“I’m not Finn Hudson,” says Cory Monteith, talking about his beloved character on FOX’s hit show, Glee.
The musical’s stud opens up about his troubled past in this week’s issue of Parade magazine.
Growing up in Victoria, British Columbia, Monteith’s parents divorced when he was 7. A bright kid early on — he was at 4th grade reading level at age 5 — he somehow lost his way by the age of 13, when he began skipping school, smoking pot and drinking alcohol.
“I was out of control,” he says. “[I did] anything and everything, as much as possible.”
By the age of 16, Monteith dropped out of school completely.
He was so out of control, that his mother feared he “could die.” She took it upon herself and staged an intervention with a group of Monteith’s friends when he was 19.
“That’s when I first went to rehab,” he says. “I did the stint but then went back to doing exactly what I left off doing.”
The actor was also guilty of stealing from his family. “A lot of things went missing when I was around,” he says. One day, when he was very desperate, he stole a large amount of money from a family member, saying “I knew I was going to get caught, but I was so desperate, I didn’t care.”
Monteith did indeed get caught and surprisingly admitted that he had committed the crime. “That was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years.”
He was given an ultimatum: either get clean or the family member would report him to the police and press charges against him.
“I was done fighting myself,” he says. “I finally said, ‘I’m gonna start looking at my life and figure out why I’m doing this.”
Monteith ended up moving in with a family friend, where he quit abusing drugs, got a job as a roofer and began rebuilding his life.
The perspective he’s gained since then has given him the courage to open up about his past and he says “I don’t want kids to think it’s okay to drop out of school and get high, and they’ll be famous actors, too. … But for those people who might give up: Get real about what you want and go after it. If I can, anyone can.”