George Stroumboulopoulos spoke to Cory Monteith about addiction when the "Glee" star was a guest on his CBC program, "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight."
Stroumboulopoulos: Monteith was 'brave with his vulnerability'
"Fame often leads to the disintegration of a person," Stroumboulopoulos said in the 2011 interview, "but it seems like in your case, it's having the opposite effect."
Monteith told Stroumboulopoulos, "I just try and do the next right thing."
According to a coroner's report, the death of Monteith, 31, was caused by a mix of heroin and alcohol.
Earlier today on "CNN Newsroom," host Brooke Baldwin discussed the rise of heroin use across America.
"He was one of the loveliest ones you're gonna meet," Stroumboulopoulos told Baldwin, "and I know it's tragic when you lose anybody, but he was kind of the good one."
Stroumboulopoulos told Baldwin that Monteith seemed to have turned his life around after having battled addiction for years.
"I don't know a lot of the details near the end," said Stroumboulopoulos, "of what happened to him or what precipitated those final few hours for him but it's just, sometimes this stuff comes out of nowhere. He seemed to be making the right choices in most parts of his life. He was very self-aware, he was aware of the step-by-step process with which he could get better, and this is the tragedy of addiction.
“This is the complicated part of addiction is that everybody has their own relationship with it and how you get through it is kind of -- sometimes it's not really up to you, so it's a real tragedy. He was a really lovely man."
Stroumboulopoulos believes Monteith's courage and openness about his demons made him extraordinary.
"What made him special, actually, was that he was very brave," he said. "And not brave in the braggadocio way, brave with his vulnerability. He recognized that he had lots of issues that he had to deal with, and he was making active choices to deal with them."
The host of CNN's "Stroumboulopoulos" also took a moment to reflect on addiction and the individual.
"That's the thing with addiction. You could be going down the right road for so long, and it's a bad hour and look out, right? A bad hour could be the difference maker in somebody's life. I actually didn't pick up a single thing that said he was in trouble."
Stroumboulopoulos also recalled that the last time he saw Monteith, the actor exhibited "confidence in recognizing that he had vulnerabilities that he was working toward. So he didn't think that he had nailed life, he thought that he was working towards it and that brings a certain confidence to a guy.
“I just was really impressed with how brave he was, and sharing that stuff on the air because as you know, Brooke, celebrity for the sake of celebrity is not interesting. But in those conversations when he was willing to engage, he was actually actively helping other people make better choices in their lives.
“People who could watch and relate to some of his stuff, because our culture does not really appreciate mental health issues and doesn't deal with addiction with the most empathy. We don't as a culture; and when you have strong, successful people talking about it, that's how you can help end the stigma and help people get help."