Naya Rivera, who plays Santana Lopez on the hit Fox series, stuns on the October cover of Latina magazine, and she reveals how the Glee cast is coping with the untimely death of their costar, who suddenly passed away July 13 at the age of 31 due to a drug overdose.
"We're definitely taking it day by day," she says of the healing process. "Everybody's really just leaning on each other and trying to do good work."
Less than two weeks ago, the cast of Glee began production on the Cory Monteith tribute episode.
Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly said the third episode will "directly deal" with the late actor's troubled past, and, according to one insider, will leave viewers crying "from beginning to end."
But the show's upcoming fifth season won't solely be filled with sadness. Demi Lovato is set to guest star on the musical comedy as newbie character Dani, a struggling artist in New York who befriends Rachel (Lea Michele) and Santana.
The X Factor judge is reportedly set to play Rivera's new love interest—and Naya also opened up to Latina about how proud she feels to represent the LGBT community on the small screen.
"There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," she said. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
"We know so many who are in the public eye dating somebody, and they're going in through back entrances and won't make eye contact with each other," she explained. "That's just not us."
As for whose career the TV star hopes to emulate as she continues to find success in Hollywood?
"Jennifer Lopez is a perfect example of what it means to be a mogul and have longevity, but still have people like you," she gushed. "She can do this until she chooses not to anymore. I hope I can say that one day."
Good luck, girl! You're off to a great start.