Celebrity News February 08, 2023
Lea Michele Reflects on Past Backlash from Her ‘Glee’ Co-Stars
Lea Michele is opening up about her journey over the past two years, after her “Glee” co-stars publicly called her out for bad behavior on set.
Those castmates included Samantha Marie Ware, who accused Lea of making her first television gig a “living hell,” and Heather Morris, who agreed, tweeting, “I believe she SHOULD be called out."
Michele, who currently stars in Broadway’s “Funny Girl,” sat down with “Slave Play” playwright Jeremy O. Harris for a new story in Interview magazine.
Lea had publicly apologized for her behavior in the past, but Harris pulled no punches, telling Lea, “People would be looking at this interview with a lot of side-eye if I didn’t ask you about the things that came up in 2020 vis-a-vis your [‘Glee’] castmates and some of the past relationships you had with people on set.” Michele replied, “Yeah.”
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Harris continued, “How have you navigated that? Do you see being in this moment — when you’re looked at as one of the saviors of Broadway — as a chance to rectify some of those things?”
Michelle explained, “I think these past two years have been so important for everybody to just sit back and reflect. I did a lot of personal reach-outs. But the most important thing was for everybody to just take a step back. More than anything, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to apply the things that I’ve learned over the past 10-plus years in a positive way.”
She added, “What I told myself stepping into ‘Funny Girl’ was, ‘If I can’t take my role as a leader offstage as important as my role as a leader onstage, then I shouldn’t do this show.’ Because that was always a struggle for me. So to have this opportunity now at 36 years old as a wife and a mother — to step into this job that comes with so much pressure and a huge amount of responsibility—was a very, very big achievement for me.”
Harris said he’s “called out so many people in the last couple of years,” but said he’s frustrated because “there seems to be little excitement about growth or the idea that change is possible.” He noted that change is “all we can hope for anyone in these situations.”
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Michele told him, “At the end of the day, what matters the most is how you make people feel. And you have to put aside your feelings. The conversations that I’ve had behind the scenes with some people were incredibly healing and very eye-opening for me. I’ve been doing this for a really long time and I’m not going to ever blame anything on the things that I’ve been through in my life. But you also can’t ignore those experiences or deny them. They are a part of the patchwork of my life. When I got the call that I was going to play Fanny Brice, I said, ‘Okay, this could be really big for my career, but it’s also helpful to have this opportunity to introduce people to who I am now.’”
Lea said her life today is so different than when she worked on “Glee” so many years ago.
“Having my husband and my son — I never had that to come home to,” she said. “I think about what the ‘Glee’ days were like, just working so hard and having such pressure on my shoulders to keep that show afloat, and navigating through that whole experience at such a young age while also dealing with a really intense life trauma that happened at the same time. This is such a different experience. I’m finding so much joy in the connections I’m having with the people around me. That’s what’s giving me energy.”