“I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader,” the actress, 36, shared in a profile for The New York Times, released on Thursday, September 1. “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.”
The singer’s comments come nearly two years after former Glee costar Samantha Marie Ware alleged in June 2020 that Lea had made her life “a living hell” on the set of the FOX show, which aired from 2009 to 2015. While she apologized publicly at the time, Lea, for her part, told The New York Times that she had an “intense time of reflection” following the accusations.
“I have an edge to me. I work really hard. I leave no room for mistakes,” Lea told the newspaper in Thursday’s article, referring to her intense work ethic. “That level of perfectionism, or that pressure of perfectionism, left me with a lot of blind spots.”
Talking about Glee specifically, Lea explained that her real life and playing character Rachel Berry “all kind of morphed together a little bit.”
The profile comes ahead of Lea’s return to Broadway as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Her run is slated to begin on Tuesday, September 6.
“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,” she said of the show, seemingly referring to the rumored drama and casting shakeup with Beanie Feldstein going on behind-the-scenes.
Aside from her attitude as a lead, the New York native also addressed all the speculation that she can’t read. As fans know, rumors have been swirling for years that the actress is actually illiterate, and has become one of the most popular celebrity conspiracy theories online. The Brunette Ambition author has previously laughed off the rumors, but this time, she acknowledged them head on.
“I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day,” Lea shared. “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.”