5 Things You Didn’t Know About… GLEE Star Lea Michele


With FOX getting set to unveil GLEE following the penultimate episode of AMERICAN IDOL next Tuesday, actress Lea Michele is on the brink of becoming Hollywood’s next big thing … trust us. With that in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to share five things you probably don’t know about the girl everyone’s going to be talking about come Wednesday morning.

1) The beauty once was told she wasn’t pretty enough for TV.
Yes, if you can believe it, some foolish casting director once dubbed Michele “too ethnic looking and not pretty enough for television” when asked to evaluate her chances of making it in Hollywood. Fortunately, she didn’t listen… and GLEE’s casting director has much better vision! “I know I’m a theater girl but I fell in love with the script so much, fought for it and now here I am!” she told us during a recent visit to the GLEE set. “It’s kind of ridiculous. I still have moments at least twice a day when I’m like, ‘This is amazing, I can’t believe this. I’m so happy!’”

2) Her new alter ego was inspired by another fictional high schooler.
If Rachel Berry — Michele’s overachieving, myspace-addicted, fame-obsessed character on GLEE reminds you of Election’s Tracy Flick — played on the big screen by Reese Witherspon — that’s not exactly accidental: Witherspoon’s character served as a major inspiration for Michele. “Oh my God!” exclaims Michele. “I’m a big Reese Witherspoon fan! She’s amazing! I even just watched FOUR CHRISTMAS the other day.” And anyone who’s seen that film will attest to just how big a fan Michele must be!

3) She and Rachel don’t have a whole lot in common.
While Rachel’s guiding philosophy is that “being anonymous is worse than being poor, fame is the most important thing in our culture now,” that’s not an opinion her portrayer would agree with. In fact, while Michele did several Broadway plays while still in high school, it wasn’t something she bragged about to her classmates. In fact, she learned the hard way that sometimes, it’s better to sit back and let others shine! “I did [our high school play] one year, and everyone was so mad at me that I got the lead, so I promised I’d never do that again!” Instead, she started exploring other extra-curricular activities. “I choose the debate team and volleyball team. I didn’t fit into one place and really had an awsome high school experience.”

4) She knew how talented Adam Lambert was way before you did.
The rest of us only recently fell in love with the AMERICAN IDOL front-runner, but Michele’s been a fan for quite some time. “I love Adam! I know him from when he was in [the Broadway play] Wicked, and I think he’s fantastic. I would definitely put my money on Adam!” she declares. 

5) She works hard for the money.
Anybody who thinks acting is all glitz and glamour never had a slushie thrown into their face… repeatedly. But that’s exactly what Michele had to endure in order to capture a short-but-pivotal scene from the pilot that’s also featured in GLEE’s ads. “You have no idea…. we did it in one take, but imagine a mass of ice, and sticky and cold and hold it for 10 seconds,” she shares with a shiver. “I had the worst brain freeze!” And proving that sometimes, you have to suffer for your art, Rachel later finds herself with yet another face full of slushie in a later episode! “When we did it again it’s two slushies! Which of course we didn’t get it in one take. So basically, it’s six slushies! You do it once… nope didn’t get it. Wash your hair, blow dry, wash your face, your body, everything, come back and do it again. Didn’t get it, do it again… ”

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • http://www.hollywoodthewriteway.com/ Melody

    I didn’t know #2 or #5, that is interesting… Great post!

  • ewanspotter

    Can’t wait for this show. Oh, and congrats, TV Addict, on getting quoted by Entertainment Weekly!

  • Jennaxx

    Who the **** told her she wasn’t pretty enough?? I think she’s beautiful.

  • Pingback: gleeblog » Blog Archive » Runthrough: May 15, 2009

  • Olivia

    Yeah, I don’t think she’s pretty either, but let’s see how it goes. Anyway, I’m just happy to see some music tv.

  • Robert Jonathan Bradberry

    Lea Michele, I got to be an extra on a couple of scenes from one of the episodes. You’re funny energetic and liked to see all the attention getting you and the other actors try to grab from one another. Had a fun time. Maybe I’ll see you around town sometime. Good luck with the show. Your director is great! Great success to you and the others for the future! Robert Jonathan Bradberry

  • LeaIsSizzlingHot

    You would have to be out of your mind to not think that this girl is straight up gorgeous. I was not interested in this show @all until I seen her. Incredibly beautiful. Her looks alone is the only reason I would consider watching this show which I probably will do now that I know she’s in it. She’s not ethnic looking really but even if she was it doesn’t make a girl less pretty. Good looks are good looks no matter what ethnicity. what a racist retard that guy must’ve been

  • slarti

    She was fantastic in the pilot — an amazing talent. I like “GLEE” a lot and we’ll be tuning in this fall!

  • real

    Lea Michele rocks! She has the best voice in glee and here acting is on the spot. Here casting was also on the spot thinking about it I couldnt picture no one else for her role!

  • funchelly

    i think she looks like a cross between Edina Menzel and Annie from all my children.

  • Kgibb

    I love her and I think she is amazing at singing and acting…all that..
    I would not say she was pretty…Intresting is a better word…Her face does sort of look awkward on TV.

  • casandra

    wow. she set the bar for ‘me’ to even try to get into hollywood movies one day. its cool to see someone getting the spotlight with a little appreciation that you dont see in most stars today. hopefully she’ll stay like this.

  • Raja Gopal

    I am curious does she sing for real in the show ? If so then she does have a great voice…if not the the real singer is an absolutely fantastic singer with all those notes…