On Friday, Riverdale star KJ Apa appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he made his first public statement about his TV dad Perry, who died in March following a massive stroke. Apa appeared visibly emotional as he discussed his relationship with Perry and the influence the actor had on him.
“It’s not every day you come across a guy like Luke. Like, Luke is the kind of person who did everything he can to make everyone, no matter how big or small you are, feel comfortable and feel welcome,” Apa said. “It’s hard to kind of put into works how that makes me feel.”
He also said that Perry made sure to reach out to his parents, who live in New Zealand, on a weekly basis to let them know how Apa was faring on the Riverdale set.
“We had a really close relationship. He would call my parents every week and, like, keep them updated on how I’m going,” Apa said. “He made such a huge effort from the very beginning and I was like, ‘I wish I could be like that.’”
Apa also talked about why he picked the photo he used — one of Perry sitting on a boat wearing a white tee and sunglasses, with the wind blowing his hair back — for the Instagram post he used to memorialize the actor.
“I just think he’s in complete and utter peace in the photo,” he said.