Luke Perry may be gone, but Dylan McKay lives on. Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling got emotional as they discussed Perry’s first episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.
“That was a pretty exciting thing for everyone, I think, not just those of us who got to work with him. It was a big deal. Dylan McKay was a big, big deal in the history of television,” Garth, 48, began on the Monday, November 23, episode of their “9021OMG” podcast.
Spelling, 47, agreed. “It’s a hard thing because as hard as people probably think it’s hard for us to navigate talking about Luke publicly, it’s still hard for us to talk about him privately,” she said. “It still doesn’t feel real, right?”
Perry, who played Dylan McKay on the ‘90s drama, died in March 2019 after suffering a massive stroke. He was 52. While Garth (Kelly Taylor) and Spelling (Donna Martin) were featured in the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, the late actor joined after the two-part first episode aired in 1990.
“This is honestly the first time I’ve talked about it with a microphone other than just to [Tori] personally and privately,” Garth told Spelling on Monday’s episode about Perry’s passing. “It’s just really hard. I still don’t accept it in a weird way … It’s definitely tricky.”
Spelling replied, “Seeing this episode, it takes you back to the moment and you almost are into it and you feel like you don’t have to accept that he’s gone.”
Garth, who is rewatching the show for the first time for the podcast with Spelling, noted that it was hard for her not to move on to the next episode after watching “The Green Room.”
“When [the episode] was over, I was like, ‘Wait I don’t want it to be over, I want to keep watching it.’ Because I felt that like …” the What I Like About You alum said before going mum.
Spelling injected, “Like he’s right there.”
The former True Tori star continued, “Obviously, you guys can tell we had a lot of love for him and it’s a hard thing to navigate. I guess none of us ever thought we would get to that point where one of us would be gone. That’s not something you think about in life. … You just feel that emptiness.”
Spelling went on to recall the “heartbreaking” moment when Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders) “slipped” and asked for Perry while shooting the quasi-revival, BH90210, during the summer of 2019.
“There’s always eight of us and you count, and Ian turned around and said, ‘Where’s Luke?’ And then I just saw him catch himself,” she explained. “He turned away and I could just see his heart breaking and he started to cry. It was what we were all thinking though. We didn’t feel complete. And we still don’t. … Although [the fans] never got to see the behind-the-scenes, the view into him that they did see, they nailed it. He was just as special as they all thought he was or wanted him to be. Even more so.”
While discussing the episode specifically, the two actresses noted that Perry was like his character.
“That character you saw a lot of who Luke Perry really was,” Garth said. “They were very similar in their makeups. With Luke, you loved him the minute you met him, you were just engaged by his charisma, but it wasn’t over the top, it was just like this really calm, easy vibe that he would give off to everyone and I think that Dylan did that too. And that’s why America and the world fell in love with him.”
Spelling added that “the only thing different” between Perry and Dylan was the actor had a better sense of humor: “He was hysterical and never minded making himself the butt of the joke.”
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Garth concluded, “I was just riveted every time he was on camera. I don’t know if that was because I was a fan girl and excited for Dylan or if that was because of missing him or what it was, but I loved it. I loved watching every second of it.”
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