The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Lea Michele: Cory Monteith "was the greatest man"

Lea Michele makes an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," airing Dec. 12, 2013.
Warner Bros.

In her first TV interview since the death of her "Glee" co-star and boyfriend Cory Monteith, Lea Michele opened up about how she's been coping.

"I'm doing well," she said in an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" airing Thursday. "It's certainly been a pretty rough year. But I've been surrounded by such great people, such great family."

 After Monteith died in July from a heroin and alcohol overdose, Michele's "Glee" co-star Kate Hudson offered to let the actress stay at her home so she could grieve in private.

"She was so wonderful to basically give me her home to myself and my family," Michele said of Hudson. "It was so helpful to just basically have a safe place to process and just have a minute to just breathe before getting back to my house, which just has a lot of memories and stuff, so being some place else to just have a moment was really nice."

Getting back to work on the "Glee" set was also important for her.

“What people also don't understand is that going to work is no harder than being at home and being in the house and opening up a closet and seeing a pair of shoes," the 27-year-old actress told Ellen DeGeneres. "Grief goes with you every day, whatever you're doing, when there's great moments, when there's hard moments. So I'd rather, for me, be at work with the people that I love that are going through the same thing. And it obviously has its own triggers. But at the end of the day, I feel so safe there." 

Michele said she thought Monteith was "the greatest man" and "literally lived every day of my life feeling like the luckiest girl in the whole world." Now, five months after his death, she’s trying to keep going.  

"I really feel like I'm still trying to figure out all of this,” she admitted. "It's been only a few months, but my mom has experienced a lot of loss in her life and she told me at one point, there is an empowerment that comes with grief -- at some point you find it. It's very hard but you will find it, and I think at a certain point you can choose to sort of fall from this or you can choose to rise. And that's what I'm just trying to do my best for him, because I know that that's what he would have wanted."

Watch the interview below: