Lea Michele is getting rave reviews and breaking box office records as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway, but the recent accolades come after she weathered some negative headlines.
Back in 2020, a social media post in support of the Black Lives Matter movement led some of her former Glee co-stars to shade her, 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 co-star Heather Morris. Michele quickly lost an endorsement deal with food prep company HelloFresh. More recently, Chris Colfer said seeing Michele onstage would be "triggering."
Michele addressed the controversy in Interview magazine: "I think these past two years have been so important for everybody to just sit back and reflect." She said she "did a lot of personal reach-outs" in that time.
She added, "The most important thing was for everybody to just take a step back. More than anything, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to apply the things that I've learned over the past 10-plus years in a positive way."
"At the end of the day, what matters the most is how you make people feel," she said.
Michele continued, "The conversations that I've had behind the scenes with some people were incredibly healing and very eye-opening for me. I've been doing this for a really long time and I’m not going to ever blame anything on the things that I’ve been through in my life. But you also can’t ignore those experiences or deny them. They are a part of the patchwork of my life."
She also commented that taking the Funny Girl role was "an opportunity to introduce people to who I am now."