Lower than per week earlier than debuting as Fanny Brice on Broadway, Lea Michele addressed previous allegations about her conduct on the set of her hit TV musical “Glee” and the fallout that has embroiled her since.
In 2020, when Michele was among the many many who confirmed their assist for the Black Lives Matter motion following the demise of George Floyd, “Glee” actor Samantha Marie Ware accused the star of subjecting her to verbal abuse and “other traumatic microaggressions” on the highschool musical present’s set.
Michele’s public apology ignited one other firestorm as a number of members of the present’s unique solid, together with a producer for the TV sequence, shared their ideas and made their very own accusations about Michele’s alleged bullying and prima donna perspective.
The “Funny Girl” star not too long ago advised the New York Occasions that the allegations prompted an “intense time of reflection” about her conduct at work. She additionally mentioned that it outfitted her to be part of, and lead, a Broadway firm for the primary time since leaving a 2008 manufacturing of “Spring Awakening.” “Funny Girl” will mark her first main function for the reason that allegations surfaced two years in the past.
“I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader,” she advised the newspaper in an interview printed on-line Thursday. “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.”
Ware additionally publicly criticized Michele’s casting in “Funny Girl,” tweeting in July that “Broadway upholds whiteness.” The New York Occasions profile famous that Michele “declined to address the specifics of Ware’s account” as a result of she doesn’t “feel the need to handle things” by the media. Ware didn’t remark within the story.
The 36-year-old singer and dancer has aspired to guide “Funny Girl” as Fanny Brice for the reason that days on her hit Fox present and has carried out a number of songs from the stage and movie productions over time. When she debuts on the August Wilson Theatre on Sept. 6, she plans to embody Brice as a spouse and mom as an alternative of because the fame-obsessed “Glee” membership captain. And that’s bringing one thing new to the half for her.
Michele additionally acknowledged that her work type is intense to a fault, and blamed her upbringing as a baby actress on Broadway for that as a result of she was anticipated to carry out at a constantly excessive stage.
“I have an edge to me. I work really hard. I leave no room for mistakes,” she mentioned. “That level of perfectionism, or that pressure of perfectionism, left me with a lot of blind spots.”
Controversy has not solely dogged the “Scream Queens” actor, but in addition the struggling revival of “Funny Girl” that premiered final spring. Michele takes over the function from Beanie Feldstein, who bowed out of the musical in July, months sooner than deliberate.
Whereas Michele’s casting has been a boon for ticket gross sales, it additionally set the gossip mill churning concerning the stars and the manufacturing, together with allegations that Michele drove out her former “Glee” co-star Jane Lynch, who performed Mrs. Rosie Brice on the present. (Lynch later gave Michele her stamp of approval.)
Michele was reportedly the manufacturing workforce’s first alternative for the lead function when the present was gearing as much as switch from London to New York. However she was handed up after the delivery of her first youngster, Ever, who was nonetheless a child on the time.
After Feldstein was solid, Michele advised the workforce that she’d be “honored” to step in if Feldstein had been to go away — and due to them sharing an agent — took it on swiftly after Feldstein introduced her departure and her understudy Julie Benko performed Brice for the month of August.
“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,” Michele advised the New York Occasions.
Elsewhere within the profile, Michele spoke about her late boyfriend and “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith and web rumors that she’s illiterate.
“I went to ‘Glee’ every single day; I knew my lines every single day,” she mentioned. “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.”