KJ Apa Recalls His 'Close Relationship' with the Late Luke Perry: 'I Wish I Could be Like' Him
KJ Apa recalls some of his favorite memories working with Luke Perry before his death
“It’s not every day you come across a guy like Luke,” he said. “Luke is the kind of person who did everything he can to make whoever you are, no matter how big or small you are, feel comfortable and feel welcome. It’s hard to kind of put into words how that makes me feel.”
Perry starred as Archie’s (Apa) dad Fred Andrews on the hit CW series.
Apa said the late actor treated him like a son while on set, making sure he always felt safe, comfortable and loved.
“He would call my parents every week and keep them updated on how I’m doing,” said Apa. “If I had a cold or something he’d be like, ‘I got him, I brought some Gatorade to his apartment the other day.’ ”
“He made such a huge effort from the very beginning,” Apa continued. “I wish I could be like that.”
According to a copy of his death certificate obtained by PEOPLE, Perry was buried in Dickson, Tennessee, one week after his death. The actor was a part-time resident of Tennessee and had owned a farm there since 1995.
After news broke of Perry’s untimely death, Apa posted a touching to tribute to Instagram. He shared a photo of Perry smiling while riding on a boat with the caption, “Rest in love bro.”
“That’s my favorite photo of Luke,” Apa told Fallon. “I just think he’s in complete and utter peace in that photo. He’s living the dream.”
On Wednesday’s episode of Riverdale, Perry appeared in the final scene that he filmed for the series ahead of his death. In his final moments on the show, Perry’s character comforted his son Archie after he was accused of committing a crime.
It’s not clear how Fred’s storyline will end, but Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed on Sunday that this week’s episode was the last one that the actor filmed.
“This week’s #Riverdale is the last episode Luke filmed,” he tweeted alongside a photo of Perry as Archie’s dad. “As always, Fred’s imparting words of wisdom to Archie. A beautiful, true moment between a father and his son.”
“Wish these scenes could go on forever…” he added.
RELATED VIDEO: ‘Riverdale’ Airs Bittersweet Final Episode That Luke Perry Filmed — Nearly 2 Months After His Death
Aguirre-Sacasa admitted in March that the cast and crew were still struggling to come to terms with Perry’s death.
“You know, honestly, we are I think all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving,” he said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “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.”
Riverdale airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on The CW.