The cast of Glee reunited nearly to pay tribute to the late Naya Rivera 9 months after her demise.
The GLAAD Media Awards phase, which aired on Thursday, April 8, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Rivera’s Glee character, Santana Lopez, popping out and “the character’s affect on LGBTQ teenagers and Latinx LGBTQ illustration on tv.” Demi Lovato, who performed Santana’s girlfriend throughout season 5 of the Fox collection, offered the award.
Several members of the cast — together with Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz, Matthew Morrison, Kevin McHale, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Harry Shum Jr., Becca Tobin, Jacob Artist, Alex Newell and Vanessa Lengies — gathered for the event. However, a few of the show’s stars, corresponding to Lea Michele, Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet, didn’t take part within the occasion.
“What’s up occasion individuals?” Morrison, 42, who performed Will Schuester, stated because the cast reunited through Zoom. Lynch, 60, kicked issues off by telling a narrative about how moved she was by Rivera’s onscreen performances, saying she got here to life when the digital camera turned on.
“I bear in mind when Naya turned an everyday cast member, she was a dancer. And I at all times thought she was cute, and he or she was an incredible dancer,” the actress, who performed Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester, recalled. “And then Ryan [Murphy] stared giving her strains and I used to be like, ‘Wow, this woman is basically one thing.'”
Morrison famous that Rivera was much more inspiring offscreen as a mom to her son, Josey.
“Naya and I have been good mates on the show, however I believe we turned significantly better mates once we each had youngsters and to see her put all that vitality into her son was simply an unbelievable sight to see and one thing I’ll at all times bear in mind,” he stated.
Ushkowitz added: “Her greatest function was her being a mother. That was essentially the most fulfilling to see her do this.”
Rivera died in July 2020 after she went lacking whereas out on a ship along with her son, Josey, now 5. Her physique was recovered after a five-day search. Some of her Glee castmates have been at the scene at the time.
Morris, Riley and extra honored Rivera in January on what would have been her thirty fourth birthday. “I am unable to write a sappy monologue as a result of it is simply too onerous,” the Spring Breakers actress, 34, famous at the time. “But I really like you and I am unable to describe how a lot I miss you.”
Riley, for her half, gushed: “There hasn’t been a day the place you do not cross my thoughts, and whenever you do, I take a second of silence to recollect all the attractive moments we obtained to spend collectively.”
The cast organized a fundraiser to learn Rivera’s favourite charity in December 2020. The GoFundMe marketing campaign raised cash for Alexandria House, a nonprofit in L.A. that gives secure housing for girls and kids.
“This 12 months I misplaced one among my dearest mates, Naya,” Morris wrote through Instagram at the time. “She at all times impressed me as a result of she by no means let a vacation season go by with out giving again to these in want. We’re maintaining Nayas spirit alive this vacation season by elevating funds for one among her favourite organizations, Alexandria House. Please, give what you’ll be able to and assist unfold Snixxmas cheer.”
Morrison opened up in December 2020 about dropping Rivera after the deaths of costars Cory Monteith and Mark Salling.
“It was a very difficult 12 months to lose yet one more member of our cast, however we have simply bonded collectively a lot via this expertise,” the What to Expect When You’re Expecting actor, 42, informed Entertainment Tonight.
Monteith died in July 2013 from an overdose at the age of 31. Salling died by suicide in January 2018 at the age of 35.