Lea Michele remembered her late boyfriend and Glee co-star, Cory Monteith, during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, Dec. 12.
The actress, who was dating her Glee co-star at the time of his passing, emotionally recalled that time in her life and couldn’t stop smiling as she opened up about her relationship with the 31-year-old actor.
“It’s certainly been a pretty rough year,” she admitted to Ellen DeGeneres. “But I’ve been surrounded by such great people, such great family.”
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Ellen made mention of the time Cory appeared on her show in December 2012, and how he proudly admitted the pair were an item.
“That’s one of my favorite memories. I remember he came home that night and sort of puffed out his chest [she mimics the movement] and said, ‘I talked about you on Ellen today,’” she said. “…I literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world. I just thought he was the greatest man and so at that moment, that memory, it just means so much to me.”
The 27-year-old actress, whose debut album Louder hits stores in March, went into detail about Glee co-star Kate Hudson coming to her rescue shortly after Cory’s death. The actress offered up her home to Lea in order to escape the spotlight.
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“She was so wonderful to basically give me her home,” she said. “It was so helpful to have a safe place to process and to just have a minute to breathe before getting back to my house, which has a lot of memories [with Cory]…I am so thankful to her.”
Lea mentioned that though she was grieving, she was eager to get back to work on Glee and be with her “family.” Creator Ryan Murphy even showed up to Kate’s house to ask Lea what she wanted to do.
“He said, ‘Whatever you want to do, we’ll do.’ I said, ‘We have to go back to work. They’re my family,’” she shared. “…for me, I’d rather be at work with the people I love who are going through the same thing…at the end of the day, I feel so safe there. They’re my family.”
The actress did face some scrutiny for returning to work so soon. “What people don’t also understand is that going to work is no harder than being at home and being in the house and opening up a closet and seeing a pair of shoes, “ she explained. “Grief goes with you every day. Whatever you’re doing. When there are great moments, where there are hard moments.”
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Cory’s body was found in a hotel room in Vancouver on July 13 just months after he completed a second stint in rehab. He died from a combination of alcohol and heroin.
“I think at a certain point you can choose to sort of fall from this or you can choose to rise,” Lea told Ellen. “I’m trying to do my best for him because I know that’s what he would have wanted.
Watch her full interview below:
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