Why Glee star’s career never took off

 

As far as her personal life goes, this year has been one to remember for Lea Michele.

The 33-year-old star, known for her memorable role as Rachel Berry in Glee, married her partner of two years, fashion businessman Zandy Reich, in March.

The pair have kept their relationship largely private in mainstream media, with little known about how they met or how long they've known each other.

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The relationship mirrors Michele's slow drawback from the bright lights of Hollywood over the years, her life now a far cry from her days as one of tinsel town's most popular faces.

From gracing glossy magazine covers, to having her dating life splashed across tabloids and attracting a legion of fans everywhere she went, Michele was the most popular breakout star from Glee, right from its debut in 2009 until its final episode in 2015.

The stars of Glee: Dianna Agron, Cory Monteith, and Lea Michele. Picture: AP Photo/GQ, Terry Richardson
The stars of Glee: Dianna Agron, Cory Monteith, and Lea Michele. Picture: AP Photo/GQ, Terry Richardson

But ever since we said goodbye to the teen musical dramedy, which streams on Netflix, Michele has lived largely away from the prying eyes of paparazzi - and film sets in general.

She hasn't appeared in a movie since the 2011 all-star flick New Year's Eve, which was actually her big screen debut co-starring Ashton Kutcher, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron and Sarah Jessica Parker.

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Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele in New Year’s Eve.
Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michele in New Year’s Eve.

Michele is set to break that drought this year with the TV movie, Same Time, Next Christmas, which will air in the US on ABC in December. It is not clear if it will hit cinemas in Australia.

Michele has also just dropped her third studio album, a Christmas inspired special, Christmas in the City.

While she is clearly still working, and boasts nearly six million followers on Instagram where she shares wellness advice, there's no denying Michele is not as mainstream as she once was.

And there is a few reasons why.

HEARTBREAK OVER DEATH OF CORY MONTEITH

Michele and Cory Monteith were a dream couple, for both their fans and the media. Their characters played love interests on Glee, and the pair finally began dating in real life in 2012.

But that all came to a devastating end when Monteith died of a drug overdose in July 2013, at the age of 31.

Cory Monteith and Lea Michele at the 2012 Do Something awards. Picture: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Cory Monteith and Lea Michele at the 2012 Do Something awards. Picture: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Two months later, a then 26-year-old Michele made a tearful speech at the Teen Choice Awards, where she won Choice TV Actress: Comedy and dedicated it to Monteith.

"I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory. For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love we're going to get through this together.

"He was very special to me and also to the world. We were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile and his beautiful, beautiful heart."

Michele kept a low profile as she attempted to move on in the wake of Monteith's death.

She continued to star in Glee after his death, but, apart from popping up in one episode of Sons of Anarchy, didn't feature in anything else, making it a lot harder for her to break free from her iconic character.

HER TV CAREER DIDN'T TAKE OFF

Michele hit the ground running after Glee ended, going straight on to appear in what was touted as the next big show, American thriller Scream Queens.

Unfortunately it wasn't as successful as producers hoped, with consistently dismal ratings which saw it axed after it second season aired in 2016.

Scream Queens had an all star cast, but struggled to score ratings.
Scream Queens had an all star cast, but struggled to score ratings.

Then came ABC comedy The Mayor in 2017, which was cancelled after one season. And that was Michele's last shot at acting in TV.

Ellen DeGeneres has since enlisted Michele to host a wellness inspired segment on her uber popular talk show, but that's as far as she's dabbled in TV of late.

NEITHER DID HER SOLO MUSIC CAREER

One of the things people loved most about Michele was her powerhouse voice, which earned her three Grammy Award nominations for music she recorded on Glee and a string of hits on the Billboard charts.

This earned her a contract with Columbia Records, with her debut album Louder (2014) making it to number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US. This was released not long after the death of Monteith, with her single If You Say So dedicated to her late boyfriend.

She also released a book that year, Brunette Ambition, which made it on The New York Times Best Seller list.

But the attention had drastically simmered down between then and her next go at releasing music. Three years after Louder she released her second studio album, Places, which wasn't quite as successful, debuting at number 28 on the Billboard 200.

Christopher Weingarten of Rolling Stone wrote Michele's voice was "a little too perfect" for pop music charts. Talk about a backhanded compliment.

RUMOURS OF DIVA BEHAVIOUR

During her time on Glee, which was inarguably the most popular show on television at the time, rumours began to swirl Michele was difficult to work with.

She was regularly dogged by reports of a feud with her co-star, Naya Rivera, who played tough cheerleader Santana Lopez on the hit teen series.

"They're always icy to each other," a source told Us Weekly in 2014.

Naya and Lea reportedly didn’t get along.
Naya and Lea reportedly didn’t get along.

"Naya is jealous that Lea is the show's main star … There is a lot of sighing and eye-rolling between them."

Then TMZ reported the pair finally had an almighty clash on set, with rumours Michele stormed off the show and Riviera confronted the director.

The pair have both denied reports of a feud.

Many magazines also reported Michele didn't get along with Kate Hudson when she guest starred on the show, which they have also both denied.

TMZ claimed Michele "snapped her fingers" during filming and said, "Let's go. I have plans."

SHE SUFFERED THE ANNE HATHAWAY CURSE

Anne Hathaway famously gained an army of loyal haters in 2011, after she hosted the Oscars with James Franco.

She was dubbed a "theatre kid" by writer Richard Lawson, who said she "wildly overcompensates every time".

"She always seems like she's performing, and her favourite act is this overstated humility and graciousness. I've known theatre kids my whole life. I was a theatre kid my whole life. She is the epitome of the bad kind of theatre kid."

It's a Pigeon Hole Hathaway has grappled with ever since.

Many critics have pointed out Michele has suffered a similar tag. She's too Broadway.

For whatever reason, people don't warm to perfection.

Lea Michele. Picture: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Lea Michele. Picture: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

In 2014 Michele had an incredibly awkward moment that was caught on camera at the American Horror Story premiere.

As she was posing on the red carpet, industry veteran Jessica Lange walked past and Michele gleefully greeted her with a "Hi!", as Lange snubbed her.

Despite Lange coming off as rude in this situation, social media users came out in force, revelling in the opportunity to poke fun at Michele's humiliation.

Around this time, there were also a slew of blogs dedicated to hating on Michele, including a Tumblr thread titled: Lea Michele is a B**ch with hundreds of hateful comments.

Despite her hardships, and the fact she's never publicly said anything controversial, the public has not embraced her.

A SHIFT IN FOCUS

It seems health and wellness is the main thing Michele is working on right now.

On top of her segment on Ellen, Michele regularly uses her Instagram page to influence her millions of followers on making healthy choices.

She often posts recipes, beauty tips and life advice.

Michele has also done a Michael Buble and come out in full force for Christmas, with a Christmas album that was released in October and a Christmas movie out next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finn and Rachel. Picture: AP/Fox, Adam Rose
Finn and Rachel. Picture: AP/Fox, Adam Rose

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