Glee mes­sage is amaz­ing

Glee star Lea Michele says the hit show urges kids to stay true to them­selves, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

LEA Michele reck­ons she is bor­ing. The Glee star is so com­mit­ted to her role as Rachel Berry on the hit Chan­nel 10 show that it leaves lit­tle time for any­thing else.

The 24-year-old of­ten works 12 to 14-hour days on the set of Glee — and then there are dance rou­tines and scripts to learn, plus record­ing the seem­ingly end­less sound­track CDs.

Add cast ap­pear­ances— the cast re­cently flew to Eng­land for The X Fac­tor, have been on Oprah and met US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama — and you have one very busy lady.

‘‘ If you knew me, you’d be bored,’’ Michele laughs as we chat on the Glee set at Para­mount Stu­dios in Los An­ge­les.

‘‘ I just live a re­ally quiet life. I spend as much time as I can with my fam­ily. I think that’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant.’’

Michele, whose real name is Lea Michele Sar­fati, is an only child. Her mother Edith is a nurse and fa­ther Marc owns a del­i­catessen. Michele calls her par­ents her ‘‘ best friends’’.

Glee cre­ator Ryan Mur­phy re­cently re­vealed some of the Glee cast would be grad­u­ated at the end of the 2012 sea­son, but he’d be a brave man to get rid of Michele.

Michele was voted one of 2010’s most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple by Time mag­a­zine. Clearly some­thing about her char­ac­ter res­onates with US TV view­ers.

‘‘ Our show car­ries such an amaz­ing mes­sage,’’ she says.

‘‘ Here you have a char­ac­ter (Rachel) who has been raised by two openly gay men and she doesn’t look like the rest of her class­mates.

‘‘ Rachel stays true to who she is and is proud of that.

‘‘ That is such an in­cred­i­ble mes­sage to tell young girls and all kids out there: stay true to who you are and where you come from and don’t let any­body change you.’’

Michele has been act­ing since she was eight.

In 1995 she played Young Cosette in the New York pro­duc­tion of Les Mis­er­ables. Then came fea­ture roles in Broad­way shows Rag­time, Fid­dler On The Roof and Spring Awakening. Michele hit a new level of fame play­ing Berry on Glee, with Emmy and Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways had a Rachel­like drive in me from a young age,’’ Michele says. ‘‘ I’ve been work­ing since I was eight years old. That has def­i­nitely been a re­ally good prepa­ra­tion for me for this (the fame of Glee).

‘‘ I am still me. I love per­form­ing, play­ing this role (Rachel Berry) and be­ing on this tele­vi­sion show ( Glee).’’ Glee, Chan­nel 10, Mon­day, 7.30pm

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