Cory Monteith's Final Role: Life Imitating Art Or Vice Versa?

Cory Monteith waged a very public battle with addiction prior to his death. Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on July 17, 2013, and his death was later found to be the result of an accidental, lethal combination of heroin and alcohol. In his final film, McCanick, Monteith played a drug addict who was being hounded by the detective for whom the film is named.

In a tragic twist, it appears that Monteith wanted to use this film to exorcise his demons. In an interview with The New York Times, Josh C. Waller, the film's director, spoke of Monteith's passion for the role:

"In my mind, I was envisioning a teeny little drug guy [for the role], but Cory Monteith is this tall, strapping man. But when I met with him, he wanted to do it so badly. He was very vocal about his past, and said he wanted to tap into things from his youth that he hadn't been able to use as an actor yet."
Monteith was raised primarily by his mother after his parents divorced when he was seven. He admitted to using drugs and alcohol by the time he was 13, and dropped out of school at 16 after attending several schools for troubled students. He did his first stint in rehab at age 19, after an intervention by worried friends and family.

Monteith, tired of the menial labor jobs that he was working, began to break into movies and television. Bit roles in movies like Final Destination:3 and Deck The Halls, along with guest shots on television shows like Smallville and Staragate:Atlantis were getting him noticed. Monteith's big break came when a video of him goofing off, drumming with pencils, was submitted by his agent for a new show called Glee. The video caught the eye of Glee's creator, Ryan Murphy, and after attending a mass audition, Monteith landed the role of Finn, the star quarterback who joins his school's glee club, risking his cool jock status in doing so.

His love interest on the show, played by Lea Michelle, soon became his love interest off the show.A Hit show, a gorgeous girlfriend.... Monteith was on the top of the world, or so it seemed. After nearly a decade and a second intervention, this one on the Paramount lot where Glee was filmed, Monteith entered rehab on March 31, 2013. This rehab was arranged by the show, and Monteith agreed to it only after he was assured he job was secure. He was written out of the remaining episodes, and completed his rehab, and was discharged on April 26, 2013. After his death, the cast of Glee paid tribute to Cory on the show.

McCanick, featuring a Monteith that his Glee fans will barely recognize, will be premier at the Toronto Film Festival and will be released on March 21, 2014. You can take a sneak peek below.

[Image courtesy ouchpress.com]