"Glee" actor Cory Monteith's death this summer sent shock waves through Hollywood, and no place more than on the set of his hit show.
Now, series showrunner Ryan Murphy is opening up about how devastating it was to lose one of their dear friends and leads on the show, and how "incredibly difficult" it was to film a tribute episode to Monteith.
"The episode is called 'The Quarterback,' and Cory really was that to that group of people -- and to me particularly," Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter. "That group of kids particularly went through the limelight and became world famous at a very difficult age, and many of them really struggled with it."
"Cory obviously very much struggled with it, but never on the surface, and I think that's why everybody loved him," he continued. "He was the most kind, the most generous -- never a bad word for anybody."
"Glee" released a promo Thursday for the tribute episode, which airs next week. In the clip, Lea Michele (Monteith's co-star and real-life girlfriend) can be seen sobbing while other actors from the show offer tributes on his character's locker.
Monteith played popular football star Finn Hudson on the show, and Murphy said filming the tribute episode was emotionally devastating: "I've never seen a crew that you can't continue shooting because they've left the room sobbing," he explained.
"It was very hard. I struggled even working on it because what you're seeing is what they felt not just about Finn but Cory. It's amazing performances across the board and everybody went into it with a lot of love," said Murphy. "What I loved about it is when you write something like that, there's no right way to do it."
For Lea Michele, the tribute was even harder to take: "It was very rough, and it was very rough with Lea," Murphy said. "I'm very proud of it. I think the performances are quite stunning. It was tricky. You had to have a hard eye when you were putting it together. People still are not over it and it's still very difficult."
You can watch the 30-second promo, "Farewell to Finn" below: