Cory Monteith played James Ascher, a store manager whose wife is struggling with PTSD, in the upcoming ensemble drama "All the Wrong Reasons," written and directed by Gia Milani. A conscious departure from "Glee," it was one of the late star's final film roles.
In a heartfelt tribute to Monteith for Entertainment Weekly, Milani remembers the last time she saw the 31-year-old actor, who was found dead of a heroin and alcohol overdose in his Vancouver hotel room over the weekend.
"When I last saw him at the screening, he looked super fit, had a lot of energy," she writes. "I think that's why this is such a tremendous shock. He seemed to be doing so well."
She adds that Monteith was excited about the opportunity to play a "really complex character, and someone his age, which he hadn't done in a long time." More importantly, he was enthusiastic about the final product.
"He said he loved how layered it was and he thought it was intense," she continues. "I think he wanted to prove to himself he could do more. And he did prove it."
On a tender note, she concludes, "I am going to miss that grin."
"All the Wrong" reasons, which also stars Kevin Zegers, Karine Vanasse, and Emily Hampshire, will play at festivals this fall. Monteith's very last movie, the gritty cop drama "McCanick," in which he portrayed a drug-addicted criminal, has yet to find a distributor. Watch a clip from that indie below: