Luke Perry’s recent sudden death following a massive stroke has reverberated all week long. His eternally cool factor coupled with his gracious, generous mannerisms have led to countless tributes from 90210 co-stars, including Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty. The Riverdale cast has also honored their father figure, and the Hollywood Reporter has now published an account from his Buffy The Vampire Slayer co-star, Kristy Swanson, that only reinforces every other good thing said about the iconic actor.
Swanson and Perry, of course, starred together in the 1992 horror comedy film written by Joss Whedon (as opposed to the late 1990s supernatural drama TV series created by Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar). The movie was a campy, sarcastic delight, and Swanson details how Perry encouraged her to audition for the lead role. More importantly, she highlights how grounded he was while swamped with fans on the set:
“I got to witness quite a bit of his 90210 fame. If anybody found out where we were shooting Buffy, what street we were on, his 90210 fans would all come out. It was unbelievable. All those kids screaming, ‘Luke! Luke! Luke!’ But Luke was very grounded. He was an Ohio boy. He embraced his fans but fame never, ever went to his head.”
Swanson detailed how she and Perry remained friends for life, and she detailed how their Buffy time fully tuned her into the wonderful, supportive friend he was:
“I remember Luke telling me once that in high school he’d been the mascot during football games. That made total sense to me. I was playing a cheerleader in Buffy but he was really the on-set cheerleader while we were making that movie. He was always telling people how great they were doing. He was always positive and uplifting. He made everyone smile. And everybody loved him for it.
“Luke was a sweet, simple guy. Nothing flashy about him. He just liked to keep life really uncomplicated. He was just a great guy and a great friend. He always had my back. And I’m always going to be grateful for that.“
This week, Swanson also Instagrammed a few photos that mentioned her “forever friend” status with Perry. And there’s a special shout-out to his Buffy “#soulpatch” that he (naturally) insisted upon sporting.