Riverdale star KJ Apa is once again opening up about the death of his on-screen dad Luke Perry, revealing that the is was the hardest thing he's ever been through. While speaking with MR PORTER's The Journal, Apa said, "Last year was probably the hardest year of my life. It made me really think, 'What kind of man do I want to be?' And I'm still figuring it out." In 2019, Perry died after suffering a stroke, and the tragic loss had a huge impact on Apa, who says he "had never gone through anything like that before."
"I've never lost anyone close to me, so it was a really hard time. It's still hard," he added. "Going to work, I can just feel that he's not there any more." Apa also confessed that Perry's death "changed everything" for him.
"He was just kind of a guy that kept us, especially me, grounded because he'd been through all of this stuff," he shared, commenting on the "really, really, really good relationship" they shared.
"I was so blessed to have him in my life to say, 'Maybe don't do that,' or, 'This is a good idea.' Just giving me advice," Apa continued, then saying, "I miss him. I just miss talking to him. I miss listening to him."
Apa went on to share what he feels was the best advice he ever received from Perry was, stating, "I think privacy is everything. I really do work hard on protecting my privacy, my home, my family, the people I love. Luke taught me that."
Following Perry's death, Apa appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and spoke about how the cast and crew of Riverdale reacted when they heard the news, saying, "Everyone was pretty shocked," then adding,"And I think...it's not every day you come across a guy like Luke."
He then went on to praise the iconic actor for having a huge impact on his life. "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," Apa said.
Elaborating on how Perry was such a positive force in his life, Apa shared, "He would call my parents every week and like keep them updated on how I'm doing. 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. I wish I could be like that," he then said, to which Fallon replied, "You can be like that. You are like that."