Lea Michele on the set of Cory Monteith’s ‘Glee’ memorial episode
“It was wild and tough, but we healed together. … I never watched the episode. It’s the only one I haven’t seen.”
Lea Michele just gave a rare insight into how Joy navigated the death of one of its main stars – and her boyfriend at the time – Cory Monteith.
Cory and Lea met at the start of filming the first season of Joy in 2009, featuring the show’s two central characters and love interests, Rachel Berry and Finn Hudson.
After Joy premiering, it wasn’t long before rumors started swirling that Lea and Cory were also off-screen. However, Lea was dating actor Theo Stockman at the time and was quick to dismiss reports that she and her co-star were romantically involved.
But, when Lea and Theo finally broke up in late 2011, it was only a matter of months before things between her and Cory started to get a little more serious.
In April 2012, Lea and Cory’s romance was in full swing, appearing on red carpets as an item and popping up on each other’s social media platforms over the next year.
But as the two grew stronger in their relationship, Cory privately struggled with his health.
In late March 2013, Cory checked into a rehab facility for drug treatment. He had previously spoken openly about his complicated past with drug addiction, revealing just two years earlier that he first went to rehab aged 19.
At that time, Lea and Cory were filming the fourth season of Joy. According to show creator Ryan Murphy, filming for the final two episodes went according to plan, with Finn’s absence later factored into the script.
Alongside the show’s producers and several of their partners, Lea spoke out in support of Cory, telling People at the time, “I love and support Cory and will be supporting him through this. test.”
Less than a month later, on April 26, Cory completed his treatment and then tweeted fans thanking them for their love and support. Over the next few weeks, he made several public appearances, appearing healthy and upbeat.
However, the world was left in complete disbelief a few months later when a rep for the actor confirmed the news of his death on July 13 at the age of 31.
“We are so saddened to confirm that the information about Cory Monteith’s death is accurate,” a spokesperson said at the time. “We are in shock and mourn this tragic loss.”
Cory was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, and an autopsy later determined that an accidental overdose of alcohol and heroin was the cause of his death.
In January 2014, Lea opened up about how she was coping with the loss, telling Teen Vogue, “I kind of feel the mad love that Cory and I had for each other turned into this strength that I have right now.”
“There’s just something about knowing that he’s watching everything I do and I feel like I have to do everything now, not just for me but for him. I also have a safety net under me – if I fall or if it’s too much my friends and family will be there to catch me,” she continued.
Speculation on how Joy’s producers would address the loss began swirling online immediately after Cory’s death, prompting creator Ryan Murphy to speak out.
“We were supposed to be in the fall with [the first four episodes of Season 5]and it’s just not gonna happen,” Ryan told TVLine in July 2013. “We’re going to be on the air with [the first two episodes] and right now we’re writing the third episode, which is about Finn’s death.
“[It] has to be done very carefully and very tastefully and really making sure it’s a tribute to Cory,” he said, adding that filming has been put on hold.
Much to fans’ surprise, production on Season 5 resumed less than a month after Cory’s death – a decision reportedly made by Lea, who had been “unyielding” to reunite the cast and crew.
And with filming underway so quickly, Cory’s tribute episode – Season 5, Episode 3, titled: “The Quarterback” – aired October 10.
The episode saw the show’s central characters navigate their grief, singing songs such as Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” and the band Perry’s “If I Die Young.” Interestingly, Finn’s cause of death on the show was not specified.
Lea made her first appearance as Rachel in the second half of the episode, performing Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” emotionally.
Reflecting on that song choice today, Lea gave rare insight into the set of ‘The Quarterback’ and revealed that Ryan let her decide what to sing in Cory’s honor.
“How do I choose a song that says it all, you know?” Lea said while presenting the Bob Dylan track during a live performance in Washington, DC, this week.
“I don’t even remember what I was listening to at the time,” she said, recalling the decision. “Like nothing. I was just in such a hole.
Lea shared that she was grateful to have had the opportunity to choose what to sing, adding that it was important that the tribute was faithful to her, not only as a character in the series, but also in real life. life.
“It had to be something real to me, but it was also so hard to think of what song it could be. And then I was like, ‘Oh, that’s it,'” he said. she declared.
Reflecting on the episode itself, Lea said she felt his words as Rachel mirrored her real-life discussions with Ryan in the aftermath of Cory’s death.
“I think we may have listened to the song once, because I know when Rachel says on the show that we would listen to it and it’s real,” she said. “A lot of what I say in this episode, a lot of what I say to [Matthew Morrison]The character in that classroom was the exact words I said to Ryan after all.
Lea went on to say that filming the tribute scene was “wild and tough,” but singing “Make You Feel My Love” in Cory’s honor helped her heal alongside her castmates. .
“I would film it and then run away and come back,” she said.
Concluding the heartfelt moment, Lea told the audience that “The Quarterback” is the only episode of Joy she never looked back.
“It’s the only one I haven’t seen,” she said before explaining her reasoning.
“I think if I don’t watch it, I feel like Finn is still there,” she said. “So that [song] is very special.
On the ninth anniversary of Cory’s death earlier this month, Lea paid tribute to him on Instagram with a sweet photo of the two of them. She captioned the image with a red heart.