Cory Monteith: Happy to Embrace Success +BOMBSHELL FINCHEL SPOILER

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the cusp of turning 30, Cory Monteith is a TV star who has already been through his bad-boy phase. Long before Glee, he was a troubled Victoria teen utterly unlike his current character, clean-cut singing jock Finn Hudson, but Monteith cleaned up his act and then spent almost a decade establishing a reliable record in Vancouver’s film and TV scene.


“I’d done a million parts in Vancouver,” Monteith says, “and I had no idea Glee was just around the corner. I was thrilled doing what I was doing, guesting on Stargate and Supernatural and all those shows, going from job to job as an actor, from two episodes on this show to an episode on that show.”

Then Finn, and fame, found him, and one of the perks of a steady starring gig on a hit show is the freedom it gives Monteith to explore other aspects of his artistry. He’s the drummer in a band called Bonnie Dune (a riff on the far-from-bonnie place found in the cult Australian film The Castle) and, best of all, can return to B.C. when a call comes from film director Carl Bessai.

Monteith’s old pal Dustin Milligan (another familiar face on TV from the season he spent on 90210) had been cast by Bessai in the indie filmmaker’s Sisters&Brothers. The director asked Milligan who should portray his brother, and the answer was Monteith.

“As soon as I heard Carl was directing this, I was interested,” says Monteith, “because I’m familiar with his work and a big fan of it.”

Over the course of about a decade, and about a dozen films, Bessai has crafted a reputation as an auteur open to creative collaboration.

“He’s definitely what you would consider the actor’s director,” Monteith says. “He gives you a lot of room to make choices, to be creative as an artist, and the way he shot this film and others before it is very unconventional, very guerrilla-style if you will.”

Shaping his cast’s characters with them, Bessai is always ready to turn on a dime to change a scene to suit the circumstances.

It’s really exciting for someone like myself, who works in a very scripted, constructed environment on a daily basis,” says Monteith, “to go off the page. I’m a lucky guy to work on such a well-scripted and well-produced television show but, at the same time, this exercise with Carl kind of lights all your synapses on fire as an actor, as an artist. You have to really think on the fly.”

The Milligan brother is a globe-trotting philanthropist, while Monteith plays a Hollywood star with issues.

“This particular character came from somebody I never want to be like,” Monteith explains. “I imagined where this town [he’s calling from Hollywood] can take someone when they experience extraordinary amounts of success, which I can relate to. I can relate to what Justin is going through — he just handles it badly.”

Monteith based Justin on a couple of people “I know personally.”

Any hints as to who they are?

“Of course not.”
SPOILER ALERT
He is, however, willing to drop a bombshell about Glee.

“Finn and Rachel are gonna do it!” Monteith exclaims with a laugh.

By “it,” he’s asked, do you mean “IT”?

“By it I mean it, which should be news.”

Now in his senior year at high school, Finn faces a choice between going on after graduation to drama school in New York or a football scholarship at Ohio State.

“He’s trying to find his way, find his route,” says Monteith, whose own route takes him and Bonnie Dune to a gig on Oct. 23 at the Roxy Theater on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

“It’s a lovely reality,” Monteith says. “To be able to have these options and opportunities ahead of me, man, it’s a powerful thing, and I hope I can do it justice. I hope I can do as many cool things as I can.”

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