Matthew Morrison Considered Leaving 'Glee' Before Cory Monteith's Passing

Exploring the personal struggles behind a beloved TV show

by Zain ul Abedin
Matthew Morrison Considered Leaving 'Glee' Before Cory Monteith's Passing
© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In a candid revelation, Matthew Morrison, renowned for his portrayal of teacher Will Schuester on the hit FOX series 'Glee', shared his struggles and near-departure from the show, a decision halted by the heartbreaking demise of his co-star Cory Monteith.

During his guest appearance on the February 15 episode of the podcast "And That's What You REALLY Missed", hosted by fellow 'Glee' alumni Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, Morrison delved into a period marked by professional turmoil and personal grief.

In the show’s fifth season, he sought an exit from 'Glee', citing underutilization of his character. "I was no longer being used in the way that I wanted to," Morrison explained. His request initially received approval from the producers, but the tragic overdose of Cory Monteith in July 2013 prompted a reconsideration of his departure.

Confronted with the dual challenges of personal aspirations and the loss of a dear friend, Morrison described the experience as a whirlwind of "mixed emotions." Despite his eagerness to explore new opportunities, he chose to prioritize the show's continuity in the wake of Monteith's passing.

"I’m a professional, I showed up," Morrison stated, acknowledging the difficult balance between professional commitment and personal desires. This dedication ultimately led to a favorable renegotiation of his contract, including a significant pay increase.

Morrison on 'Glee' Legacy

Morrison also opened up about the mental toll of constant media scrutiny and online criticism regarding his character portrayal, an aspect that often added stress to his professional life. This intense pressure contributed to his development of psoriasis, underscoring the impact of stress on physical health.

Despite these challenges, Morrison expressed gratitude for his role in 'Glee', a series that continues to resonate as a cultural and societal landmark. Reflecting on the show's enduring impact, he remarked, "There are few and far between shows that have a cultural impact and a societal impact for people.

I love being a part of that legacy." Morrison's journey through 'Glee' encapsulates the highs and lows of working in a high-profile television series, highlighting the complexities behind the scenes of a globally beloved show.

His story offers a glimpse into the personal sacrifices and professional challenges faced by actors in the entertainment industry, and the resilience required to navigate them.