TCAs 2013: Former Glee co-star Mike O'Malley on Cory Monteith, "He was the very real quarterback on that set"
LOS ANGELES -- I knew Mike O’Malley was one of my favorite character actors – from a heart-rending turn as dad to gay teen Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) on Fox’s Glee to a chilling guest role as gangster Nicky Augustine on FX’s Justified.
What I didn’t know, was that he’s also been a writer over the past three seasons on one of the most distinctive comedies on cable TV, Showtime’s Shameless. And even though he’s got another great network TV gig now – starring in NBC’s promising comedy Welcome to the Family – O’Malley faced questions at the TV Critics press tour Saturday on a development from his past: the death of former Glee co-star Cory Monteith.
O’Malley said: “Well, many of my scenes on Glee were with usually with either Chris Colfer or Cory Monteith. And I think that I had what was probably the toughest scene I’ve ever acted in my career as an actor opposite him when I had to throw his character Finn out of the house — because of a slur that he used. It was remarkable to me, when we were shooting that scene over and over again, the depth of emotion he was able to portray, the sorrow, the shame. He was the fictional quarterback on that show, and he was the very real quarterback on that set. And he was an incredibly warm guy, a guy who was welcoming to everyone who came on that show, from the beginning through the new folks who came onto the show this past year. And he was a very, very hardworking actor. And I just loved working with him. I you know, he was a great guy, and I miss him very much.”
Though he’ll be working on NBC’s sitcom, O’Malley said he still hopes to participate in any tribute to Monteith’s character presented on Glee this season.
“I’m here doing Welcome to the Family, and we shoot one episode five days a week. But, you know, Burt is a very, very important role to me,” he said. “It’s been a great, great part, and I’ve, you know, said to all those guys that I will work early in the morning, late at night, Saturdays, Sundays, whatever I need to do to participate in, not only continuing to be on that show, but honoring Cory and his passing and that character. You know, he is — on that show — my stepson. So I certainly plan on being there, and I actually think they’re going to be possibly shooting that episode on a time when we’re on hiatus.”