I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader.
The 36-year-old star is the focus of a new in-depth interview in the New York Times that ran on Thursday. As part of the feature piece, the Glee alum discusses her forthcoming debut as Fanny Brice in Broadway’s Funny Girl. Her run in the much-anticipated theater production doesn’t begin until Tuesday, but it hasn’t been without controversy thus far. Of course, Michele was tasked to replace Beanie Feldstein in the show, and a lot of heat has already come with this high-profile role. Now, the Scream Queens actress is trying to get past the narrative.
For one, Lea addresses prior allegations about her bad behavior on the Glee set. As Perezcious readers will recall, back in June 2020, Ever‘s mom was accused of “traumatic microaggressions” and racist abuse by fellow Glee alum Samantha Ware while the two were filming the TV show. Michele apologized at the time, lamenting how “she hurt other people” in her past. Still, major damage was done.
Using the NYT sit-down as an image rehab, Zandy Reich‘s wife claims she has learned a lot in the two years since Ware’s accusations first came to light. Speaking about leadership, Lea said:
“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.”
And she was refreshingly honest about her prickly personality, too. The star admitted to being difficult to work with and very demanding on set:
“I have an edge to me. I work really hard. I leave no room for mistakes. That level of perfectionism, or that pressure of perfectionism, left me with a lot of blind spots.”
Well, we can’t say she’s not being real about that…
Ware’s prior claims and other old on-set allegations serve as the undercurrent to the Times feature, but Lea used the chat to speak about random rumors that have dogged her for years, too.
Most frustrating for the star has been an online allegation that she’s illiterate. Per i-D, that rumor goes all the way back to a fan-made Facebook Live video from 2017. But time and questionable sourcing haven’t smoothed things over! Lea told the Times how upset she still is about the rumor that she supposedly can’t read:
“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.”
Ultimately, Lea said to the outlet she’s unconcerned with awards or accolades (namely a Tony Award) when it comes to her turn on Funny Girl. She addressed skepticism about that claim, too, but asserted she’s supposedly in it for the right reasons:
“You might think that’s the biggest piece of bull that I’m going to say to you all day. But I really don’t care about that [accolades] at this point. It’s just about being able to play this part.”
Do y’all buy that, tho? Do y’all think Funny Girl will prove to be Lea’s redemption story?? Share your thoughts down in the comments (below)…