Lea Michele justifies Glee tribute

Lea Michele

Lea Michele says recognizing Cory Monteith’s death is no more difficult on Glee than it has been in real life.

The actress was dating her co-star when he died in July of a heroin and alcohol overdose. Glee addresses the death of Cory’s character Finn Hudson in an episode airing in the US this week, although the cause of his passing is not revealed. Lea’s on-screen alter ego Rachel Berry had an on/off relationship with Finn, causing many to question how she could bear to act out her grief for the small screen.

“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,” she told TV Week Australia.

“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.”

Lea sings Make You Feel My Love in the episode, which is called The Quarterback. Other cast members including Naya Rivera and Mark Salling also sing, but it was Lea who had to perform first.

Her co-star Matthew Morrison recalls the effect it had on her.

“She had one of the first songs we filmed for the episode and she did it so beautifully and after, she said something like, ‘It can’t be harder for anyone else than it was for me,’” he said.

“So, we knew we had to show up because our leader stepped forward and kind of gave permission to all of us to do it. I don’t think we could have done it without her.”

Lea, 27, hopes fans will remember the positive side of Cory which is what she chooses to focus on.

“I really woke up every single day feeling like I was being in some sort of spell or something, that I was lucky enough to have him in my life. I feel like what happened with Cory [the cause of his death] was this big,” she says, holding her fingers together to reflect a miniscule amount, “in the scheme of who he was and his life.

“There was no greater man than Cory, so for the time we spent together I consider myself very lucky.”

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