Riverdale star KJ Apa is still processing former costar Luke Perry’s passing. In a recent interview with MR PORTER’s The Journal, the 22-year-old actor opened up about losing Perry, who passed away last year after a stroke. Perry portrayed Apa’s father on Riverdale.
“Last year was probably the hardest year of my life,” Apa said. “It made me really think, ‘What kind of man do I want to be?’ And I’m still figuring it out.”
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Perry’s passing “changed everything” for the actor, who says he “had never gone through anything like that before.”
“I’ve never lost anyone close to me, so it was a really hard time. It’s still hard,” Apa admitted. “Going to work, I can just feel that he’s not there any more.”
The Riverdale star goes on to recall the “really, really, really good relationship” he had with the late actor. “He was just kind of a guy that kept us, especially me, grounded because he’d been through all of this stuff,” Apa explained. “I was so blessed to have him in my life to say, ‘Maybe don’t do that,’ or, ‘This is a good idea.’ Just giving me advice.”
“I miss him,” he added. “I just miss talking to him. I miss listening to him.”
One piece of advice Perry imparted on the actor was about keeping his personal life out of the spotlight. “I think privacy is everything. I really do work hard on protecting my privacy, my home, my family, the people I love,” Apa said. “Luke taught me that.”
In terms of Apa’s career, he is set to lead in I Still Believe, a role that he was “scared” to take on, due to the emotional stakes of the film, which revolves around a real-life Christian singer whose wife’s life is fading.
“I’m just proud of myself for doing it and, watching it back, I feel proud of the work that I did,” he said.
As for what’s next for the actor, he plans to “just go with the flow.”
“I want to work on things that inspire me and that challenge me, but at the end of the day, I don’t really have a plan,” Apa said.
I Still Believe hits theaters March 13.