Lea Michele Talks Funny Girl, Glee Allegations

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Lea Michele discussed allegations surrounding her behavior on Glee and the theory that she can’t read, ahead of her debut as Fanny Brice in Broadway’s Funny Girl.

Back in 2020, after Lea tweeted in support of the George Floyd protests, Season 6 Glee star Samantha Ware wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘shit in my wig!’ amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood” — prompting other Glee cast members to speak out about Lea’s behavior on set.

Lea’s Funny Girl casting was subsequently met with some backlash — and Samantha seemingly addressed the news by tweeting, “Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness. Yes, Hollywood does the same. Yes, silence is complicity.”

Speaking to the New York Times about the starring Broadway role, Lea said, “I feel more ready than I ever have before, both personally and professionally.”

The allegations apparently sparked an “intense time of reflection” for Lea: “I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader.”

“It means not only going and doing a good job when the camera’s rolling, but also when it’s not. And that wasn’t always the most important thing for me.”

When asked about Samantha’s account, Lea said that she doesn’t “feel the need to handle things” through the media. Indeed, she added that her work style is rather intense. “I have an edge to me. I work really hard. I leave no room for mistakes,” she continued. “That level of perfectionism, or that pressure of perfectionism, left me with a lot of blind spots.”

The director of Funny Girl, Michael Mayer, then revealed that Lea was a top choice for Fanny when casting the original Broadway revival show — which eventually went to Beanie Feldstein — but that he thought she wouldn’t be ready as she’d recently given birth. Michael even spoke to Lea about casting Beanie: “I said, ‘Look, I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but this is what we’re doing,'” he recalled.

After the Spring Awakening reunion concert in late 2021, Lea told Michael that she would be “honored” to take on Fanny if Beanie’s tenure ended. Stepping into the role, Lea added, “Everyone here has been through a lot, and I just have to come in and be prepared and do a good job and be respectful of the fact that this is their space.”

Lea also briefly addressed the conspiracy theory that she is illiterate, saying, “I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day — And then there’s a rumor online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case.”

You can read the full profile here.



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