(NEW YORK) — The decision to postpone the season premiere of Glee by only one week in the wake of Cory Monteith’s death was made by none other than Monteith’s on-and-off screen girlfriend Lea Michele, show co-creator Ryan Murphy said.
“She was very adamant that she thought it was best for the cast and crew to get back to together sooner [rather] than later so that mortgages could be paid and people could take care of their families,” Murphy told the website TVLine.com.
In the interview, Murphy was candid about how the show would handle Monteith’s death.
The cast is scheduled to come back to work in early August, when they will begin filming the first two episodes of the season, which have already been written. The third episode will then be crafted to deal with the death of Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson, which Murphy said “is a very difficult episode to write.”
“[It] has to be done very carefully and with a lot of taste and really make sure that it’s a tribute to Cory,” he told TVLine.com.
Following the tribute, the show will go on hiatus to figure out the next best steps going forward with Monteith gone.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Monteith, 31, was found dead in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 13, after he failed to check out on time. He died of mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol, the British Columbia Coroners Service said Tuesday.
The Glee star had a history of substance abuse. In 2011, he told Parade magazine that, at 19, he went to rehab, saying that he took “anything and everything” and was “lucky to be alive.”
This past April, his rep confirmed that he entered treatment once again for addiction.
In the interview, Murphy shined light on the fact that Michele had staged an intervention for Monteith to get him help.
“Your life is more important than any stupid TV show,” Murphy said he told Monteith. “You’re not going to film. You’re going to get in a car right now and get help that I and [Executive Producer] Brad [Falchuk] and Lea and I arranged.”
Meanwhile, fans organized a vigil Friday night for the actor outside the Vancouver hotel where Monteith was found.
Monteith’s cousin, Richard Monteith, who attended the vigil, told ABC News the two often spoke about Monteith’s relationship with his co-star.
“They were around each other 24/7 and we were able to witness something beautiful,” he said. “My heart goes out to her.”
A memorial for the actor is planned for later this week.
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