In a recent interview, Riverdale’s executive producer, Sarah Schechter, took a moment to reflect on the show’s final episode and the absence of one beloved veteran cast member. She expressed her deep wish to have seen the late Luke Perry make a cameo appearance in the series’ last-ever episode, titled “Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Seven: Goodbye, Riverdale.” Perry, who portrayed Fred Andrews, Archie’s father, during the show’s first three seasons, held a special place in the hearts of both the cast and the audience.
Schechter shared her thoughts in a candid conversation with Variety, shedding light on Perry’s absence from the show’s Season 7, Episode 20. She acknowledged the efforts of showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to involve as many familiar faces as possible, stating, “Yeah, if Roberto had his way, everybody that’s ever been on the show would be in every episode.” She expressed her joy at having many familiar faces return for the final stretch of the series, yet her sentiments lingered on Luke Perry’s absence.
Luke Perry was more than just an actor on set; he was the heart and soul of Riverdale in many ways. He played a crucial role not only in his character’s narrative but also as a father figure to the entire cast, particularly KJ Apa, who plays Archie Andrews. Schechter’s only regret was the unfillable void left by Perry’s passing. She wished for him to still be among them, reminiscing about his excitement and commitment to the show since its inception. “He knew from the beginning what it was, and he was excited about it from the beginning. That’s the only thing I wish was different,” she remarked.
Perry’s portrayal of Fred Andrews resonated deeply with audiences, making his sudden departure a profound loss. While he made a brief appearance through archival footage in Season 5, the absence of his warm presence was deeply felt. Perry’s co-star, Cole Sprouse, spoke fondly of him during a recent interview, highlighting his role as a mentor to the show’s relatively junior performers. Sprouse recounted Perry’s insightful guidance and passionate demeanor, which left a lasting impact on the cast.
Madelaine Petsch, who plays Cheryl Blossom, echoed Sprouse’s sentiments. Perry’s wisdom had reached even the show’s newer members, and he advised them to brace themselves for the unique experience that an Archie adaptation like Riverdale would offer. While Perry may have anticipated the challenges of adapting the comic book source material, even he might not have predicted the wild and often outlandish narrative twists that unfolded over the show’s seven-season run.
Camila Mendes, one of the show’s stars, defended Riverdale’s daring and sometimes unbelievable plot developments, stating that they remained consistent with the show’s comic book origins. However, not all cast members found it easy to embrace the show’s unconventional storylines. Lili Reinhart, who portrayed Betty Cooper, admitted in a recent interview that dealing with online mockery of the show could be tough. She acknowledged the importance of recognizing the criticisms but also expressed the cast’s collective passion for their craft and the challenges they faced when their work became a subject of ridicule.
In the end, Riverdale’s journey was one filled with unexpected turns, cherished memories, and the bittersweet absence of a beloved cast member. The show touched the hearts of many, navigating its own unique path within the realm of television storytelling.