Naya Rivera: Mood on ‘Glee’ Set Is ‘Terrible’ After Cory Monteith Death

"Glee" Actress Naya Rivera attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

There’s nothing “gleeful” about filming the fifth season of “Glee,” according to star Naya Rivera. While attending the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in Brooklyn on Sunday, Aug, 25, the 26-year-old actress spoke candidly with Us Weekly about getting back to work following the tragic July 13 death of costar Cory Monteith.

“It’s terrible,” Rivera told Us of the mood on the set of “Glee.” The Fox musical series filmed a special tribute episode last week dedicated to Monteith, who died at the age of 31 from a heroin and alcohol overdose.

PHOTOS: Stars gone too soon

Rivera explained to Us that shooting the memorial episode has helped her mourn and cope with Monteith’s death. The actress, who stars as Santana Lopez, said in a statement on July 15, “The entire Glee family and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Cory was and always will be a part of my own family and a good friend. He was a special part of this world and will forever be missed. My heart goes out to Cory’s family and Lea . . . “

PHOTOS: Cory and Lea’s romance

Monteith’s on-screen and off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele shared a touching photo from the set of Glee on Aug. 23. The 26-year-old actress wore a gold “Finn” necklace in remembrance of Monteith’s character Finn Hudson.

Before filming began, “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy told Deadline that they had mulled addressing Monteith’s real-life addictions in the script, “At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose — that was something we had considered. But we have decided that we’re not going to have him pass from that.”

PHOTOS: Go behind the scenes of Glee

Instead, Murphy said the episode will be a “celebration of that character’s life” and actress Jane Lynch, for one, loves the script. “Just read Cory Monteith memorial episode,” she tweeted Aug. 21. “Most beautiful thing. Thank you, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan.”

Watch a Full Episode of “Glee” Below:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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