Lea Michele: I Was Told I Wasn't 'Pretty Enough' for Fame

08/03/2011 at 08:00 AM ET

Lea Michele Harper's Bazaar
Mark Seliger for Harper’s Bazaar

Though she’s currently one of Hollywood’s hottest stars, Lea Michele remembers a time when she was told she’d never make it. “How many managers told me, ‘Get a nose job. You’re not pretty enough?'” she recalls in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. “But I proved them wrong.”

Now one of Glee‘s soon-to-be graduates, Michele is savoring her status — and eyeing her next steps. “I don’t stop,” she says of her booming career. “It’s my nature. People have to tell me to slow down. I plan on playing every role on Broadway … I want to do movies, make music. Glee is only the beginning.”

And while some may see her ambition as snobbery, she says she and her castmates are just seizing the moment. “People have to remember this is all new for us,” she explains. “We’re all reasonably young … I’ve learned some lessons. But people are going to say what they want to say. I know who I am, and I’m not perfect.”

What she is, though, is stylish; lately, she’s been hitting red carpets in looks by Versace, Escada and Oscar de la Renta, and graces Bazaar‘s pages in Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino, Moschino and Lanvin. But fashion still feels new to the star. “I’m five-foot-three,” she muses. “I don’t look like a lot of other people, you know what I mean? I look like I’m 12.”

Admitting she’s “not a big spender,” she says she’s happiest at home with her Broadway beau, Theo Stockman. “What I do is what I do, and what he does is what he does, and when I come home, we have each other,” she says. For more with Michele, visit harpersbazaar.com/leamichele.

–Kate Hogan

Lea Michele Harper's Bazaar
Mark Seliger for Harper’s Bazaar


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Showing 78 comments

BRinMilwaukee on

Lea is awesome, and the reason I watch Glee. When she leaves, I leave. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

Elsa Polanco on

I am glad she didn’t get a nose job.

Lucia on

I wouldn’t say she’s not pretty enough for fame. She’s not very easy on the eyes, but looks aren’t everything. She can sing and she has the drive to be successful. So good for her.

James on

And I’m supposed to feel sorry for her? I don’t buy the fact that nobody told her she’d never make it. I’m guessing she’s been handed everything her whole life and constantly told how wonderful she is.

djay on

She is a very weird looking girl. I’m sure she can work on Broadway. But I don’t think she will have a big movie or tv career after Glee. If she isn’t singing most people wont want to look at her 30mins to an hour once a week.

Anner on

Barbra Streisand anyone?

hlj on

She isn’t pretty. She may be talented and well dressed but she isn’t really a pretty girl. Like Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz, they are always impeccably dressed but that doesn’t make them pretty.

NancyP on

I believe Barbra Streisand was told to get her nose fixed when she first started out….and look how her career turned out!! Stay true to who you are, Lea. Ambition is a good thing and you can definitely sing!!!

CJ on

I cannot stand her. She can’t act. I can’t wait until her dimly-lit star (um…the ONLY thing she’s done on TV is Glee, people. I wouldn’t call her “one of Hollywood’s hottest stars) BURNS OUT!

Anonymous on

If she mentions her nose or her lack of a nose job one time, I’m going to snap, punch her in the face and make her have to get a nose job.

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