Riverdale Creator on Late Luke Perry's 'Vivacious Spirit' and How His Death Will Be Addressed
Riverdale has resumed production after Luke Perry's death on March 4
Perry, who died on March 4, five days after suffering a massive stroke, starred as Archie’s (KJ Apa) dad, Fred Andrews, on the CW show. He was an original cast member since season 1 and appeared in almost every episode of the series, which is currently in its third season.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said the show plans to address Perry’s death through his on-screen character, though no official decisions about how the narrative will unfold have been made yet.
“You know, honestly, we are I think all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving,” he admitted. “We know that we have to address it in some way, but we’re giving ourselves a little bit of time and space before we figure out the best way to honor him.”
The show, which shut down production after Perry’s death, has since resumed filming in Vancouver, Canada. On Tuesday, Apa, 21, posted a selfie on Instagram while getting his hair and makeup done.
Aguirre-Sacasa told ET that Perry’s “wise and vivacious” spirit will live on through the cast, crew and storyline of the show.
“Luke was, is, and will always be a big part of Riverdale,” he said. “We’re kind of a family and when a loss like this happens, you carry it always. It changes and it hopefully becomes a little less painful as time goes by, but you’re changed.”
“When I was with the crew, I said, ‘It will never be the same,’ and that’s true because Luke was such a part of the show,” he continued. “There are still a few more episodes that have Luke in them, so we’re glad to share those. … We hope will infuse every episode, so in my mind, every episode for the rest of time on Riverdale will have a bit of Luke in it.”
After Perry’s death, Aguirre-Sacasa and his fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater said the cast and crew were “deeply saddened.”
“A beloved member of the Riverdale, Warner Bros. and CW family, Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all,” they said in a statement. “A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness. Our thoughts are with Luke’s family during this most difficult time.”
“When someone you love, gets taken from you. And the small circumferences surrounding you is stuck. Frozen in a moment. Of loss. And shock. Yet the people passing you are moving at full speed,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “Did they not feel the earth shake? Or slow? Can they hear the thoughts screaming in my head? His name. His face. Memories. Flashes. Of a friend. A lost friend.”
Reinhart, 22, also shared her feelings on Twitter, writing, “I’m finding it hard to grasp that he will no longer be around to give long hugs and share his wisdom and kindness with all of us … I just can’t believe it.”
Perry had a massive stroke and was hospitalized on Feb. 27 after paramedics were dispatched to his home in Sherman Oaks, California. The actor remained “under observation” for five days until his death. He was 52.
“He never regained consciousness,” a source told PEOPLE. “Things were so dire that they put him under heavy sedation. He was gone, basically, by the time he got to the hospital.”
Perry’s rep announced the actor’s death in a statement, confirming he was “surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends.”