It's almost time to say goodbye to Finn Hudson forever, and "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy says that although the process of writing, shooting and editing the Cory Monteith tribute episode, "The Quarterback" (Thurs., Oct. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox), was "incredibly difficult," the end result is "stunning."
At a private press screening of FX series "American Horror Story: Coven" (Season 3 premieres Wed., Oct. 9 at 10 p.m. ET on FX), Murphy talked about the pressures the "Glee" cast faced being thrust into fame so quickly, Monteith included, but said that the cast was all there to help say goodbye to him onscreen, even if they weren't necessarily written into the episode.
Murphy also teased that "what we'll see in the episode is what really happened" ...
"I locked [the episode] today -- it was incredibly difficult to work on," Murphy said. "It was very difficult to shoot. I mean, the interesting thing about that show is that those actors and the creators really, really loved Cory. The episode is called 'The Quarterback,' and you know Cory really was that, to that group of people and to me particularly. There was nobody on that crew that did not like Cory. It's been a very interesting show, in terms of relationships -- it's hard to do a young people's show.
"That group of kids particularly went through the limelight and became world famous at a very difficult age, and many of them really struggled with it. And Cory, obviously, very much struggled with it, but never on the surface, and I think that's why everybody loved him. He was the most kind, the most generous, never a bad word for anybody.
"So I think what we'll see in the episode is what really happened. Brad [Falchuk] and Ian [Brennan] and I wrote that episode and Brad directed it, and those performances that you'll see ... almost everything in that episode is from the first take of every performance. The actors and the crew had a really hard time shooting it. I've never seen a crew that you can't continue shooting because they've left the room sobbing. It was very hard.
"And I struggled even working on it, because what you're seeing is what they felt about not just Finn, but Cory, so I think it's amazing performances across the board, and everybody went into it with a lot of love. What I loved about it is, you know when you write something like that, there's no right way to do it, so we wrote it and we put people who were under contract to the show in it, and a lot of the actors contacted me and said, 'I just love him so much -- can I please be a part of it?' So we put those people in. Iqbal [Theba], for example, who plays the principal and is now the janitor, was not written into that episode, but personally called up Brad and I and said, 'For him, I want to be in it.'
"It was rough. It was very rough. It was very rough with Lea [Michele] ... but I'm very proud of it. I think the performances are quite stunning," Murphy said, adding, "People still are not over it -- it's still very, very difficult."
"Glee" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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3. Fire and Rain (Glee Cast Version)
4. If I Die Young (Glee Cast Version)
5. No Surrender (Glee Cast Version)
6. Make You Feel My Love (Glee Cast Version)