‘Glee’ actor reflects on working with Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith, pictured in 2010. The Associated Press

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Glee cast member Mike O’Malley says Cory Monteith, who died earlier this month of a drug overdose, was a leader on the show.

O’Malley plays Burt Hummel, dad to Chris Colfer’s Kurt on the hit show about a high school glee club. He told the Television Critics Association on Saturday that Monteith was a welcoming colleague, a talented actor and a great guy.

O’Malley said Monteith, who played quarterback Finn Hudson, was the quarterback on the set as well.

The 31-year-old Monteith was found dead July 13 in a hotel room in Vancouver and an autopsy revealed he died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol.

O’Malley says the toughest scene he’s had to do as an actor was opposite Monteith. On the show, Burt Hummel eventually married Finn’s mother.

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“I had to throw (his character) out of the house because of a slur that he used. It was remarkable to me when we were shooting that scene over and over again, the depth of emotion he was able to portray.”

Glee is set to begin its fifth season on Global on Sept. 26, a week later than originally scheduled, and a tribute episode to Monteith is planned.

O’Malley is also set to star in a father’s role in the new comedy, Welcome to the Family, scheduled to premiere on Global in October, which follows the culture clash between a white and Latino family who are thrown together after their teenage children get engaged following an unexpected pregnancy.

“I’m here doing Welcome to the Family, and we shoot one episode five days a week. But Burt is a very important role to me. It’s been a great part and I’ve said to all those guys, that I’ll work early in the morning, late at night, Saturday, Sunday, whatever I need to do to participate and continue to be on that show honouring Cory and his passing and that character. He is my stepson on that show. I certainly plan on being there.”

O’Malley says he believes he will be on hiatus from Welcome to the Family when the tribute episode to Monteith is shot, clearing his schedule to appear on the show.


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