Riverdale star KJ Apa broke his silence on the death of his on-screen father, former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Luke Perry.
Apa's first social media post since Perry's death on Monday was a screenshot showing he was listening to the Third Eye Blind song "The Background." The song's first lyrics are "Everything is quiet, since you're not around. And I live in the numbness now. In the background."
The actor shared the image after Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced on Twitter that the remaining Season 3 episodes will be dedicated to Perry.
"Going through pictures on my way to set. From the early days. With Luke in the middle. Our heart, always. Tonight’s episode of Riverdale finds Fred doing what he does best--helping Archie. It is dedicated to Luke, as all episodes will be for the rest of our run," the executive producer wrote Wednesday.
The New Zealand-born actor, 21, plays Archie Andrews, the son of Perry's Fred on Riverdale. While filming the series, Apa and Perry built a close relationship, which was clear in interviews they did to promote the show. Apa was open about seeking acting advice from Perry while working on his first show for American television.
In an interview with Stuff.co.nz, Apa said he turned to Perry for advice for dealing with media attention when his film A Dog's Purpose was criticized for allegedly mistreating an animal actor.
"He said, 'Y'know, this kind of thing happens all the time, it's nothing to do with you.' But I went to him and I spoke to him and he helped me," Apa said in 2017. "He's the biggest legend, and obviously he went through the whole thing on a way bigger scale than even Riverdale, you know Beverly Hills 90210 was massive, so I think he is the best guy to talk to, and I'm really close with him."
The two appeared on the TODAY Show in October before Riverdale Season 3 kicked off, and showed a father-son bond that formed off-screen as well.
"We're lucky to have someone like Luke on the show," Apa said.
Perry died Monday at age 52, after suffering a massive stroke last week. His family said he died with his friends and family, including his children Jack and Sophia, by his side.
"The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time," Perry's publicist said.
After news of his death broke, Riverdale production was put on hold.
"We are deeply saddened to learn today about the passing of Luke Perry," executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater said in a statement released by Wanrner Bros. TV and The CW. "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."
The statement continued, "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."0comments
New episodes of Riverdale air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Photo credit: Diyah Pera/The CW