Cory Monteith battled addiction before his death at 31 over the weekend, and the late actor’s final movie role reflects some of his real-life struggle with substance abuse.
McCanick, filmed last September in Philadelphia and currently in post-production, features Monteith playing a drug addict street hustler who’s sent to prison on murder charges.
Upon Monteith’s character’s release on parole, two detectives (played by David Morse and Mike Vogel) try to hunt him down.
The film’s director, Josh C. Waller, is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying that Monteith had been eager to try his hand at gritty drama and use his life experience to inform the role.
“He was very vocal about his past, and said he wanted to tap into things from his youth that he hadn’t been able to use as an actor yet,” explains Waller, adding later, “He didn’t say it was a cathartic experience, but you could sense it.”
Three weeks ago, the two men saw each other to watch a finished cut of the project.
“He sent me an email later that evening after the screening saying he was so thankful and had a lot of pride in the role,” recalls Waller. “He was nervous and scared — but it was that good fear. He said something along the lines of — ‘I can’t wait to find out the release date so that I can tell the world about it.’”
It’s not clear when the movie will be released.
Waller explains, “It’s tricky, because you know there’s a group of people that want to see the movie because it’s his last film — but by no means does anybody want to exploit the tragedy. I want people to see the movie, because Cory deserves that. People would ultimately see that he had a lot more to offer artistically, and it’s a shame that this happened because now he can’t explore that.”