The Riverdale cast took some time to remember Luke Perry during New York Comic Con on Sunday, Deadline reports. Their fellow castmate and TV icon abruptly passed away while Season 4 was in production.
During the panel, showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and five of the parent players opened up about the loss of Perry, who played Archie Andrews’ father, Fred . His death is dealt with in the first episode of Season 4, which also features Perry’s Beverly Hills, 90210 costar Shannen Doherty.
“It was very difficult for us all,” said Skeet Ulrich, who plays Serpent-turned-sheriff F.P. Jones. “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.”
“For me, it was very cathartic,” Molly Ringwald said. She plays Fred’s ex-wife, who’s returned to Riverdale. “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 goodbye to him. It was kind of what I needed. He was my guy. It felt like a nice goodbye for me.”
“It’s funny, Luke passed, and we had two episodes after that and when you come back you’re right back in the incident,” Marisol Nichols, a.k.a. Hermoine Lodge said. “It’s like, you expect to see him at Pops, or there was his trailer. His spirit is still with us.”
Perry died on March 4 at the age of 52 after suffering a stroke. He rose to prominence in the early '90s for his role as Dylan McKay in 90210. He became a teen idol with that role, leading to appearances in films like Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1992. He found success later in his career as part of the main cast of Riverdale.
Season 4 of Riverdale premieres on Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET. The show is also currently filming its next season.