Lea Michele Shares Why She's Never Watched Cory Monteith's 'Glee' Tribute Episode

The actor shared a poignant memory about her relationship with Monteith, who died in 2013, during a concert in Washington, D.C.
Lea Michele (left) and Cory Monteith on the set of "Glee" in 2012.
Lea Michele (left) and Cory Monteith on the set of "Glee" in 2012.
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Lea Michele shared an emotional memory about her “Glee” co-star and former boyfriend Cory Monteith while making her long-awaited return to the concert stage last week.

Michele kicked off her “An Evening With Lea Michele: Life in Music” tour with a July 20 performance at City Winery in Washington, D.C. Moments before her tender rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” the actor and singer opened up about performing the song for the first time in 2013 for “The Quarterback,” a special “Glee” episode that was dedicated to Monteith, who died that year of a drug overdose.

Michele said that “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy asked her to choose the song that her character, Rachel, would sing to honor Finn (Monteith) on the episode.

“I don’t even remember what I was listening to at the time. Like, nothing. I was just in such a hole,” Michele told the crowd, as seen in fan footage of the concert on social media. “I’m grateful that [Murphy] asked me. Because it needed to be something that felt real for me.”

She went on to explain that she and Monteith had listened to the song during their time together. Some of the anecdotes she’d shared with Murphy after Monteith’s death wound up inspiring scenes in “The Quarterback,” too.

“A lot of what I say to [Matthew Morrison’s] character in that classroom were exact words I said to Ryan after everything,” she said.

Watch a clip of Lea Michele’s July 20 concert speech below.

Though Michele said the “wild and hard” experience of performing “Make You Feel My Love” helped her to accept her loss, she’s never watched “The Quarterback” episode in its entirety.

“It’s the only one I’ve not seen,” she said. “Because I think if I don’t watch it, it just kind of feels like Finn is still there. So this [song] is very special.”

Earlier this month, Michele honored the ninth anniversary of Monteith’s death on Instagram with a throwback photo showing the couple together on the “Glee” set in New York. She captioned the image simply with a heart emoji.

Though the exact timeline of their relationship is unclear, Michele and Monteith met while filming the premiere season of “Glee” in 2009, and confirmed they were a couple about three years later.

In 2019, Michele married husband Zandy Reich in Napa, California. She and Reich welcomed a son, Ever Leo, about a year later.

“An Evening With Lea Michele: Life in Music” will conclude next month with a stop in Nashville. Just weeks later, Michele will join the cast of Broadway’s “Funny Girl” as Ziegfeld Follies comedian Fanny Brice.

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