Hollywood Reporter: To anyone unfamiliar with the rehearsal process Michele could come across as demanding. But the more time you spend with her, the more you realize it is about perfection.
Matthew Morrison: Glee is a family, and Lea is the mom figure. She’s the fearless leader.
Ryan Murphy: Lea is the sweetest, most professional girl. She’s incredibly kind and she’s always on time and she’s always with her cast hanging out. They’re all close.
Naya Rivera: When you get on a hit show like this, there are always going to be people that want to tear you down, but she’s a very sweet girl.
John Gallagher Jr: She was born a star and fills the shoes of being a megastar very gracefully.

Today was SUCH an incredible day shoot my #OnMyWayMusicVideo! I can’t wait for you guys to see it!!!!! #ONMYWAY


Fitness Tip Friday! Replacing potato chips w/ Kale Chips is a simple way to jumpstart a healthy diet #BrunetteAmbition

L’Oreal 2013 Women of Worth Gala (x)

» Lea Michele on the One Thing She'd Change About Herself


Why is it important for you to be involved with L’Oréal’s Women of Worth program?

My mother always told me, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything.” It’s such an honor being a part of L’Oréal Paris’s WOW campaign. I had the pleasure of attending the event this past November and it was one of the most inspiring and beautiful nights I’ve ever experienced. It made me even more proud and honored to be a part of the L’Oréal Paris family.

Who do you personally consider to be your number one woman of worth?

I would definitely have to say my mother. She is the strongest woman I’ve ever met. She’s endured so much in her life and she’s still the most empowered woman I know. She has taught me so much and gotten me through so much.

Beyond messages of self-worth and acceptance, what do you think is the most important message women these days need to hear?

To truly believe in yourself and love who you are. We sometimes say it, but truly practicing real self-love is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself.

What beauty products do you rely on to give you self-confidence?

I have my everyday products that I love. My L’Oréal Paris mascara is my favorite product. Sometimes I want to let my skin breathe and not wear any makeup, so I just put on mascara and feel beautiful.

What’s your take on the “Can a woman ever really have it all?” discussion?

I believe you can have it all, as long as you believe in yourself and love what you do.

If you could interview one woman in the present or in the past, who would it be?

I would love to have met Judy Garland.

Who’s your favorite fictional heroine and why?

Katniss from The Hunger Games is so strong and fearless!

We could all strive for some self-improvement every now and then. If you could change one thing about yourself (physical or otherwise), what would it be?

I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I wish I could be more laid-back. But working hard and being how I am is what has gotten me to where I am today, and I’m proud of that.

» What Lea Michele Thinks Women Need To Do For Each Other


What does it take to get to the top — without losing your center? Our “Making It Work” series profiles successful, dynamic women who are standouts in their fields, peeling back the “hows” of their work and their life, taking away lessons we can all apply to our own.

Lea Michele has quite the impressive resumé. The 27-year-old singer and actress, best known for playing the annoying, yet lovable Rachel Berry on "Glee," has worn many entertainment industry hats — from TV actress to Broadway star to recording artist.

The Bronx-born Michele spent most of her formative years in Tenafly, NJ where she attended high school before moving to New York City to pursue acting. She made her Broadway debut at the age of eight in “Les Miserables” and went on to star in other Broadway shows including “Ragtime,” “Fiddler On The Roof” and “Spring Awakening.”

This past December, Michele debuted her first single "Cannonball" and quickly followed it up with the release of her solo album "Louder" in March. “It’s more than just an album to me — it’s a piece of my life that I’m so glad is here for me to have for the rest of my life,” Michele told Billboard in Jan. 2014. “Be loud, be bold, be yourself, whether or not people understand that message. That’s what I think of when I think of the song and album.”

These days Michele is preparing for the publication of her book Brunette Ambition(coming out in May 2014) and serving as an ambassador for the L’Oreal Paris’"Women Of Worth" campaign.

Michele recently spoke with The Huffington Post about her definition of success, staying true to herself in the entertainment industry and why she loves being a woman.

How do you define success?
I really think that in this business it’s so funny because you achieve different levels of success and you always think: “Well maybe I just need to get that next award or that next job.” You always think that when you get to the next level you’ll be the happiest, but for me success is really about being happy and proud of myself and the work that I do. That to me is the greatest success.

So by that definition do you consider yourself successful?
I definitely consider myself successful because I really love what I do. And I’m happy in what I do every single day.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
If I’ve learned anything over the past five or so years of moving to Los Angeles and getting [cast in “Glee”] is that being yourself is the most important thing. I always thought that I needed to fit into a mold and be a certain type of person in order to become successful or to make it in this world, but it was really just being me that introduced me to the people that have opened so many doors for my life and for my career. I don’t want to have friends that I can’t be myself around and I wouldn’t want to be at a job that I couldn’t be myself.

As a Women Of Worth ambassador what’s one issue that you think women should focus on in 2014?
I think it’s so important that women really focus on encouraging and empowering other women. That’s definitely something that people struggle with in [the entertainment] business and in this industry, and that the media especially likes to bring attention to in a negative way. It’s so important that we empower one another because it’s hard enough being a woman! We could use all the support that we can get from each other.

That issue definitely goes beyond just the entertainment industry. As anyone who’s attended high school knows, girl-on-girl hate is toxic. Speaking of high school, what’s one thing you desperately wish you could tell your high school self?
You know, I’m really proud of my high school life. I really feel like I had a pretty good head on my shoulders, but I think that in high school you think that it’s never going to end and you’re like, “Oh my god, am I ever going to get out of here?!” I’d probably tell myself not to worry and that those four years will be over before you know it and then your real life will begin.

I feel proud to be a woman because _________.
I feel proud to be a woman because I wouldn’t want to be anything else! The level of strength that a woman has inside of her is just unbelievable.

L’Oreal Paris is holding an all-day Twitter forum Wed. April 16 to kick off the ninth annual Women Of Worth program. The conversation will include Michele, Maria Shriver, Mika Brzezinski, Eva Longoria and Liya Kebede. Tweet at@LOrealParisUSA with #WomenofWorth. 

I would love to do a duet with Lea, also. She’s great, super talented girl. - Chord Overstreet

Lea Michele - Cannonball (In The Studio) [Tumblr Embed]

Title: Cannonball (In Studio Performance)
Artist: Lea Michele
Played: 690 times

“We talk about this in the writers’ room all the time. That’s a really hard, very painful, very difficult thing for the show. I’ve said it before, and it was even in Cory’s eulogy, but that was the ending of the show for me, these two star-crossed lovers having a happy ending and both getting their dreams. So the fact that that can’t be is a big pain in all of our hearts. We have to pause and think, “What are we going to do with Rachel?” This year what we decided to do was to remove the equation of anybody coming in and taking Finn’s place, because I don’t really think that’s possible. And I think that worked out quite well. I really liked dwelling on Rachel’s career again. She’s going to be a star. But as for the future, it’s a lot of discussion, and it’s something that we’ll consult with Lea about. To be quite honest, we just haven’t been able to crack it, because I feel like it’s such a sensitive topic and the fans have such an idea about it. I think half of them feel like, yes, Rachel should go on, and I think half of them probably feel like no, she shouldn’t. We’ll follow Lea’s lead, as we have so many times this year. She’s always been so great and so sensitive and been so wise about how to handle that stuff. So we have to make that decision in the next couple of weeks or months: Is Rachel going to have another romance or does the second half [of Rachel’s life], romantically, happen when Glee is over? That’s something we’re debating. It’s hard.” — Ryan Murphy on Rachel dating again (via littlegleeprincess)

We understand why Lea Michele released the version of Cannonball that she did. The song is an anthem, one that helped her deal with the loss of her boyfriend Cory Monteith. It’s all about picking yourself up and finding the strength to keep going and at the time it worked better as a power ballad with an intense bass and drum line backing Michele’s powerful vocals. However, the acoustic studio version of the song that she released on her YouTube channel today shows what could have been and we kind of wish it was what had been to begin with.

“Cannonball” was a great song, but it didn’t really sink in how great it was. It has a lot of raw emotion in it that Michele only brings to the acoustic. In the original song, it’s more about the beat and the music than the actual message. “Cannonball” is surprisingly versatile. It works on the level of being a musical motto to start your day with and it works on the level of being an emotional plea to yourself to find the courage and strength no matter how rough things might get.

The entire acoustic video is done in black and white and features Michele simply singing the song with others, smiling and laughing at points, and the whole effect is just so powerful.It says, “I’m a survivor. I’ve done what I do best: survive.” It says that she’s found, if not happiness, then at least a center of peace. It says so much more than her original music video, which mostly featured a heavily glammed up Michele alternating between angst and sexiness.

If you didn’t connect with the song when it originally premiered, this is the version of it to listen to. This is the version that really makes you feel just a small piece of the heartbreak that Michele was going through when she recorded it. This is the version to hope is included as a bonus track on the album.


Rachel Berry + Musicals