Remember in Glee season two when Rachel Berry debates getting a nose job, sings an iconic mashup of “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story and TLC‘s “Unpretty” with Quinn Fabray, then decides to embrace her natural beauty when reminded of her resemblance to her hero Barbra Streisand? Turns out, that all has a striking parallel to Lea Michele‘s real life.
In a Thursday (Dec. 8) interview with Town & Country, the Glee alum opened up about the constant pressure she faced as a young actress to surgically alter her face in order to align more with Hollywood’s beauty standards. “People would tell me to get nose jobs, that I wasn’t pretty enough for film and television,” she recalled.
But who else is a powerhouse vocalist and musical theater sensation whose nose is a key part of her unconventional beauty? Michele’s idol, Barbra Streisand, who originated the role of Fanny Brice in Broadway’s Funny Girl — the same role Michele is now playing in the show’s ongoing revival.
“She was an icon for me in my life,” the Scream Queens actress said of Streisand, to whom she’s been compared to throughout her career.
A couple days prior to the interview, Michele revealed on Late Night with Seth Meyers that the Way We Were icon had actually written her a sweet note about her Fanny Brice portrayal. “It was so surreal and such a wonderful moment,” she gushed about the note to Town & Country, revealing that she called Glee creator Ryan Murphy and former costar Jonathan Groff upon receiving it. “The fact that she acknowledged my performance—I could cry.”
“It was a beautiful, hand-written note that I will cherish,” she added. “She was incredibly complimentary,” Michele says. “It exists. It happened, and now I feel like so many dreams can come true.”