Lea Michele is very aware of the bad reputation she has earned by working Joy Years ago. Now, aged 36, he has said he hopes to change that as headliner of hit Broadway play Funny Girl.
“I think these last two years have been so important for everyone to sit down and reflect. I made a lot of personal contacts. But the most important thing was for everyone to step back,” said Michele Interview. “More than anything, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to apply the things I’ve learned over the past decade-plus in a positive way.”
Michele’s alleged behavior made headlines in 2020 when she was accused by Joy actress Samantha Ware for creating a toxic work environment. Most of Michele’s famous co-stars supported Ware. Suddenly, it seemed like everyone had a bad story about Lea Michele.
“What I told myself upon entering Funny Girl was, “If I can’t take my leadership role offstage as important as my leadership role onstage, then I shouldn’t be doing this show.” Because it’s always been a struggle for me. So to have this opportunity now at 36 as a wife and mother — to get into this job that comes with so much pressure and a tremendous amount of responsibility — has been a very, very big accomplishment for me,” the actress added.
Michele took over the role of Fanny Brice from Beanie Feldstein. Following the announcement of the casting change, the Broadway star’s reputation was back in the news.
“At the end of the day, what matters most is how you make people feel. And you have to put your feelings aside. The conversations I’ve had behind the scenes with some people have been incredibly healing and very enlightening for me,” she said. Michael explained. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I will never blame anything 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 I was going to play Fanny Brice, I said, ‘OK, this could be really important for my career, but it’s also good to have this opportunity to introduce people to who I am now.'”
Michele said she’s “figuring out how to be a good leader” — and mom, daughter, friend, wife.
“I’m getting so much gratification from my relationships right now because I think everything is going so well and I’m so happy to be back home in New York. I’ve been away from my family in Los Angeles for 13 years and that’s It was really hard. During 2020, my life was upended in so many ways and I didn’t know where it was going to lead me. We came home to be closer to family and I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love so much and grow our own son here,” he said.
“And for me, having my husband and kid — I never had that to come home to. I think about what the Joy days were like working so hard and having such pressure on my shoulders to keep the show afloat, and navigating through the whole experience at such a young age while also dealing with really intense life trauma that happened at the same time,” Michele, who starred in Joy from 2009 to 2015, shared. Elsewhere in the interview, she noted that she suffers “a lot of anxiety and again, I never want to use what I’m going through as an excuse for anything, but it’s part of my journey.”
As for Funny Girla role that is earning her critical acclaim, Michele calls it “such a different experience.”
“I’m finding so much joy in the connections I’m having with the people around me,” she said. “That’s what gives me energy.”