There is no doubt that Cory Monteith’s (Finn) sudden and tragic passing on July 13 shook every Glee actor to his or her core. The cast has said many times that they feel like a family, and those bonds were especially strong between Cory and Glee newcomer Blake Jenner (Ryder).

At the start of Season 4 last fall, Blake was heralded as “The New Finn.” With Cory’s character graduated from McKinley High School, Blake’s friendly football jock came in to fill the vacancy of Glee’s athlete/musician.

“I loved Cory. He was like a brother to me,” Blake told Wetpaint Entertainment exclusively at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards on August 11. “He was like an older brother. He would give me advice in scenes, in life, in everything. So he was awesome.”


Blake didn’t elaborate on what sort of life advice Cory offered, but we do know that the two actors shared another similarity off-camera: They both ultimately struck up real-life romances with their on-screen love interests. Cory was in a long-term relationship with co-star Lea Michele (Rachel) at the time of his death. Blake and his on-screen love, Melissa Benoist (Marley), are together — and evenrumored to be engaged, though neither of them has confirmed those reports.

The young star also talked about Glee’s upcoming Cory Monteith tribute episode, which will be Season 5, Episode 3. “We all just want to do it justice,” he told us. “We’re just passing good vibes to each other and I think we just, we respect it and we love Cory.”

Reporting by Carita Rizzo.