It’s been the episode that the entire Glee family, cast, crew and fans, have all been dreading, but as we get closer and closer to Thursday’s screening of “The Quarterback”, more is being revealed about what went into the making of the tribute.
We previously reported on creator, Ryan Murphy’s, comments on the experience on set during the production of the farewell to Finn Hudson and Cory Monteith episode. Now he has revealed to Australia’s TV Week that Monteith’s on- and off-screen girlfriend, Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) chose the song that she would be singing in the episode.
“She does have a song. It was a very personal one for her and Cory. She’s ultimately the person who approved and chose that song. She wanted to do something personal. I don’t think she’ll ever share why she chose that song. It was very sad; everybody was wrecked. It was really hard.”
Anyone that has already seen the promo for “The Quarterback”, with Michele’s haunting vocals in the background, would certainly agree with Murphy’s comments.
For many Gleeks, Monteith’s death is the first that they have ever experienced or been exposed to and for that reason Murphy felt that they had a double responsibility in producing the best episode they could. “The episode is about how you mourn people and how lives can make a difference. Particularly with the Rachel character, she struggles with it [the loss] all season. It’s not just done, buried and goodbye.”
While Rachel doesn’t appear until later in the episode, Murphy confirmed that Michele was present on set throughout the entire production. “She was actually deeply in it [on set] – her story kicks in during the last half,” he says. “It was very brave of her to do, because there were some cast members, who we won’t name, who didn’t want to do a grief episode, didn’t want to do a memorial episode. So, Lea really put herself in the bottom of the heap and soldiered on.”
He also shared about how the filming affected Monteith’s on-screen mum, Romy Rosemont (Carole), and his stepfather, Mike O’Malley (Burt). “In many ways, he was like their son. There was never a second take or a third take [on the days of filming their scenes] because they were all just so emotionally distraught. The first take was so raw and felt so real we didn’t do it again.”
Many wondered whether the death of Monteith would result in Michele taking some time away from the hit show. However, Murphy confirmed that this isn’t the case and that she is still firmly, front and centre, Glee’s lead. “Lea is very heavy in this season,” he confirms. “She was big last season, but she’s really big – and back. Make no mistake, Lea’s the female star this season. And, I think that’s really good.”
Glee’s “The Quarterback” airs this Thursday, October 10 on Fox in the US, followed by screening in Australia on Friday October 11 and the following week in the UK.