Lea Michele: "Gleek" Beauty
Dark-haired 22-year-old Lea Michele was a Broadway baby; born in NYC, she achieved her musical theater dream with roles in "Les Miserables", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Ragtime" and "Spring Awakening". Now you can catch Lea taking some giant steps backward as she plays Broadway hopeful Glee Club highschooler Rachel in the Fox TV series "Glee" which starts its full season on September 9th.
The Gleester cast is now out on a ten city tour to meet the fans but we were able to chat with Lea recently before she left. She was all glammed up in a sexy black cocktail dress and looked so not nerd Rachel!
TeenTelevision: Wow! I almost didn't recognize you! Hot make-up and that awesome dress. Do tell....
Lea: What I'm wearing is so not Rachel. I love it. This is Herve Leger and I feel very sexy in it. Totally different than my penny loafers I wear everywhere on set.
TeenTelevision: Rachel is so focused on her future career in the show. She almost seems snooty at times.
Lea: Well, Rachel is definitely driven but in upcoming episodes, you get to see the more vulnerable, romantic side of Rachel.
TeenTelevision: Is there an arc to your character? Will she change?
Lea: Rachel is very determined and I was that girl in high school. I was the one who knew what she wanted and who she was and wasn't going to get side-tracked by the more silly stuff that people get obsessed with in high school, like partying. I was not like that at all. I was way more like Rachel. But, once she gets in Glee Club, I think it teaches her more about herself. She has a more vulnerable side. Her career is important but there is also this need for a partner and she definitely falls for Finn (played by hunky Cory Monteith).
TeenTelevision: He's certainly hot. Who would be your dream guest star for the show?
Lea: I would think Justin Timberlake because he would do an incredible job of bringing the funny aspect and the musical aspect which is what "Glee" is so I think he'd be great.
TeenTelevision: What Justin song would you love to have performed on the show?
Lea: I think Matt Morrison should do "Rock Your Body". He'd be so great at that. His voice is very similar. We were going back and forth on who should do what song and I'm like 'Matt should do Justin Timberlake for sure'.
TeenTelevision: Sounds great. What was the audition for this series like for you?
Lea: It was definitely like a musical show audition in the sense that I had to prepare two songs which I had never done for a television audition before. But I felt like that was my strongpoint so I felt like 'oh, thank God, I can at least go in with something I feel confident with'. I had one audition and went straight to the studio and the network and I'm here now.
TeenTelevision: What were you like in high school?
Lea: I was definitely the loser of all the cool kids. But, I had a great high school experience. I had lots of different friends and never stuck to one group. I dabbled in a lot of things. I did sports and some musical theater.
TeenTelevision: Was there a show choir in your high school.
Lea: There was not. There was a chorus but it was totally not cool. There was no Glee Club.
TeenTelevision: What's life been like for you since the "Glee" pilot aired?
Lea: A lot has happened. Our show aired and it did fantastic on i-tunes and a ton of people tuned in but the series still hasn't aired yet. I'm really excited to come back next year and the show would have aired a bunch of episodes and people would have seen it because I'm still anxious. 'Okay, I know you liked the pilot but there's so much more that you're going to love and I want you to see it.'
TeenTelevision: What would you love to see Rachel do in upcoming episodes?
Lea: I think Rachel and Finn are great together and, hopefully, (showrunner) Ryan (Murphy) feels the same way. Rachel has a line in an upcoming episode, 'I'm still getting my lipstick flushed down the toilet. I still don't have a boyfriend'. It would be nice to see her with a boyfriend. Wouldn't it be cool too if she joined the cheerleading squad for a little while? I'm pushing that. It'll probably never happen.
TeenTelevision: Are more things going to get thrown at you like the slushy in the pilot?
Lea: Yes! That's all I will say. It was 3 A.M. a couple of weeks ago and it was bad, bad, bad. It's an episode called "Wheels"; an episode about Artie in the wheelchair.
TeenTelevision: Didn't you do a dance in the wheelchair? Was that hard?
Lea: I have a family member, a young cousin who is disabled and in a wheelchair. She's 15. Initially, I found it really difficult for me and I commend Kevin (McHale who plays Artie) for doing a great job playing Artie. It's definitely not easy. We did have a lot of fun. I think that the episode is fantastic and heartwarming and you will cry. It's lovely and I'm happy about the way it came out. We are all in wheelchairs doing some pretty tricky stuff.
TeenTelevision: What other songs are you doing?
Lea: We've finished the 13th episode so we've done everything from Rolling Stones to The Beatles and Lily Allen. When we finished episode 13, we'd finished sixty musical numbers. Half or more than half are the Glee Club.
TeenTelevision: Wow! That's a lot of songs! What do you sit down and listen to musically?
Lea: Everything from Barbra Streisand to The Who and Queen. My i-pod is filled. I listen to my "Glee" soundtrack all the time. We do mash-ups on "Glee". We have a whole episode of mash ups; pairing two songs together and the ones we've done so far are insane and I'm obsessed with them.
TeenTelevision: Kristen Chenoweth is a guest on the show. Who does she play?
Lea: She's not playing herself. It's connected to Will and Will's past. I get to do a fantastic number with her.
TeenTelevision: Can't wait to hear that. You look so much like Idina Menzel and people have said that you should play her role as Elphaba if they make the movie of "Wicked". How do you feel about that?
Lea: Let's do it! I love that musical so much and the fact that it's becoming a movie, I would love to be part of it.
TeenTelevision: Does doing this series kill the idea of doing Broadway again for you?
Lea: No, it only makes me miss it. The last show that I did was 'Spring Awakening' and that was an original, daring, challenging piece and I hope that the next thing I do in New York is like that. I'm waiting for something as great to come along. There are still the Fanny Bryce roles and Eva Peron so, there's still a lot to be done on the Broadway Stage and I plan on conquering it.
TeenTelevision: What would you tell a 16-year-old as to why this is a great show to watch?
Lea: When I was in high school, when I was 16, I would watch shows growing up and say 'oh, she's so beautiful, that character or she's so cool. I wish I could be as cool as she is. I wish I could be as popular.' I never watched a show and said, 'oh my God, I looked like that. I did that. I understand that. I felt like that'. That's what's so great about 'Glee''; teens can absolutely identify with it. There's people to look up to and people to identify with. It's what real high school students are like.
Watch the first season of "Glee" on the Fox network starting September 9th.