If it was difficult for fans to get through Thursday's Cory Monteith tribute episode of "Glee" without shedding a tear, know the cast felt the same way just reading the script for "The Quarterback."
"The script was written so beautifully. Oh God, it took me two days to get through the script," three-time "Glee" Emmy nominee Dot Marie Jones told Yahoo TV after watching the episode. "And then to see it put into action, it was just … it was hard as hell, but I'm glad I did it. I was happy to be a part of this episode, because I love Cory so much."
Jones, who plays McKinley High football coach Shannon Beiste on the show, shot most of her scenes for the episode with Mark Salling, who plays Puck, the BFF of Monteith's Finn Hudson character.
Puck, in the storyline that picked up three weeks after Finn's funeral, was drinking heavily to deal with his friend's death, and he turned to Coach Beiste to help him try to figure out how to move forward without Finn's friendship.
Puck performs "No Surrender":
"The locker room scene [with Mark] was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was bawling. I was exhausted after shooting just that little scene," Jones said. "It was in the writing … you know, we lost Finn. We lost Cory.
"I do think it was healing for everybody. I can only speak really for myself, but to be there, and be with the kids … it was tough. I was crying at the end of every scene we shot. But in a sense it was healing, to all come together."
Jones, who is celebrating happier news this week with her engagement to girlfriend Bridgett Casteen, also shared one of her favorite moments from "The Quarterback."
"I was crying so hard when Lea [Michele] sang, because I couldn't believe she could do it. That little girl is amazing," says Jones, who is scheduled to appear in at least five more "Glee" episodes this season.
Rachel performs "Make You Feel My Love":
"All the kids, they poured their hearts into it. It's a very close-knit family. All the emotions you saw were 100 percent real. There wasn't a lot of acting there."
Jones, who was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Coach Beiste in 2011, 2012, and 2013, also gave a shout-out to the series' fans for their support of the show after Monteith's accidental drug overdose death in July.
"Our fans are so incredible," she said. "I was bawling before I even watched the episode, because I was reading tweets from East Coast fans. Their support is awesome, and I felt like we gave it back to them [with this episode], as well as our cast and crew. Our crew, they worked with Cory every day, too, and loved him, too.
"If he wasn't such an awesome guy, this wouldn't be so hard."