The stars of Glee got back to work last week following a month of mourning their late castmate Cory Monteith, who died July 13 from a combination of heroin and alcohol. For Harry Shum Jr., who plays Mike Chang on the show, being surrounded by people who love Monteith is just what the cast needed.
“We’ve all been leaning on each other. It’s been a rough patch and a rough time,” he told People magazine on Saturday. “I don’t know when that will ever end, that rough patch of losing a friend like that. It’s so unexpected, but we’re all leaning on each other.”
Before returning to work, the cast and crew gathered July 25 to pay tribute to the actor, who made his name playing Finn Hudson on Glee. Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) said that memorial was a necessary part of their grieving process.
“We had a nice memorial,” she told Us Weekly on Saturday. “The cast and the crew, we all got together and we remembered Cory and honored [him]. We went back to the work and the wheels turn in spite of what happened and I’m just glad we had that memorial so we were able to come together and be a family.”
But Lynch acknowledged that there are constant reminders of Cory’s absence on set. “Every day I go to work, I walk by his trailer and I go,’He should be in there,'” she said.
Lea Michele, Monteith’s co-star and real-life girlfriend, tweeted a photo from the set last week, writing, “Feels so good to be home.” When Shum was asked how Michele is doing, he told People, “Of course she’s heartbroken, everyone is. But I think it’s great that everyone is back at work and at least following through, and hopefully we can at least just get through this rough patch.”
Glee season 5 premieres Thursday, Sept. 26, on Fox, a week later than originally scheduled.