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'Riverdale' Star KJ Apa Still Reeling Over Death Of Co-Star Luke Perry

Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison
By Marisa Roman

It hasn’t been an easy year for the cast of The CW’s hit show Riverdale. After losing actor Luke Perry, who has played Fred Andrews since the show began in 2017, the cast is still feeling the weight of it all. It has been especially hard for 22-year-old actor KJ Apa, who plays the character Archie Andrews, and had the most screen time with Luke Perry over the years. Recently, Apa sat down with Mr. Porter’s The Journal and explained how the sudden loss of Perry affected him tremendously.

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Gettyimages | VALERY HACHE

Perry suffered from a stroke at the age of 52 last year and passed away shortly after. Losing Perry so suddenly was a shock to many within the Hollywood community. Apa, who shared a close bond with his on-screen father, explained that he had a “really hard time” when he found out Perry was gone. Apa explained, “It changed everything when Luke passed. I 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. Going to work, I can just feel that he's not there anymore."

Gettyimages | Kevin Mazur

Apa continued on to explain about his relationship with Perry since the show began. Apa said, “We had a really, really, really good relationship, me and Luke. He was just kind of a guy that kept us, especially me, grounded because he'd been through all of this stuff. 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. I miss him. I just miss talking to him. I miss listening to him."

Gettyimages | Dominik Bindl

Apa isn’t the only Riverdale actor to feel the loss of Perry so heavily. On March 4, 2020, the one-year anniversary of Perry’s death, many of the actors reflected on Perry’s legacy and what he meant to them all. Actress Molly Ringwald, who plays Mary Andrews, shared a touching tribute on her Instagram. Additionally, actress Lili Reinhart shared on social media, “I had a dream last night that I saw Luke...and I hugged him so hard and cried into his shoulder, telling him how much we all miss him.”

Gettyimages | Jerod Harris

Outside of reflecting on how much he misses Perry, KJ Apa also explained in the interview that it has been a difficult year in general. The actor went on to say, “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.” You can see KJ Apa play Archie Andrews on the CW’s Riverdale with new episodes on Wednesday nights. Plus Apa can also be seen in the new film in theaters now, I Still Believe.

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