KJ Apa Talks How Luke Perry's Absence Will Be Addressed on 'Riverdale' (Exclusive)

The 21-year-old actor opened up to ET about the painful loss of his friend and co-star.

In the wake of Luke Perry's untimely death, the late actor's Riverdale co-star and on-screen son, KJ Apa, is opening up about how the show will address Perry's passing.

The 21-year-old New Zealand actor caught up with ET's Leanne Aguilera, while promoting his upcoming Netflix romantic comedy, The Last Summer, and addressed the painful loss and how it will impact both the popular CW series and those who work on the show.

"His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?" Apa shared. "I'm never gonna forget him and I think it's still very fresh and we're all still dealing with it."

Perry died on March 4 shortly after suffering a massive stroke. The actor was 52.

While the cast and crew mourn the loss of their friend and colleague, the show itself is still figuring out how to address Perry's death. The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum played Fred Andrews -- the father of Apa's Archie Andrews -- on the series, and he hasn't been officially written off the show.

Currently, Fred Andrews is out of town and his estranged wife, Mary Andrews (played by Molly Ringwald) is in town, essentially filling the narrative void. As it turns out, the show is still navigating the murky and unpleasant waters of how to proceed.

"We're definitely gonna obviously have to address it at some point," Apa admitted. "[Possibly] that [means] Molly stepping in as more of an active parent for Archie, but that all depends on the availability of the actors around us. So, you know, we'll do what we can."

Perry's last episode of Riverdale aired on Wednesday. His last scene was one in which he sweetly offered some fatherly advice to Archie. Yet, it's hard to say how the show will eventually address the situation. ET spoke with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa last month, and he explained that he was still trying to process Perry's death.

"You know, honestly, we are, I think, all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving," he shared. "We know that we have to address it in some way, but we're giving ourselves a little bit of time and space before we figure out the best way to honor him."

Watch the video below to hear more.

Meanwhile, Apa's upcoming romantic comedy, The Last Summer, premieres on Netflix May 3.



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