Lea Michele says controversy surrounding her led to an “intense time of reflection”

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Ahead of her already well-selling stint on Broadway as the lead of Funny Girl, Lea Michele is getting serious about the controversy that has surrounded her.

Back in 2020, a social media post in support of the Black Lives Matter movement led some of her former Glee co-stars to tee off, with Samantha Marie Ware saying Lea had made her “first television gig a living hell.”

Others piled on about Michele’s alleged diva behavior, including costar Heather Morris, and Michelle quickly lost an endorsement deal with food prep company HelloFresh.

To The New York Times, Michele said the period led to an “intense time of reflection.”

“I have an edge to me,” she told the paper. “I work really hard. I leave no room for mistakes. That level of perfectionism, or that pressure of perfectionism, left me with a lot of blind spots.”

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Having taken the time to look within, Michele said, “I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader. 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.”

She added of her Funny Girl cast mates, “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, who returns to the Great White Way on September 6, also used the Times to tackle another persistent rumor: that she’s illiterate.

“I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day…It’s sad,” she said. “It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case.”

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