This past July, “Glee” co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy delivered a speech at a private memorial service for cast member Cory Monteith, who passed away that month.
As part of its “Late Greats” feature, Entertainment Weekly shared an excerpt from Murphy’s speech.
Calling Monteith the “beginning and the ending of ‘Glee’…literally,” Murphy reflected on how the show, which opened with emphasis on Monteith’s character Finn, was going to end with a similar focus.
Referring to his planned ending as a “North Star” that provided a source of comfort, Murphy revealed that by the end of season six, Lea Michele’s Rachel would have become a big star on Broadway. Finn, meanwhile, would have become a teacher at McKinley and achieved a state of satisfaction: “at peace with his choice and no longer feeling like a Lima loser.”
In the final shot, Rachel returns to Ohio to visit Finn, who was in rehearsal with the New Directions. He would ask what she was doing there, and Rachel, who despite being successful was unfulfilled, would declare, “I’m home.”
“That ending, and that beginning, speaks deeply of my personal feelings for Cory,” said Murphy (full excerpt at EW). “Despite his troubles, he always felt deeply rooted—dependable, sweet, someone you return to for comfort. He was big, oafy, oversize—which is why during the pilot I gave him the nickname Frankenteen, a nickname that, much to his horror, stuck. But he was also the biggest surprise for me personally, and in many ways reaped the most respect.”