In the wake of Glee star Cory Monteith’s (Finn) sudden passing on July 13, we’ve been in complete shock. We’ve read reactions from the people who actually knew Cory, and each time, we’ve felt the feelings anew. For Glee creator Ryan Murphy, we can only imagine how much he has to process. Although he had remained largely silent since the news broke one week ago, he spoke to TVLine’s Michael Ausiello on July 20 about Cory’s death and Glee’s future.
“It’s just a crazy, really difficult, very emotional time,” Ryan says. “The thing that I struggle with is the darkness that befell him, it was so the opposite of the person that I knew and tried to save.” Even with the news and processing what it means for the cast and crew, they have decided to get back to work on the show. But the showrunner made it clear that Lea Michele (Rachel) was front and center in the decisions about what would happen next.
“Lea is obviously very grief-stricken but she’s also one of the strongest people I know. She wants people to be better and get back to work. So that’s what we’re going to do,” Ryan explains. On July 19, FOX announced that Glee production would only be delayed until August, with the premiere delayed only one week.
But no decision has been made lightly. Ryan was instrumental in getting Cory into rehab in the spring, along with Cory’s girlfriend Lea. “It’s just a very tragic thing. It’s been a very difficult thing for all of us, including Lea, to love someone who is an addict. It’s something all of us have been dealing with for many months. It’s a disease and, unfortunately, the disease flared up,” Ryan shares of his relationship with Cory.
It’s all that much harder to take for Ryan, since he had heard that Cory was doing better. “[I]t’s just a shock. It happened so quickly and without warning, as it often does for many people...” The Glee writers are currently hard at work, getting ready to write a Cory Monteith tribute episode.
Ryan says finally of Cory, “He was like a son to me. He was both very loving and very sweet and also very stubborn.”