Talking through the sad news of Cory Monteith

I’m on various CBC Radio One stations today talking about Cory Monteith, found dead in a Vancouver hotel room Saturday. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed this week, and then hopefully the cause of death will be determined, but there is much speculation that Monteith’s drug addiction demons caught up with him.
One point I’m trying to make on these interviews is that Monteith did not appear to be to be somebody who was changed by Hollywood. He always seemed so unaffected by this crazy thrill ride of a career he was on. It helped that he was a little older when it all first happened, not a teen sensation. He was 26 when he won the role of Finn Hudson, and if anything seemed mature and grounded for his age. He talked about the long hours and the seven days-a-week schedule, much of it honing dance routines and recording songs. One can only speculate, but he was probably always too busy to fall back into old patterns during the production season. He had other outlets, including drumming and singing in a band, as well as a relationship with cast mate Lea Michelle.
Addiction, however, is a horrible, horrible thing.
Monteith was well liked in the acting community as well as in the music world. Hopefully that good will extended into other areas and will help his family deal with this tragedy without having to wince every time they pass a magazine rack at a check out area in the next week or so.
Several of the CBC radio hosts have been asking me how fans will make sense of Monteith’s sudden death. I don’t know if I can, but he will be remembered for this one role–Finn Hudson, all-American lad, star quarterback-turned-gleek. The producers had a hard time finding a young actor who could realistically bridge those two worlds, who could play both arrogant and sensitive, and who could also sing and dance. Monteith did all those things and also ground the show in a reality that was often otherwise lacking. He was really one of the anchors of a very elastic series–a pretty impressive accomplishment and one for which he probably never got enough credit.

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