The actors who played Archie Andrews and his father Fred in the CW drama series since the first episode shared a close bond with one another, with Apa saying during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon he was like a real-life parent to him.
"Everyone was pretty shocked," Apa said. "And I think...it's not every day you come across a guy like Luke."
"Luke is the kind of person who did everything he can to make whoever you are, however how big or small you were, feel comfortable and feel welcome... It's hard to put into words how that makes me feel," he added.
Perry passed away suddenly in March days after suffering a major stroke. Apa opened up about his dynamic with his co-star, and how much he came to depend on his friendship with Perry, TooFab reports.
"He would call my parents every week and like keep them updated on how I'm doing," Apa said, smiling. "Like if I had a cold or something he'd be like, 'I took some Gatorade to his apartment the other day' ... him and my dad were always texting each other."
"He made an effort, he made such a huge effort from the very beginning," he continued. "I wish I could be like that."
Fallon replied, "You can be like that. You are like that."
The interview marks the first time Apa spoke publicly on Perry's passing. The actor paid tribute to the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum posting a photo of him smiling on a boat.
"Rest in love, bro," he captioned the sweet photo.
"I just think he's just in complete and utter peace in that photo. Look at him. He's just living his life," Apa said of his choice of image.
"That was very beautiful that you did that, buddy," Fallon added.
Apa's television appearance comes two days after Riverdale aired the last scene Perry filmed for the series before his passing. The brief scene saw Fred give much-needed advice to his son after he found himself in a difficult situation after a wrestling match.
Series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previously told the press the series will find a way to address Perry's death on the show, also paying tribute to the actor's legacy.0comments
"You know, honestly, we are I think all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving," Aguirre-Sacasa said in March. "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 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.