Lea Michele, 36, revealed that creating her own family with her husband, Zandy Reich, 39, and their two-year-old son Ever, helped her become grounded after a tough year full of backlash in 2020. The actress, who has been starring in the legendary role of Fanny Brice in the Broadway play, Funny Girl, recently sat down with Drew Barrymore for The Drew Barrymore Show to discuss her time on stage and the ups and downs of her past. The talented star made headlines when some former co-stars, including those on the series Glee, accused her of not being kind on set.
“Having our son and experiencing the challenges that we did throughout the pregnancy was something that unfortunately created a stronger bond in us that I would never wish on anybody, but it did,” Lea told Drew when talking about how her life and view of it has changed since then. “I have an edge to me. 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.”
Lea also said the backlash led to “an intense time of reflection” about her conduct at work and it’s part of the reason she’s able to star in a Broadway play for the first time since 2008, when she starred in Spring Awakening. “I really understand the importance and value now of being a leader,” she said. “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.”
“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 added, referencing the cast and crew of Funny Girl. Lea had to take a 10-day break from the production after testing positive for COVID-19 shortly after her debut performance, which received six standing ovations, earlier this month. She went back this week and expressed excitement on Instagram.
Despite still receiving criticism from some online folks, Lea has proven she can persevere and put her heart and soul into playing Fanny, which she did for the first time as Rachel Berry on Glee. Ryan Murphy, the creator of the successful FOX series, was one of many supporters in the audience on the night of Lea’s debut in Funny Girl. Just moments before she hit the stage that night, she took to Instagram to express gratitude for all those who played Fanny before her.
“For the Fannys who have fearlessly graced this stage before me, @beaniefeldstein @jujujuliebee @ephieaardema you all have climbed the mountain that is Fanny and I am honored to be in your company,” she wrote. “And of course @BarbraStreisand our queen.”