Last year, former Glee stars Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz launched their new podcast And That's What You REALLY Missed, where they look back at their time on the musical TV series.
Over the months, Kevin and Jenna have reunited with various other members of the cast as well as the crew, while rewatching the show and recalling their filming experience
And on Monday’s episode of the podcast, they recounted their memories of Season 2 Episode 10, “A Very Glee Christmas.”
Kevin and Jenna explained that during the week that it aired in 2011 the entire cast and crew were flown over to London to perform on the British X Factor, and on the flight over Kevin was confronted over his recent use of steroids.
The actor said that he had been prescribed the steroid, prednisone, to help manage his symptoms after falling sick — but the drug was turning him into a “monster.”
Prednisone is a corticosteroid that is used to ease symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, asthma and rashes, and works by replacing steroids that are normally produced naturally by the body.
“We had just started filming the Super Bowl episode at this time, I think we were filming two episodes at the same time and, in the middle of it, flying to England,” Kevin recalled.
“I was sick as a dog on all kinds of medicine, including prednisone which is a steroid, and it turned me into a monster,” he went on.
Kevin said that the prescription impacted him so much that he credits it for giving him “the courage” to “fight” to have a solo in the episode that they were filming.
And having noticed the change in Kevin, some of his costars staged an intervention over his usage on the flight to London.
Referencing his cohost Jenna as well as Cory Monteith and Naya Rivera, the star said: “On the plane, Cory and I had dinner together and then you and Naya were one over from me. You were all like: ‘So hey, uhm, why are you taking these steroids?’”
“I’m like: ’Well, because I’m sick, I’m supposed to take them,'" he explained, going on to recount the trio confirming with him that the steroid wasn’t the antibiotic that would make him better.
“You were like: ‘…I think you should stop taking them,’” Kevin added. “And I was like: ‘Why?’”
His costars then pointed out to him: “You’re not sleeping. You’re acting crazy. You need to stop taking them.”
“And I was like: ‘Yeah, I think you’re right,’” Kevin laughed. “I hadn’t slept in days, I was losing my mind.”
Less than two years after staging the intervention on Kevin, it was announced that Cory had admitted himself into a treatment facility for substance abuse. His long history of drug use began at the age of 13, and he’d previously had treatment at 19 years old.
Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy later revealed that his rehab stint in 2013 had been arranged by the show, and that Cory was encouraged to accompany doctors by his castmates and members of crew.
He completed his treatment on April 26, but tragically died from accidental mixed drug toxicity on July 13 of that same year.
Glee remained on air for a further two years, and Kevin and Jenna — who played Artie and Tina in all six seasons of the show — remained close with one another as well as many of their costars after the series ended in 2015.
They first launched a Glee-inspired podcast, Showmance, in 2019 but it went on an indefinite hiatus in July 2020 following the tragic death of Naya, who played Santana in the show. They rebranded and relaunched the podcast last year.