By Nicole Eggenberger
“Glee’s” memorial episode for Cory Monteith airs Thursday night (Oct. 10), and it sounds like fans should have hankies at the ready.
“Glee” star Mike O’Malley made an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Thursday and revealed how the Fox musical series will deal with Monteith and his death, and the death of the character Monteith played on the show, Finn Hudson.
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“Cory Monteith was a great guy,” said O’Malley, 46, who plays Burt Hummel on the show. “He was my stepson on the show and a terrific, terrific actor and sadly he died this summer. And I think that the writers, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, have taken this incredible task — which was to write a story about a character that passed away — and yet honor the actor and really show the audience the love that the cast and the crew, but also that the audience, had for him. It was a really remarkable episode, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful episodes they’ve ever written on that show.”
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“It must have been so hard to film that,” said Ellen. “I mean everyone, must have been just breaking down, right?”
“I think that everyone in the cast is dealing with it in their own way because they all had their own relationships with him,” O’Malley explained. “I don’t want to profess that I was as close to him as some of the younger people were on that show because they were an incredibly close unit. I thought they went through just a massive experience of fame, exposure and success, and I really think that they all handled it quite well.”
Monteith, 31, died July 13 after overdosing on heroin and alcohol. “Glee” will honor his memory with the tribute episode entitled “The Quarterback,” which will feature heartfelt performances by his costars, including on- and off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele. The show airs Thursday night at 9/8c on Fox.
“What was interesting about shooting the episode is that you’re tasked with doing your job, which is [telling a story] … and it’s a story that’s important to tell,” O’Malley said. “You realize when doing this episode, it’s about someone who’s gone. [The hard thing] is that you wanted to honor him. You wanted to honor his life … It’s really emotional for an audience, whether you knew him personally or not.”