Belfast Telegraph

Lea Michele missed out on West Side Story lead for Glee

The star turned to Idina Menzel for support after missing out on her dream role.

Lea Michele landed her role on Glee a few weeks after the biggest rejection of her career.

The actress and singer has always found good fortune follows bad, and that was the case after she lost out on one of the lead roles in a West Side Story revival on Broadway.

Lea was so committed to the role, she even learned Spanish to impress casting directors.

"Most of the greatest success I've had in my life came from a door closing that then led me to something incredible," she tells "I was dreaming of being in this production of West Side Story that was coming to Broadway, and I worked so hard on the audition - literally I learned Spanish for it.

"I get into the room, and before I can even begin - I said maybe one line - and they were like, 'Thank you so much, have a great day!' And they escorted me out, and I was gutted."

Ironically, the young star turned to the woman who was to play her mum in Glee for career advice.

"I went home and I cried so hard," she says. "I'm friends with Idina Menzel, and I remember crying to her, being like, 'What am I going to do? Like, this was my dream role, I have to play this part!'

"Anyways, a couple (of) weeks later, I end up getting cast on Glee, which was the best thing that ever happened to me."

Lea, who played Rachel Green throughout Glee's six season run from its launch in 2009, feels sure had she landed the role in West Side Story, she would have had to turn down the TV series.

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