Lea Michele has Justin Timberlake on her mind

Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:14am EDT
 
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By Leslie Bruce

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Forget social misfit: Lea Michele may actually be "Most Likely to Succeed" on Emmy night for her turn as Rachel Berry on Fox's musical comedy sensation "Glee."

Michele recently dished about shifting from Broadway to television comedienne, her inner Gleek and fantasies about Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

BEFORE "GLEE," YOU WERE A FIXTURE ON BROADWAY. DID YOU EVER THINK YOU WOULD MAKE THE SHIFT TO A TELEVISION COMEDY SERIES?

Michele: I never thought I would be a comedic actor. In all of my shows on Broadway I played the most gut-wrenching, depressing roles. But I did watch a lot of "Saturday Night Live" as a kid. I would pretend I was Gilda Radner and re-enact "Roseanne Roseannadanna." Growing up, my mother would say that I was the daughter of Jim Carrey and Natalie Wood. I had this serious maturity about me, but had this insanely kooky side, too.

DESCRIBE RACHEL BERRY IN YOUR OWN WORDS AND HOW SHE'S DEVELOPED OVER THE SEASON.

Michele: Rachel was me when I was younger and working in musical theater. I was very determined and I did a great show every single night. I never missed a performance. Since then, I've mellowed out, but there is a part of me that's very Rachel Berry. She is so different now than when we started. Initially, she was very "Pretty in Pink": making her own clothes, and wearing tons of necklaces with big theatrical makeup. We were figuring out who she was and we realized her personality was enough. She didn't need the gloves and pearls.

MATTHEW MORRISON EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT HOW THE SERIES WILL ADAPT, AS THE STUDENTS GET OLDER. HOW DO YOU THINK THE SHOW WILL HANDLE IT?

Michele: There is definitely a way to drag it on. We've been working on the show for two years and we're just finishing Season 1! I don't think Ryan Murphy would ever keep it going if it didn't have life. I'm not going to be able to play a high school student forever and Cory (Monteith, who plays Finn) is like 50 years old, but there are so many unknown talented kids people could relate to.   Continued...

 
<p>Lea Michele of "Glee" perfroms at the American Theatre Wing's 64th annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York, June 13, 2010. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>