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

Natalie on

Lea is a very talented girl–here’s to hoping that she stays humble and true to herself.

Mrs JP on

EWWW Lea Michele sucks and needs to go away, like GLEE!

She’s a bit of a DIVA and you can tell. And GLEE needs to be canceled that show is HORRIBLE and LAME!

Plae on

She is basically Rachel Berry with a bigger ego.

LA on

Mrs..JP? Why do you care so much? I will bet apples to Oranges you were the Girl in High school they named two face!!!You sound like a Lil baby Chihuahua on steroids…Do you family and friends a favor get a life.

Angel on

She IS pretty! And as far as the show, I don’t watch it myself, as it doesn’t interest me. If you don’t like a show, don’t watch it, and stop complaining!

Christine on

So what is the big deal if she has ambition? As long as she is hurting noone, why can’t she have high goals? So many of us get old regretting what we should have done but didn’t. And I’m glad she has that kind of confidence. We could all use some. At least she won’t die saying she didn’t try. Good for her!

trsquare on

I’m a 50-year-old Gleek, and just absolutely adore all of those kids on the show. Lea appears to be her character — a bit egotistical (because she knows she’s good), but also a bit shy because she’s seeking the approval of others. Dynamite singer who’ll be gracing us with that voice for years to come.

Donna on

Wow, we certainly do love ourselves to a distraction, don’t we?

GleekyGal01 on

Seriously MrsJP you need to get a life stop hating on Lea just because she has natural talent and is more prettier then you so stop hating!

Glenn on

Have those “managers” ever actually seen Lady Gaga?

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