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The FOX series shot the special tribute all last month, including scenes where the show's characters all mourn the death of Finn Hudson. But in reality, even after "cut" is called, their friend Cory is still gone.
Recently, Glee creator Ryan Murphy opened up about how difficult it was for everyone involved to film this episode. Murphy disclosed:
"It was incredibly difficult to work on. It was very difficult to shoot. I mean, the interesting thing about that show is that those actors and the creators really, really loved Cory. The episode is called 'The Quarterback,' and you know Cory really was that, to that group of people and to me particularly. There was nobody on that crew that did not like Cory."
In particular, Ryan opened up about the toll this took on Lea Michele, Cory's long-time girlfriend both on and off the series. He described her courage, saying:
"It was rough. It was very rough. It was very rough with Lea Michele, but I'm very proud of it. I think the performances are quite stunning. People still are not over it. It's still very, very difficult. I've never seen a crew that you can't continue shooting because they've left the room sobbing. It was very hard."
Fans can expect to see several cast members who are no longer regulars on the series return for this episode, including Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes, Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang, Mark Salling as Puck and Jayma Mays as Emma.
Ryan says he received several phone calls from people who wanted to be a part of this goodbye episode because they loved Cory so much. He explained:
"What I loved about it is, you know when you write something like that, there's no right way to do it, so we wrote it and we put people who were under contract to the show in it and a lot of the actors contacted me and said, 'I just love him so much, can I please be a part of it?' So we put those people in."
We will no doubt be tuning in next Thursday, like we always do. And as difficult as we expect watching this episode will be, we can't thank Mr. Murphy enough for giving fans the closure they need in the wake of this tragedy.
[Image via Fox.]