Mark Consuelos opened up about the upcoming tribute to the late Riverdale star Luke Perry on The CW series' season 4 premiere, telling Andy Cohen on Radio Andy that the episode will deal with the death of Perry's character, Fred Andrews.
Consuelos, 48, said that the episode will be a "tribute and [will address] the loss of the character Fred" and confirmed that Fred will die.
"It's heavy, particularly for [series star KJ Apa, who plays Archie Andrews, Perry's character's son]... They were very, very, very close. So I think to put it behind you a little bit and have some distance from it and then obviously having to deal with it now, it was interesting," Consuelos shared.
Previously, it was reported that Perry's Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty was joining the episode for an important guest role. Consuelos confirmed Doherty's involvement but did not divulge any specific details about the type of role she'll be playing.
"I just know her [Doherty] and Luke were very, very close until the end," he said, praising series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for his "knack" for "putting together these pieces and getting people to come on the show."
Doherty's casting was announced at San Diego Comic-Con last week, with her role being said to be a significant one even though her screen-time may not be much. Her character will appear in the season 4 premiere, "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam."
Aguirre-Sacasa noted at SDCC that Perry and Doherty remained close friends after 90210 ended and that Perry wanted to get her a part on Riverdale since the show began.
"They were such good friends, and when we were putting together this tribute episode, we wanted to make it as special as possible, and so we asked Shannen to do a pivotal, super-emotional role," Aguirre-Sacasa explained. "She read the script and immediately said ‘yes.’ It’s very impactful.”
Perry died in early March following a massive stroke, amid the series' production of season 3. He was 52. Production was briefly put on hold before the final episodes of the season were filmed without him. Season 4 will be the first confrontation of his and his character's deaths.
"His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?" Apa previously told Entertainment Tonight in April. "I'm never gonna forget him and I think it's still very fresh and we're all still dealing with it."
Riverdale kicks off its new season on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.