"I love Broadway World! I'm like such a dork; I wake up, get my cup of coffee, and am like, 'Let's see what's going on on Broadway World!'"
Lea Michele (b. Lea Michele Sarfati; August 29, 1986) is an actress who was born in the Bronx. She started acting at the tender age of eight as Young Cosette in a production of Les Misérables, which she admits she tried out for on a whim. She then continued on to play the Little Girl in the original Broadway cast of Ragtime, Shprintze on Fiddler On the Roof, and several parts in various musicals, concerts, and plays, reaping in a bunch of awards and accolades while she was at it. She also played Wendla in the musical and the original Broadway run of Spring Awakening.
And then she auditioned for the part of the obnoxious, talented diva Rachel Berry on Glee (with a rendition of "On My Own" from Les Miserables. Interviews say, though, that it was in fact platonic life partner and Spring Awakening co-star Jonathan Groff who introduced her to series creator Ryan Murphy, and that the part of Rachel was written with her in mind.) And to say that playing Rachel made her famous is a huge understatement.
She's also set to appear in the upcoming film New Year's Eve and has already lent her voice to the titular character in the upcoming animated film Dorothy Of Oz.
Personality-wise, the media knows her as a cheerful sweetheart with pipes that have been called a once-in-a-generation voice. Lea is also a vegan and a very strong advocate for gay rights, as well as for PETA and has campaigned very openly against animal cruelty. Follow her on Twitter here!
- Celebrity Resemblance: To Idina Menzel, another Broadway powerhouse. Leads to Separated At Birth Casting on Glee when the former plays Rachel's mother.
- Cleopatra Nose
- Curtains Match the Window
- Dawson Casting: In Spring Awakening and Glee. Rachel is supposed to be sixteen. Uh huh.
- Fag Hag: Without any of the unfortunate implications. See below for her own account of her relationship with Jonathan Groff, and then find an interview, any interview, where Chris Colfer is brought up.
- Fan Girl: Lea has repeatedly described herself as Chris Colfer's biggest fan. They blatantly adore each other.
- Genki Girl: She has a tendency to slip into this.
- I Am Not Spock: She'll always be Rachel to most television-watching people. But of course, theater circles will always remember her for her performance in Spring Awakening.'
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Invoked.
Lea: I know this is going to sound really cheesy, but I have the coolest dad in the entire world. My dad is hilarious. He’s also strong, smart and makes me feel like he’s going to take care of everything. I think those are the qualities I look for in a boyfriend. ”
- Matzo Fever
- Ms. Fanservice: Both in Glee and her magazine photoshoots. (Don't believe us? I dare you to Google, "Glee, GQ photoshoot". You will hate me forever...)
- Platonic Life Partners: With Jonathan Groff, who played Melchior in Spring Awakening and Jesse on Glee.
Lea: I don’t go a day without talking to Jonathan. I don’t go a day without being in contact with him. Our families are very close, every New Year’s we spend together with our families, we have a tradition with them. We’ve been on trips together. I’ve driven reluctantly to the country, to Jonathan’s house. I’ve seen Jonathan in every job he’s ever done. He’s been my date to things like the SAG awards and openings. I grew up never having had close friends because I was working all the time. All the girls, growing up, everyone had their best friends. And I never, ever had that. And Jonathan is really and truly my first and only best friend. And I couldn’t have picked a better person.
- Separated At Birth Casting: Idina Menzel plays her mother on Glee.
- Stage Name
- Teens Are Short: She's 5'2" and is currently playing high-schooler Rachel on Glee.
- Two First Names: Her real name is Lea Michele Sarfati, but she dropped her last name because she was teased about it.
- You Look Familiar: On Les Miserables, she played Young Cosette and returned to play Eponine.