Shannen Doherty on the "Cathartic" and "Hard" Experience of Riverdale's Luke Perry Tribute

The BH90210 actor also revealed how her friend's death inspired her to join the Fox series

By Chris Harnick Aug 07, 2019 8:30 PMTags
BH90210, Beverly Hills 90210Fox

Shannen Doherty had no plans to be involved with BH90210, the somewhat hard to describe new series starring the original cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 as versions of themselves mounting a reboot of the iconic series. However, that changed when her friend and former costar Luke Perry passed away in March.

"These guys know, I definitely wasn't going to do it. Nothing against the show, I knew that the show would get sold and do well with or without me. They didn't need me, so it just wasn't at that moment what I wanted to be doing. And when Luke passed away, things drastically changed for me and I thought it was a great opportunity to sort of honor him," Doherty said at the 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour.

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"I'm really glad I made that decision because now I get to sit up here with a lot of people that I respect and that I love and we went on this amazing journey together where we got to sort of heal through losing somebody who means the world to all of us," she added.

Doherty is also involved with Riverdale's tribute to Perry. The season four premiere of Riverdale will address Perry's death and what happened to his character, Fred Andrews. Series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said the episode is emotional and "very cathartic" to watch.

"Having seen the scene, I couldn't imagine someone else doing it, and it obviously resonates really deeply because it is one of Luke's friends," Aguirre-Sacasa said about Doherty's involvement.

Doherty also described the experience as cathartic.

"It was extremely hard in the sense of the emotions, but I feel really proud and honored, and extremely humbled, that they asked me and that I got to be a part of it. I spoke to certain family members and they were behind it, Luke's manager Steve was very supportive, so I sort of went into it knowing that I was being supported by everybody that really mattered to Luke and knowing it was a show that he had been trying to get me on since day one," Doherty told a small group of press after the panel. "So, it sort of was like this really beautiful moment and that cast loves him—loves, loves, loves him. It was cathartic in a lot of ways and very, very hard and emotional."

"What was really beautiful how much Luke had spent time mentoring [the younger Riverdale cast], which was such a Luke thing," Doherty added. "He just was a mentor and a caregiver, a caretaker."

Riverdale returns October 9 on The CW. BH90210 premieres Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 9 p.m. on Fox.