'Riverdale' star opens up about Luke Perry: "We had a close relationship"

KJ Apa stars as Luke Perry’s on-screen son in the popular CW series.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Julie Pennell

“It’s not every day you come across a guy like Luke.”

KJ Apa, who plays Luke Perry’s on-screen son Archie Andrews on The CW’s “Riverdale,” opened up about the late actor in a touching conversation on Friday night’s episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

KJ Apa and Luke Perry at PaleyFest LA on March 25, 2018 in Los Angeles.Presley Ann / Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

“Luke is the kind of person who did everything he can to make whoever you are, no matter how big or small you are, feel comfortable and feel welcome,” Apa said. “It’s hard to kind of put into words how that makes me feel.”

Perry, well-known for his portrayal of bad-boy heartthrob Dylan McKay on "Beverly Hills, 90210" in the 1990s, died in March from a stroke at the age of 52.

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“I kind of grew up on Luke Perry and I was just kind of shocked by the news that he’s not with us anymore,” Fallon told Apa. “I just couldn’t really wrap my head around it. I can’t even imagine how you feel.”

Apa went on to talk about their close relationship, saying Perry would call his parents every week and keep them updated on how he was doing. “Like if I had a cold or something, he’d be like, ‘I took some Gatorade to his apartment the other day.’”

“He made such a huge effort from the very beginning,” Apa continued. “I was like ‘I wish I could be like that,’” to which Fallon assured him, "You can be like that. You are like that."

After Perry’s death, Apa took to Instagram to leave a sweet tribute to the actor. “Rest in Love bro,” Apa wrote next to a photo of Perry smiling and looking happy outside on the water.

Apa told Fallon it was his favorite picture of Perry. “I just think he’s in complete and utter peace in that photo.”

Perry’s last scene on “Riverdale” aired Wednesday night, and it featured a father-son moment between his character and Apa’s character.

“Wish these scenes could go on forever..." the show’s creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted.

We couldn’t agree more.