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Cory Monteith, right, at three years old with his brother Shaun, at seven years old.



Every time the retired serviceman sees a feature about his son, Cory, on the newsstand, he just has to pick it up.

When your youngest child stars in Fox's hit musical comedy Glee, those press clippings accumulate quickly.

Despite the dent publications like People and US Weekly are making in his budget, Monteith couldn't be happier about his son's success in the role of Finn Hudson, a sweet, strapping football player who works out his powerful pipes in the high school glee club.

"I'm ecstatic," Joe says from his home in Oromocto. "I'm just so, so proud."

While the scope of Cory's renown is staggering, he is not entirely surprised.

"He always had that in him," Joe says of his son's theatrical leanings, describing him as bright and energetic as a boy.

"He was into everything," Joe says. "He was on the stage doing The Little Red Hen when he was six or seven years old. He was pounding on stuff at that age. He was never a shy boy. He always liked to be out in the view of people."

Joe suspects early exposure may have planted the musical seed in Cory, 28. He has an older brother, Shaun, 31.

"When both the boys were young we used to have speakers in their bedrooms and I would play Beethoven or classical music all the time for the boys. That just soothed them right out. They just loved it," he says.

Cory would play Joe's keyboards or, if there wasn't an instrument around, improvise with whatever was on hand.

"He was fascinated with making noise of any sort, oh, banging on a pot or running sticks up and down a fence."

Music runs in the Monteith family.

"I've been known to go up and win a karaoke contest every now and again," Joe says.

While Cory and his Glee castmates cover hits by pop superstars like Madonna or Journey, Joe's tastes run more to country than to rock 'n' roll.

One time Joe took his parents out for dinner at a Saint John tavern. It was karaoke night, so he dedicated The Green, Green Grass of Home to his folks.

"The crowd went wild," Joe recalls. "And out of nowhere this guy came up and asked me if I had a manager.

"And I said, 'I'm really not into this, I do it for fun. I like keeping a low profile.'"

His son? That's another story.

"People are going right nuts. I see that just around here," he says.

"People are going, 'You're Cory's dad?

"And I go, 'Yeah. Would you like to touch my elbow or something?'"

Despite the hullabaloo, he isn't worried about Cory getting lost in the hype.

"He's a down-to-earth, honest type of person. It's not going to his head as far as I can see ... Fame has not gotten to him as maybe you notice with some other stars."

Maybe that's because Monteith took a circuitous road to Hollywood. Bored in class, he dropped out of high school, working, variously, as a Wal-Mart greeter, a cab driver and a roofer before trying his hand at acting. He did dinner theatre in Vancouver and modelled before landing roles in TV and film.

So does the six-foot-three Cory get his boy-next-door looks from his father?

"Of course! What can I say?" Joe says, laughing. "I always say he got his talent from his dad. And his looks, too."

"He's a lot thinner, though," Cory's stepmother Yvette adds in the background.

Joe and Yvette watch Glee every Tuesday. The show's season finale is tonight.

"I wouldn't miss it!" Joe says. "I really enjoy the program."

Finn Hudson is Joe's favourite, of course, with Sue Sylvester, the eccentric coach of the cheerleading squad, played by Jane Lynch, a close second.

While Cory has never lived in New Brunswick (he was born in Calgary and raised in Victoria) he comes east for holidays to his father's native New Brunswick, to visit his extended family.

"My folks at that time lived out in Hampton," Joe says. "They always used to have a garage sale on Sundays. When Cory was down for two or three weeks, he wanted to run it."

Cory liked counting the money and wanted to be where the people were.

"He'd barter with them and everything."

These days, Joe talks to his busy boy sporadically, keeping in touch through email and following him on Twitter.

"Last I heard, he was heading to Rome in a train."

Cory is on location in Europe, shooting Monte Carlo, an adventure comedy costarring Leighton Meester, Selena Gomez and Katie Cassidy.

Joe last saw his son in November, when Cory visited him in Oromocto.

"He dropped in, and gee, I got to see him for two-and-a-half days," Joe says.

And while Oromocto is something of a getaway for the telegenic actor, fame follows him everywhere.

"Even when we took him to the airport here, people were noticing and starting to take his picture."

His father already has plans for a summer visit from his son.

"I told him, 'When you're done that movie shoot, by the time you get back, Taylor Swift, she's got a concert in P.E.I. around the 15th of July, you can pick her up, come on through and stay for a week.'

"We'll go down and do a little karaoke."


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I don't like this man
 
 
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