Erika Rivera Senior Editor
Kirsty Wallace Content Editor
Dani Strehle Content Editor
We here at PopWrapped are pleased to keep honoring our jukebox hero, Gleek and overall ultimate kind spirit, Cory Monteith. A life definitely that was taken too soon from us, Cory Monteith has left an indelible mark on our hearts and souls.
We are continuing our celebration of Cory’s AMAZING life, work, & public service, instead of focusing on his tragic & untimely passing with this fifth part of the Project Cory series, where we are honoring his onscreen relationship with Chris Colfer’s Kurt as well as honoring his accomplishments and life off-screen.
"I will remember you, will you remember me?
Don’t let your life pass you by,
Weep not for the memories”
(Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You)
Kirsty Wallace: Furt
I will the first to say that Cory was not my favourite Glee actor, nor was Finn my favourite character, however there is no doubt that Cory and Finn was the heart of the show. Finn went through a huge character development through his four seasons on the show and none more so than his relationship with Kurt Hummel, known as “Furt”. It begins with apathy and an element of fear, and by the time of “The Break Up” we see the brothers sharing a hug.
In “Pilot”, we see Finn as a letterman wearing jock who stands by whilst Kurt is bullied and attacked by other football players. This early interaction is typical of Finn’s treatment of Kurt, apathy. Throughout Season One, Kurt has a slightly creepy one sided crush on Finn, and when Kurt sets up his dad and Finn’s mum, Finn started to get mean. Finn is the only character in the New Directions who has ever used the “F-word” regarding Kurt, however Finn does stand up for Kurt by wearing his Lady GaGa outfit in “Theatricality”.
It is in Season Two Episode “Furt” where the relationship between the boys change. During the Hummel-Hudson wedding, Finn gives a speech about Kurt, where the couple name “Furt” is coined. He also sings “Just The Way You Are” for Kurt, and he promises to have Kurt’s back “no matter the cost to him”. It is the first episode where the pair hug for the first time. This Finn is very different to the guy we see in “Grilled Cheesus”, Burt is lying in hospital and Kurt could become an orphan, and rather than praying to ‘Grilled Cheesus’ for Burt to get better, Finn asks for quarterback and to feel Rachel’s boobs. He also gets angry because Kurt didn’t tell him about Burt.
The now brotherly relationship is seen to continue when Kurt returns to McKinley in “Born This Way”. Burt asks for Finn “to look out for your brother” and Finn says “already on it”. During “Somewhere only we know” after Kurts says goodbye to Blaine and the Warblers, it is Finn that welcomes Kurt back to the New Directions with another genuine hug. One of the sweetest Furt moments for me was when Finn agreed with Kurt’s choice of wearing a kilt calling it “gay braveheart”.
By the time we see Furt in Season Three, it appears to be a comfortable relationship shown when Finn is having to choose between voting for Kurt or Rachel in the Student President elections. When Rachel asks if he has decided who is going to get Finn’s vote he says 'I don't know, Kurt's my brother.'
In “Goodbye”, we see the brothers supporting each other when they agree to open their college letters with Rachel. When both Kurt and Finn fail to get into NYADA and Pace respectively, the pair comfort each other in a hug before watching Rachel getting what she wants yet again.
In “The Break Up”, we see a comfortable Furt relationship as Finn tells Kurt “It’s good to see you, little brother.” When the brothers are trying to come to terms with the breakup of their relationships, we see what is now the final Furt hug. Finn is preparing to leave New York the morning after the night before, and Kurt is sitting in the dark waiting for Blaine. Kurt has no qualms with telling Finn he feels like he wants to die, and the pair have their final hug. Interestingly it is Finn that initiates the embrace, and it was heartbreaking to watch then, and now even more so. Finn is also very protective and brotherly towards Kurt when he asks Blaine how he could cheat on Kurt.
Everyone agrees that Season 5 and 6 of Glee will never be the same following the loss of Cory, however I will definitely miss the Furt relationship, as it would have only gotten closer. So with tears in my eyes and a slightly broken heart I say goodbye to Cory, Finn and Furt.
Dani Strehle: Just Cory
Hollywood bone yards are littered with far too many talented men and woman who left this earth much too soon. Cory Monteith is now amongst those legends that will never have the opportunity to realize their full potential.
We at PopWrapped have, like so many others, been trying to come to grips with the loss of this brilliant life; a life that, by all accounts, was filled with laugher, kindness, compassion, generosity, and a fair share of demons. For my part, I’ve decided to focus on Cory’s life outside of Glee, the good and the bad.
While Cory’s demons ultimately led to his tragic demise, they certainly did not define his life. He showed strength of character and perseverance in his struggle against addiction, and used his fame from Glee as a platform to show his support for the LGBTQ community.
When Cory was seven, his parents divorced. He and his older brother Shaun were raised by their mother, with their father having very little involvement in their lives due to military commitments. At about 13, Cory started turning to alcohol and marijuana to numb his inner pain, which also led him skip school frequently. By the age of 16, Cory had attended 16 schools, including alternative educational institutes geared toward troubled teens. By this time, his addiction to drugs and alcohol had escalated and Cory began committing petty crimes and stealing money from friends and family to enable his addiction.
When Cory was nineteen, his mother and a group of his friends staged an intervention, urging Cory to enter a rehabilitation program. Cory took to rehab and turned his life around; stating numerous times in interviews that: “I’m lucky on so many counts. I’m lucky to be alive.”
While working various jobs, such as a Walmart greeter and school bus driver, Cory tried to break into show business. He landed supporting roles in films such as Final Destination 3 and Deck the Halls, as well as a recurring role on Kyle XY and cameos in Supernatural and Smallville, among others.
2009 marked Cory’s real break, as he was cast to play popular quarterback, Finn Hudson, on Fox’s new comedy, Glee. It was love at first sight. Cory’s portrayal of Finn had us all fanning ourselves and wishing that high school guys like him really existed. Finn was sensitive and naïve, sweet and insecure, romantic and forgiving.
Cory worked tirelessly to ensure that he did the complex character of Finn justice. He understood that he was a part of something special, something that some fans had gone so far as to claim had changed their lives. So many teenagers suffer from the same things that the Glee kids were going through. For these kids to witness a popular quarterback character being kind to the geeks, the gays, and the girls gave them hope that their lives may actually get better; that there may actually be people in the world that will one day understand them.
In an interview with Parade back in June 2011, Cory talked about his character’s growth and how Finn had transformed himself: “Finn started off as the stereotypical dumb jock. But as the show has gone on, Finn’s not dumb anymore, really, he’s just a little naïve. The opposite of me.”
“I love Finn’s optimism. He’s very idealistic; he wants a good girl to love him, and he chases after what he wants in life—that I can relate to.”
Cory also fought for what he believed in. In 2011, Cory began working with Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN), which is an online public service announcement organization that focuses on bringing awareness to young straight people about the LGBTQ community. The idea is to change any preconceived notions that our youth may have regarding their “nontraditional” peers. SBBN filmed a PSA featuring Cory in 2011 imploring his audience to just be themselves. He was casual, relatable, genuine and, most importantly, powerful. His message is absolutely necessary, and his last lines in the video are perfection: “We’re just guys…talking to guys… about guys…who likes guys,” and caps it off with a subtle shrug.
You can watch the PSA here:
Cory also co-hosted the GLAAD Media Awards alongside cast mate Naya Rivera in New York City. Cory’s life mimicked Finn’s in his acceptance of all. And while Finn may have taken a little while to get there, we don’t begrudge him a little confusion. Because it was honest. And Cory honestly wanted to convey that message to the masses: “just be you, cuz that’s good enough for me.”
Should Cory have been given the chance to live, I am certain that his good work would have continued. Having an advocate as influential as Cory fighting for a cause like LGBTQ rights is monumental; and thankfully, this video will live on and perpetuate his message.
Watching that PSA literally pained me. I keep trying to tell myself that I am being ridiculous. I ask myself why I am so devastated by the death of a man I’ve never laid eyes on without the filter of a television screen. Well, that’s an easy question, actually: He was just that damn good.
Cory, you will live on forever in the hearts and souls of so many. Though your life was cruelly short, the impact and legacy that you left behind is palpable. Your disciples will continue to deliver your message to the masses, in the hopes that we may someday witness equality for all. We definitely won’t stop believing. Rest in peace.
We’ll be concluding our Project Cory tonight. Please join us here later on as we honor our fallen Gleek.