In his most candid interview ever, the Glee star has revealed that he once had a serious drug problem that led to a stint in rehab.
Insisting he's definitely "not" his television alter-ego Finn Hudson, Monteith tells Parade magazine, "I'm lucky on so many counts—I'm lucky to be alive."
Monteith, whose parents divorced when he was 7, dropped out of high school when was 16 after attending a dozen different schools. It didn't take long before his life was "out of control."
"Anything and everything, as much as possible," he says about his drug use at the time. "I had a serious problem."
At age 19, he went to rehab after his mom and some friends staged an intervention. But the first stint didn't stick. He went back to using.
Thing got worse.
"I stole a significant amount of money from a family member," he says. "I knew I was going to get caught but I was so desperate I didn't care. It was a cry for help. I was confronted and I said, 'Yeah, it was me.' It was the first honorable, truthful thing that had come out of my mouth in years."
The family member told Monteith to get clean or he'd be reported to the police.
Fortunately, he agreed to stop using. He moved to a small Canadian city, where he paid the rent as a roofer, but also took acting classes.
Now 29, Monteith says he's speaking out about his past to help others. "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."
The first time I interviewed Monteith on the set of Glee in September 2009, he admitted he didn't have a high school diploma. "It wasn't for me," he said of quitting school. "I can remember ever since about the sixth or seventh grade, I just didn't understand why I had to learn what I was learning. For some reason, there was a spirit of rebellion in me."
But this past spring, according to Parade, he received a high school diploma from an alternative school he attended back in Canada.
Bravo, Mr. Monteith, bravo!