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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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Cathy on

Anonymous, although that was a little intense, I agree with you. At first I thought it was great because she really was being a role model for young girls out there, but now that she’s mentioned it over and over and over again, I really feel as if it’s all for press and publicity, rather than trying to be a good role model.

Kim on

Youre not

Jill on

She’s not pretty or beautiful. She’s average in looks but she found a boyfriend and sings well so her life seems alright.

me on

She doesn’t sound like a diva at all. A diva is someone who acts like a b–tch to everyone around her and feels entitled to do so. This girl sounds like a survivor to me and anyone who thinks less is obviously jealous that they aren’t as strong.

Michele on

I have never seen anyone mugging for the cameras like this one! She is too full of herself, and its off putting. As a long time subscriber to H.B. I am sick of celebrities on the cover. This gal will be in the where are they now column in 18 months anyway. Truth be know, she would look better with a nose job.

Jackie on

I don’t find her “pretty.” I don’t thinks she proved the people who told her she wasn’t “pretty enough” wrong, she just proved that you don’t need to be “pretty” to get a job on a tv show that becomes a very successful tv show. She can sing, and that was what was wanted, more than a “pretty” face was wanted.

Michele on

Natalie, Lol “stays humble” I think its a little late to even hope for that!!! Natalie you might want to refresh yourself on the definition of humble.

Lea Michele Dishes on Diva Ways, Calls Cory Monteith “Old” | Apple iPhone, Entertainment, Games, Technology - vandanasaxena.com on

[...] Gleek there is, but her real-life counterpart isn't exactly known for being so sing-songy. Lea Michele: I Was Told I Wasn't 'Pretty Enough' for Fame People Magazine Beyoncé Covers Harper's Bazaar U.K., Talks Gaga and Gwyneth [...]

lika on

she should get a nose job, some humility and some talent. she constantly compares herself to barbra streisand…says that’s why she won’t get a nose job. barbra didn’t because it might have ruined her voice. babs HAS a voice to ruin…lea just screams.

Carmen Diane Carder on

I think she is very pretty. She kind of reminds me of Natalie Portman. Certainly not one thing wrong with her looks. I have never seen the show, but as far as her pictures go she is pretty, and who is that said cameron Diaz isn’t pretty has got to be nuts!!! I never thought sarah jessica parker was but she has personality to make up for it and a models body

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