect to see him at Pops, or there was his trailer. His spirit is still with us.“
The late actor, who died after suffering a stroke, was an original cast member of The CW hit, played Archie’s (KJ Apa) dad since the series premiere in 2017.
While Perry’s last appearance on Riverdaleaired in April, nearly two months after his death, Fred’s absence has yet to be addressed on-screen. Aguirre-Sacasa previously told The Hollywood Reporter he held off on wrapping up Fred’s story out of respect.
“It was just devastating,” he said of Perry’s sudden death. “And we wanted to honor Luke, and figure out the best way to handle the character of Fred Andrews in the show, so we sort of said, you know what? Let’s not squeeze, let’s not rush to squeeze something into the finale, or into the last couple of episodes, let’s really think about it, and let’s tell that story at the beginning of season 4.”
Also, Shannen Doherty will make an appearance in the Riverdale tribute to her beloved Beverly Hills, 90210 costar.
Riverdale season 4 premieres Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.