When the Fox Network announced that the show Glee would start production in August after delaying it because of actor Cory Monteith’s death from an overdose, the show’s creator said that the decision had been Lea Michele’s to make. Ryan Murphy explained that the final word on the fate of the show rested with Lea, and despite her devastation, she’s apparently decided that Glee must go on.
When Murphy spoke in an interview with E! News, he said, “The person who made the decision was Lea, who felt that the best thing for the cast and crew was to be together and to get back to work. He continued, “We decided to do that with Lea’s blessing and we’re going to go back to work and have grief counselors on the set for two weeks because people are really hurting.”
The 47 year-old co-creator of the hit Fox program revealed that if the grieving actress had said that she wanted to, “walk away from the show altogether,” he would have pulled the plug. But that didn’t happen and on Friday, July 19, Fox Network told Us Weekly that the next season’s premiere date would now be Sept. 26 instead of the original date of Sept. 19.
Murphy decided to finally speak about the death of Cory Monteith and the problems it had on the show. The Glee actor had been found dead in his Vancouver hotel room from a heroin/alcohol overdose on July 13 and the Glee production team and the cast and crew have been attempting to understand the actor’s death and how it affected them personally as well as the show.
The biggest issue for the Fox program was the fact that Cory Monteith played Finn Hudson, Lea Michele’s love interest in the show and in real life. It was going to be difficult whatever the show’s creators decided. But according to Murphy, they would not have done anything without her okay.
He said, “Ultimately, we made no decisions without consulting Lea. She was very adamant that she thought it was best for the cast and crew to get back together sooner than later … Cory was so beloved that she felt people really needed to be together in this time. So we sort of followed her lead.” Lea Michele’s lead was to decide that Glee must go on.
Murphy explained that grief counsellors will be on hand for the first two weeks of filming. He also said that the first two episodes of the new season will be The Beatles tribute episodes which were written in May and then the third episode will deal with the death of Finn.
The show’s co-creator explained that the episode would be, “a very difficult episode to write.” He went on to say that it will have to be, “done very carefully and with a lot of taste and really making sure that it’s a tribute to Cory.”
He also said, “Then, who knows? Maybe we’ll wait to shoot that. We really have to see how everybody feels … We’re going to take a long writers’ hiatus after that episode to refigure the season and continue to take care of the cast and crew and work on setting things up in Cory’s honor … because that’s something we’re dedicated to doing.”
Murphy was full of praise for the 26 year-old actress who had to deal with her boyfriend’s unexpected death as well as knowing that she’d have to face it all again for the cameras when the show started filming the fifth season.
He said of Lea and the rest of the Glee cast, “It’s just a crazy, really difficult, very emotional time. I think what we’re really trying to do is deal with it as a family, which is what that group of people is. Lea is obviously very grief-stricken but she’s also one of the strongest people I know. She wants people to be better and get back to work. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
After speaking of his own personal support of Cory Monteith’s addiction problem he spoke of his frustration at the late actor’s stubbornness, although he admitted that Cory was, “like a son to me…”
He spoke of the tragedy of Cory’s death and he also talked of his admiration for Lea Michele’s handling of his death. He said, “I’ve never, ever met a 26-year-old girl or boy who’s capable of doing what she’s done in the past week. I marvel at it. I really have taken — as we all have — our lead from Lea. We won’t do anything that she doesn’t want to do. We’re planning a memorial service this week for the cast and crew and people at Fox, everybody who loved him. She’s been planning that and making decisions.”
It shows just how professional Lea Michele is, deciding that Glee must go on, despite her grief. She knows that people depend on the show to pay their bills and feed their families. In the end, she knows that this is what matters and she will face her grief, while she works with the support of her Glee family and friends.
By Michael Smith