July 15, 2013 1:13 pm

Cory Monteith’s East Coast family, colleagues mourn actor’s death

In this Aug. 19, 2012 photo, Cory Monteith attends the 2012 Do Something awards in Santa Monica, Calif.

Jordan Straus/Invision/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – Glee star Cory Monteith’s father says he is “devastated” by the death of his son.

Joe Monteith, speaking to Global News from his home in New Brunswick, said he didn’t have any comment on his son’s sudden passing, but said he was “totally out to lunch.”

“I still don’t even know where they’re going to be burying my son,” Monteith said.

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The 31-year-old actor was found dead in Vancouver hotel room Saturday afternoon.

Vancouver police said his death was not the result of foul play.

The Calgary-born TV star struggled with drug and alcohol addictions before his death, and had admitted himself into rehab in April of this year.

The older Monteith split with wife and Cory’s mother, Ann McGregor, when the star was just seven years-old.

Monteith, a former member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, reportedly didn’t see much of his son — who was raised by his mother in Victoria, along with his brother Shaun — due to military service.

He currently lives in Oromocto, N.B. — not far from CFB Gagetown.

The father and son reunited after Cory landed the role as Finn Hudson on Glee and rose to fame.

“I look at it as one of the best experiences that has come from this whole explosion,” he said in a 2011 interview.

The actor is also survived by his paternal grandmother and two uncles who also live in New Brunswick.

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Monteith was in the Maritimes to film a movie in Halifax, in the summer of 2012.

He had the lead role in the film All the Wrong Reasons, produced by Fredericton-based Shore Road Productions.

The movie, still in post-production, centres on “four co-workers at a big box department store all struggling to connect and come to terms with their lives.”

Fredericton-based producer Tony Whalen, worked on All the Wrong Reasons with writer/director wife Gia Milani.

“What I immediately remember about Cory is that he is a truly an incredible man,” Whalen said in a phone interview with Global News. “He went out of his way to make everybody feel special.”

“If there was a crowd [of fans] somewhere, he would come out after we wrapped for the day and come and talk to them,” Whalen said.

Read more: Vancouver theatre program accepting donations in honour of Cory Monteith

He explained Milani knew of Monteith from his hit show, but it was an appearance on Canadian TV that made the couple want to cast him in the lead role of the low-budget film.

“What sold her on him, for this role, was an interview with George Stromboulopolous. He was just very candid and open and honest, and she just immediately knew from that interview that that was the guy that we wanted to play James in the film.”

He said the role is a much more “intense” role than the character of Finn on Glee.

“He plays somebody his own age. He’s a bit of a darker character, and that was something he told us he was very privileged [to play],” Whalen said.

Monteith balanced his promotional duties for Glee while filming the independent film in Halifax.

Whalen said it didn’t seem real that the actor and “good guy” they got to know and work with is gone.

“We got the news very early in the morning [Sunday] and it took a few hours before it was even believable,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s even totally sunk in yet that he’s not around any more.”

All the Wrong Reasons doesn’t have a release date yet, but Whalen said he and Milani delivered the film to its Canadian and U.S. distributors — Vancouver-based Pacific Northwest Pictures and Myriad Pictures — about a week ago.

They hope it will be in theatres by the end of this year or by early 2014.

“I really feel for his family and his close circle of friend,” Whalen said. “He’s gonna be missed by everybody.”

© Shaw Media, 2013

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