On Wednesday, November 6, Molly Ringwald talked with Us Weekly about the death of costar Luke Perry and how it affected the Riverdale cast. The 51-year-old opened up about her onscreen son, KJ Apa, and revealed that the 52-year-old’s tragic death was harder on him than anyone else.

“We were all really emotional and expressed it in different ways. I had my own relationship with Luke, but it was hardest watching KJ,” she said. “KJ and Luke were very close and had such a unique bond. Luke was really like his father — his American father. He really assumed that role, so watching KJ grapple with that was really tough to watch. As a mother, as just a person, it was hard to watch.”

As fans know, Luke sadly passed away on March 4, 2019 after suffering a massive stroke. Back in April, the 21-year-old actor opened up about the close relationship he had with his onscreen father.

“We had a really close relationship,” he said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “He would call my parents every week and keep them updated on how I’m going. If I had a cold or something he would say, ‘I took some Gatorade to his apartment the other day.’ Him and my dad were always texting each other.”

Luke KJ

Molly also went on to say that while filming the show’s current season, Luke continued to have a huge presence on the Riverdale set.

“I think he’s a presence,” she explained. “It’s impossible not to think about him. His pictures are everywhere and none of us want to forget him. We like having his presence and memory all around us. As long as the show is around, he will be a part of it.”

The cast and crew of The CW series paid tribute to the late actor’s memory when season four premiered on October 9. The heartbreaking episode addressed his devastating passing through the passing of his character, Fred Andrews. When talking about watching the episode, Molly said she cried the entire time.

“I don’t think I’ve cried so hard. I was in tears the entire time,” she revealed. “It was very moving for me, and it was also nice for people. It was like saying goodbye to him. It was very real.”

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