updated 06/23/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/23/2011 AT 1:15 PM ET
Football – and singing – star at William McKinley High School, Finn Hudson is quite a role model, as evidenced every week on Glee. But he’s also quite a work of fiction.
When it comes to his present and his past, Monteith, 29, admits, “I’m lucky on so many counts – I’m lucky to be alive.”
A precocious child whose parents divorced when he was 7, Monteith was, at 13, skipping school, getting drunk and smoking pot in his native British Columbia. By age 16, he says, “I was out of control.”