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

itznia on

I am a total Gleek and I think she is absolutely gorgeous just as she is!!

BBB on

To be honest, before even reading this my eyes instantly focused on her nose. It’s always been a distraction for me when I watch her on Glee or see her in articles. So maybe she can “make it” with the nose, but it’s still quite the distraction.

Marie on

Not pretty. Sorry.

victoria smith on

I believe they told Barbara the same thing and look at her now!!!!!

Sydney on

Lea is an awesome talented girl who is amazing so whatever anyone else says,they don’t know what they’re talking about because GLEE is the best show ever!!! GO GLEE!!!!!

LLB on

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with her nose or her looks!! She deserves kudos for her talent and being proud of who she is. There are enough actresses with a lot less talent who have gone under the knife only to have it backfire on them because they no longer fit their look (Jennifer Grey, Ashley Tisdale, Ashley Simpson to name a few).

Kasee on

Um, for the people saying she is a flash in the pan, she has been on Broadway since she was a little girl. Ever hear of a show called Spring Awakening? I love how people assume that because they have never heard of something, it didn’t exist or matter!

Daisy on

I don’t watch Glee, but I think Lea Michele is quite talented and attractive in a unique way. If she got a nose job, she’d look like every other starlet. And all of you people who keep saying she should get a nose job would be the first in line to bash her for actually doing that. You’d be talking about how shallow she was and how she looked better with her real nose.

Crystal B on

I would love to see Lea as the next Elfe in Wicked. She has the look and the voice!!!

tori on

Lea is gorgeous and has so much talent!
I love her on Glee, and when she leaves, I wish her the best of luck in whatever she does.

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