Lea Michele addresses 'Funny Girl' casting controversy and accusations of bullying on 'Glee' set

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Lea Michele addressed accusations of her making the "Glee" acceptable   a toxic place, arsenic  good   arsenic  jokes astir  her being illiterate successful  an interrogation  with the New York Times up  of her "Funny Girl" debut.

(CNN)Ahead of her debut arsenic Fanny Brice in the archetypal Broadway revival of "Funny Girl," Lea Michele discussed her nerves astir returning to the stage, accusations of creating a toxic situation connected "Glee" and, yes, the baseless net rumor that she's illiterate.

Michele is replacing Beanie Feldstein successful the starring relation (originated by Barbra Streisand successful Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning turns). In a caller interrogation with the New York Times, she nodded to the contention astir her casting and Feldstein's abrupt exit from the show.

"Everyone present has been done a lot, and I conscionable person to travel successful and beryllium prepared and bash a bully occupation and beryllium respectful of the information that this is their space," she told the Times up of her archetypal performance.

    Michele's roadworthy to "Funny Girl" was agelong and winding: Per the New York Times, she discovered the philharmonic arsenic a teen portion performing successful the Tony-winning philharmonic "Spring Awakening." Michele said she fell successful love, and soon thereafter, she was formed arsenic the pb successful Ryan Murphy's TV drama "Glee." Her character, the talented but grating Rachel Berry, shared Michele's real-life obsession with the Streisand-starring musical.

      A timeline of the 'Funny Girl' play  -- and however  Lea Michele got there

      After years of performing songs from "Funny Girl" connected "Glee" -- Rachel adjacent stars successful its revival connected the bid -- and assorted attempts to bring the philharmonic to Broadway, manager Michael Mayer told the Times Michele was considered for the relation up of the caller accumulation but sensed she whitethorn not person been ready. (Michele gave commencement to her lad successful 2020 erstwhile the philharmonic was being cast.) Michele said she told Mayer, aft learning of Feldstein's casting, that she'd beryllium "honored" to presume the relation if Feldstein's tally ended.

        And Feldstein's stint successful "Funny Girl" did extremity -- months earlier than she initially announced. The highly anticipated accumulation received mostly antagonistic reviews erstwhile it opened successful April, and overmuch of them took purpose astatine Feldstein's vocal abilities. In July, Feldstein announced that she'd permission the philharmonic astatine the extremity of the period alternatively of September. The adjacent day, the "Funny Girl" squad announced Michele's casting.

        Hiring Michele arsenic Feldstein's replacement proved a arguable decision. Many theatre fans were reminded of "Glee" histrion Samantha Marie Ware's claims successful 2020, erstwhile she accused Michele of fostering a toxic situation connected the acceptable and said Michele exposed her to "traumatic microaggressions." When Michele was cast, Ware commented: "Yes, I care. Yes, im (sic) affected ... Yes, I was abused. Yes, my dreams were tainted. Yes, Broadway upholds whiteness."

          Michele declined to code Ware's claims with the Times but said that her enactment ethic and "pressure of perfectionism near (her) with a batch of unsighted spots."

          As for the gag that Michele is illiterate, which circulates online whenever Michele makes news, she suggested the gag was made due to the fact that of her gender.

            "I went to 'Glee' each azygous day; I knew my lines each azygous day," she told the Times. "And past there's a rumor online that I can't work oregon write? It's sad. It truly is. I deliberation often if I were a man, a batch of this wouldn't beryllium the case."

            Michele's archetypal amusement arsenic Fanny is September 6. Feldstein's standby, Julie Benko -- who took implicit the relation successful August, volition capable successful for Michele erstwhile a week for the remainder of Michele's run.

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