Shannen Doherty had not originally signed on to participate on BH90210, but Luke Perry's death changed everything. The new series reunites the iconic 1990s teen drama's cast in a new meta-sequel, showing fictionalized versions of the actors who became superstars after appearing in the original series.
Speaking with reporters during the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday, Doherty said she had no intention to join the other cast members on the show until Perry's death in March.
"I definitely wasn't going to do it," Doherty said, as first reported by TVLine. "I knew that the show would get sold and do well with or without me. They didn't need me. So it just wasn't, at that moment, what I wanted to be doing."
"When Luke passed away, things drastically changed for me, and I felt like it was a great opportunity to honor him," she added.
Perry passed away at the age of 51 after suffering a massive stroke. He was also originally not supposed to be involved with the new series on Fox, since he was already contracted for his starring role in CW drama, Riverdale.
"We had had conversations with him about it, yes, and he was fully in support of it," co-star Jennie Garth said, adding that his responsibilities on his other show wouldn't allow him to participate full-time.
But "we talked about him actually guesting on the show," co-star Gabrielle Carteris added. "He had been a part of some of the conversations we actually had as a group when we were at the studio."
Doherty further said that looking back she thinks she made the right decision signing on to the new show.
"...now I get to sit up here with a lot of people that I respect and I love," she said. "We went on this amazing journey together where we also got to really sort of heal through losing somebody who means the world to all of us."
The series will pay tribute to Perry in its first episode, set to air tonight. Doherty has also been cast in a mystery role on the Season 4 premiere of Riverdale, set to be a tribute episode for Perry and his character on the show, Fred Andrews. Details on who Doherty will play on the CW drama remain under wraps.
BH90210 premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. Riverdale will return for Season 4 on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.