Glee's Blake Jenner on Going Back to Work After Cory Monteith's Death: "We Are All Family"
The Glee cast is proof that there's strength in numbers. In the weeks after Cory Monteith's sudden, shocking death on July 13, the actor's costars banded together to cope with his loss. And now that they're back on set to film season five of the Fox series, they're leaning on one another more than ever. Us Weekly caught up with cast members Blake Jenner and Alex Newell -- who play Ryder and Unique, respectively -- at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Aug. 11, where they opened up a little about what it's like to return to work in the wake of the tragedy.
"It's been very positive. I think it's better that we are together than separate," Jenner, 20, told Us of the atmosphere on set. "We are all family."
Newell, also 20, echoed those sentiments. "It's a family mood. We are all very happy to be back doing something we absolutely love, and it's one of those experiences where we love to go to work every day now," he explained.
The cast -- including Monteith's real-life girlfriend, Lea Michele -- returned to work on Aug. 5, a little less than a month after the actor's death. A tribute is in the works for the third episode of the season, but both Jenner and Newell said they had yet to read a script for the emotional hour.
"We are just trying to take everything one step at a time," Newell told Us. Added Jenner: "I think it will be a group effort, and we will all come together, so it will be good."
As previously reported, show creator Ryan Murphy is writing the Oct. 10 episode, which will "deal directly with the incidents involved in Cory's passing and with the drug abuse in particular," Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly explained earlier this month. Michele is offering her input on the tribute, too.
"Lea wants it to reflect the truth, to warn people what can happen," a source revealed in the Aug. 19 issue of Us Weekly.
The actress, 26, honored her boyfriend's memory in another way at the Teen Choice Awards. Accepting the surfboard for Choice TV Actress in a Comedy, she thanked fans for their support and then dedicated her award to Monteith.
"For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love we're going to get through this together," she said through tears. "He was very special to me and also to the world. We were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile and his beautiful, beautiful heart."
"So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory reached out and he became a part of all of our hearts and that's where he will stay forever," she continued. "So thank you guys so much. Thank you."