Earlier this year, the onscreen and offscreen world of Riverdale was dealt a major blow with the sudden death of series star Luke Perry. In the months since the actor's tragic passing due to stroke, his Riverdale co-stars have spoken out about him, sharing their grief and experiences with the man who wasn't just a co-star, but a friend to many on the series. Now, Molly Ringwald is adding her memories of Perry ahead of the Season 4 premiere of the series.
In a recent appearance on the UnStyled podcast, Ringwald spoke about how she'd become close to Perry thanks to her role as his character Fred Andrews' ex-wife on Riverdale, revealing that he was her touchstone on set.
"He was the person -- every time I flew into Vancouver, I would get a text from him, 'Are you here? Are you here yet? When are we having dinner?'" Ringwald said. "He was my touchstone there, the person I saw all the time."
When Riverdale returns next month, The CW series will spend their season premiere dealing with Perry's passing in an episode that will reflect on his enduring legacy as well as the indelible imprint his character had on Riverdale. Entitled "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam", the episode will serve as a sendoff for Fred Andrews with Perry's friend and Beverly Hills 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty appearing in the episode as the person to explain what happened to Fred.
"Shannen plays the person who tells us what happened to Fred," showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said in a recent interview. "She was there and she's an unexpected source of comfort to Archie. A big piece of what happened to Fred comes to Archie through Shannen's character. The scene is so heartbreaking because you really feel Shannen's love for Luke."
Doherty's appearance on Riverdale delivers on something that Perry had wanted since the first season of the series and her appearance is made even more special given their real-life friendship.
"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 said back in July. "She read the script and immediately said 'yes.' It's very impactful."
"It's been really, really intense," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "Luke and Fred were very similar guys. Everyone loved Fred. Everyone loved Luke. They were both salt of the earth. They were both generous and led with their heart. And it was really hard the days after Luke passed. I remember KJ took a break from filming and he went off and I sat with him and he said, 'Gosh, Roberto, can you imagine if we were all as good people as Luke was?' That sentiment really resonated, and a similar sentiment is expressed in this first episode. Archie says Veronica, 'Imagine if we were all as good as my dad,' and Veronica says, 'You are.' And it's really cathartic."
Riverdale returns on Wednesday, October 9th at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.