Jennie Garth & Tori Spelling Say Luke Perry Was with Them ‘in Spirit’ While Filming Beverly Hills 90210 Reboot

The highly anticipated Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot comes to TV tonight, Aug. 7, and it’s being described as somewhere in between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Desperate Housewives. But not everything about BH90210 will be light-hearted. The Beverly Hills 90210 reboot’s tribute to Luke Perry was “really challenging,” according to stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. Ultimately, the cast created something they felt was fitting to honor their late friend, which means fans should be prepared for at least one emotionally weighted moment amid the fun and frivolity to come this season.

Speaking to HollywoodLife exclusively at an Aug. 5 screening of the show in New York, Garth and Spelling opened up about how hard it was to even film the reboot without their longtime co-star and close friend (the women were the ones who came up with the reboot idea, FYI). “It was incredibly difficult for everyone across the board,” Garth confessed of trying to think of the best way to honor Perry. “Just finding the right way to address it or take care of it, you know, was really challenging. Spelling agreed, saying, “But, it was something we put a lot of thought into. He was with us in spirit.”

In the original series, Garth played Kelly Taylor, Spelling played Donna Martin and Perry memorably played everyone’s favorite bad boy, Dylan McKay. Amazingly, the reboot is reuniting all of the other major players as well: Jason Priestley (Brandon Walsh), Shannen Doherty (Brenda Walsh), Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders), Brian Austin Green (David Silver) and Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea Zuckerman). So, understandably, the gang wanted to pay homage to the one West Beverly alumnus who won’t be able to return to the Peach Pit.

Perry tragically passed away in March after suffering a massive stroke. While he hadn’t been confirmed to appear on the reboot at that point — possibly due to scheduling conflicts with his hit show Riverdale — fans remained hopeful he would cameo at some point. After his death, his former 90210 cast mates took to social media to mourn the loss of their friend.

Arguably, the show itself will serve as a sort of living homage to Perry, as fans of the original surely won’t be able to watch without remembering how he fit into the current cast of players. “We’re playing ourselves, yet playing our characters in the show,” Spelling told HollywoodLife of the series, with Garth adding, “It definitely felt risky and vulnerable [to do that] but I think that that’s what makes it interesting.”

Risky and vulnerable? Sounds like a combo Dylan McKay would definitely approve of.

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