Lea Michele and Cory Monteith were the “It” couple on Glee. Now he’s dead. Now Michele finally breaks her silence.
Tomorrow night marks the Glee episode focusing on Finn Hudson’s death. This, of course, happened due to the real life death of lead actor Cory Montieth, which was the result of an overdose from heroin and alcohol.
Actress Lea Michele, who was both Montieth’s real-life girlfriend and his on-screen love interest as Rachel Berry, conducted her first interview following the tragedy with TV Week Australia. In it, she reveals what it was like — both on the show and behind-the-scenes — dealing with the loss.
“For me personally, I’ve lost two people: Cory and Finn,” she says. “We had a beautiful memorial for Cory in the auditorium and some of the cast members sang and people spoke about him. It only felt right that we would do the same thing for Finn, so I felt it was very therapeutic.”
As for leaving the show, she says, “Everyone is asking: ‘Is it hard to do this? Is it hard to be back at work?’, but the truth is it’s no harder at work than it is in life, so we might as well all be together as a family supporting each other to get through this together.”
There was much confusion among fans when it was revealed that Finn’s death wouldn’t be explained. At the time, producer Ryan Murphy told Deadline:
At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose — that was something we had considered. But we have decided that we’re not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, “This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.” That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way.
The episode is called The Quarterback, and it takes place three weeks after Finn’s funeral. To memorialize him, the glee kids gather to offer their farewells in song.
Naya Rivera (Santana) sings “If I Die Young,” Chord Overstreet (Sam) and Kevin McHale (Artie) sing “Fire And Rain,” and Mark Salling (Puck) performs “No Surrender.” Michele will sing, of course, a tearful rendition of Bob Dylan’s, “Make You Feel My Love.”
As for her time with Monteith, Michele tells the Aussie pub she never took her time with him for granted. “I woke up every single day feeling like I was in some sort of spell or something, that I was lucky enough to have him in my life,” she shares. “There was no greater man than Cory, so for the time we spent together, I consider myself very lucky.”
The memorial episode takes place this Thursday, October 10, at 9/8c on Fox.