Not everyone from the original cast of 90210 could return for the reboot, Fox’s BH90210. But, for stars-producers Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling, Luke Perry, who died unexpectedly at the age of 52 in March, was with them in spirit.
“The timing was something that seemed horrific, but in a weird sort of universal way, it was a way for us to all be together during an incomprehensible, painful time,” Garth explained on NBC’s Today show Monday morning. “And I think that that was really good for all of us, actually, and he was with us every second of the time.”
The reboot reunites Garth and Spelling with Jason Priestley, Brian Austin Green, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, and Gabrielle Carteris. Perry played Dylan McKay on the original teen drama that aired from 1990 to 2000, and the group on the reboot wanted to pay homage to him.
Spelling agreed with Today host Dylan Dreyer that these tributes were “quiet” ones. “We wanted to do that,” the actress said. “We didn’t want to do anything big that would take away from the horrible thing that happened, just to do it. So, we wanted to do it in a nice way.”
Perry suffered a stroke at his Los Angeles home on Feb. 27 and was subsequently hospitalized. His passing on March 4 is still felt today as his role filmed for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood debuts on screen posthumously and The CW’s Riverdale continues to honor its fallen cast member.
While in Vancouver earlier this year, Spelling posted a photo to her Instagram of a traffic sign for McKay Road. “Sometimes there are just signs…” she wrote of the image.
Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh on the original 90210, told Entertainment Tonight that she only signed on after Perry’s death.
“For me, I felt like it was honoring him and his memory and what he meant to the audience and the fans and to all of us,” she said. “As his on-set family, I felt like it was an important time for all of us to come together to honor him.”
BH90210 premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.