Cory Monteith’s Final Film Performance: Actor Tapped Troubled Past for Gritty Role
Cory Monteith in 'McCanick' (Photo courtesy of Bleiberg Entertainment)
The world of entertainment was rocked over the weekend after Cory Monteith – who played Finn Hudson on the hit television series "Glee" – was found dead in a motel room in Vancouver on Saturday at the age of 31. Now the filmmaker who directed the late Monteith in his final film role has stepped forward, saying the actor was both looking back to troubled times and looking forward to life after "Glee" while working on the project.
In the upcoming crime drama "McCanick," Monteith plays Simon Weeks, a violent and drug-addicted street hustler, opposite David Morse ("Treme," "Drive Angry") as Eugene "Mack" McCanick — a detective on his trail.
Josh C. Waller, director of "McCanick," graciously shared this exclusive clip with Yahoo! Movies, showing us a first look at Monteith in what is tragically his final film role:
Waller also shared his memories of Monteith with the L.A. Times, admitting he was initially reluctant to cast tall, handsome Monteith in the role, but the actor's determination led him to re-think the character.
"In my mind, I was envisioning a teeny little drug guy [for Weeks], but Cory Monteith is this tall, strapping man," Waller said Sunday after news had spread of Monteith's untimely death. "But when I met with him, he wanted to do it so badly," he said of the actor who had publicly admitted to having his own problems with substance abuse. "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."
"He didn't say it was a cathartic experience, but you could sense it," Waller added.
"McCanick" was shot on location in Philadelphia. Monteith would fly in from Los Angeles on off days from "Glee" to film his scenes. According to Waller, Monteith was eager to expand his creative horizons and build a future for when "Glee" ended its run, especially given the fact he was significantly older than his character — and among the oldest cast members on the show.
"He was like, 'I know I can’t be on that show forever, so I’m starting to prep myself for when it's not on anymore,'" Waller said. "With 'McCanick,' he was starting that trajectory — like, 'Let me nip this in the bud right now.'"