Cory Monteith was always “dependable, sweet and comforting”, says Ryan Murphy.
The 31-year-old actor died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol in July. He shot to fame thanks to his role as singing quarterback Finn Hudson on Ryan’s show Glee and not long after his death the cast held a private memorial for him.
His on and off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele was there and part of the speech Ryan made has now been released.
“Despite his troubles, he always felt deeply rooted – dependable, sweet, someone you return to for comfort. He was big, oafy, oversize – which is why during the pilot I gave him the nickname Frankenteen, a nickname that, much to his horror, stuck. But he was also the biggest surprise for me personally, and in many ways reaped the most respect,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Ryan also recalled the first day on the set of Glee. Cory was the first to shoot a scene and afterwards Ryan was still nervous about whether the premise of a program about a high school singing club would work, but the actor was so excited Ryan new the idea had legs.
Cory hadn’t sung or danced before the show and tried out by “banging on Tupperware”, another reason why he has a special place in Ryan’s heart.
“When we started, he alone had never danced. He had never really sung. And yet from his audition tape. he became a singer. A great one. And he became a dancer. He gave both his heart, and that is what Cory was to me – all heart. Ultimately his body, through his terribly sad and frustrating addiction, won out over that big, strong beating heart,” he said.
“From the beginning Cory and I had a father-son relationship, which at that time I have to admit I did not want. I didn’t know how to do that. But Cory – from a broken home, a lost boy -needed a male figure to provide guidance, support, and direction. In retrospect, Cory was kind of my training wheels for becoming the father I am today with my own child.”
Ryan also shared he has always had a plan for Glee’s ending, saying at the end of season six Finn would be a teacher and Lea’s character Rachel Berry a frustrated Broadway star. In the final scene the pair would reunite.
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