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April 12, 2011

Get Your Gleek On!

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lea michele glee cover may 2011

During our photo shoot, Lea Michele looked stunning in this pleated Marchesa dress.

Photo Credit: Mark Abrahams

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THE DIVA: LEA MICHELE
Age: 24
Hometown: Tenafly, NJ
Character Name: Rachel Berry


Was high school heaven or hell?
It was just about getting through unscathed. I wasn't the coolest kid, but I got by. I played volleyball, I was a varsity debater — I won a lot of trophies for that; I talk very fast! — and I only did one play and one musical because I wanted to give other people an opportunity. I also had a long-term high school boyfriend — there was some intense, emotional journaling from that — and a nice group of friends. It was really normal.

My pre-Glee gig was …
I worked consistently on Broadway from when I was 8 years old through Spring Awakening, which I left in 2008.

You famously got into a car accident on the way to your Glee audition, ditched the rental, and ran to the Fox lot anyway. Were you at all afraid they would think you were nuts?
I was more afraid that they'd think I was using that as an excuse for being late. Because at first they were like, "Oh, my God, are you OK?" But after a while they were joking, "So that 'car crash' you were in ..." I literally had chunks of glass that I pulled from my hair and put on the table. I look back on that day and think, I can't believe I did that. I left the car on the side of the road. But something came over me.

What's the story behind the First Wives Club?
It started a year and a half ago. The girls would get a bottle of red wine and stay a few hours after work to hang out and catch up in my trailer. Now we do it whenever we want. Occasionally, we'll let one of the boys in, and it's so funny to hear them talk about it. They're like, "Have you been to First Wives Club?" "I've been once." "Did they let you in?" "They let me in last week, but they wouldn't let me in this week." We also hang out a lot together off the set — I'm with Dianna, Amber, and Jenna nearly every day.

Favorite New Directions number?
"Don't Rain on My Parade" or anything Barbra Streisand. Every episode for Rachel is a Barbra-themed episode.

Your love prediction for Rachel?
I think people want her to be with Finn. And I love working with Cory so much. He's my buddy. The other day we did a scene, and my direction was to look longingly at him as he walked away. And I'm looking at him ... looking ... looking ... and he starts making fart noises off camera. And I'm like, "What the fuck? What are you doing? I'm supposed to be in love with you? Are you crazy?" So thanks, Cory, for that.

How many tattoos do you have?
I have 10, but they're tiny: a gold star for Rachel, one for Spring Awakening, the butterfly on my back is for my mom, another on my foot is for my cousins, and Kevin and Jenna and I have "Imagine." The day I got my newest one — it won't be my last — I texted Kevin, "At the tattoo parlor," and he replied, "We just got here. Where are you?" And I said, "I'm in New York. Where are you?" And he goes, "At the tattoo parlor in L.A." We'd randomly gone on the same night.

Tabloid terror: What's been the most absurd rumor you've heard?
We refer to Jenna and Kevin's houses as the "Love Nest" because we read that they were shacked up — they're not dating, they're best friends. And once someone said that Chris was hit by a fruit truck and died. Recently, I read that I was kicked off a plane: "Lea was using her BlackBerry ..." I don't even own one.

If everyone graduates by 2012, what's your fantasy future for Rachel?
I totally figured it out: Rachel Berry grown-up is Charlotte York from Sex and the City, if Charlotte were raised in Ohio by two gay men.

Read the rest of Marie Claire's exclusive interview with the Glee star in our May 2011 issue, on newsstands April 19.


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