Lea Michele, ‘healing’ after ‘Glee,’ calls ‘Funny Girl’ the ‘hardest f–king role in New York’

Lea Michele claims she’s learned from her past mistakes and working relationships after several of her “Glee” co-stars said Michele was rather “unpleasant” and difficult to work with.

She now considers herself a leader on and off the stage at “Funny Girl” — a job she calls “the hardest f–king role in New York.”

When the bombshell claims were first dropped in 2020, Michele apologized for her actions, saying that she “clearly acted in ways which hurt other people” in a statement at the time.

“I think these past two years have been so important for everybody to just sit back and reflect. I did a lot of personal reach-outs,” the 36-year-old said in an Interview magazine story published on Tuesday.

“But the most important thing was for everybody to just take a step back. More than anything, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to apply the things that I’ve learned over the past 10-plus years in a positive way,” she added.

Lea Michele as Fanny Brice at the 2022 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Lea Michele as Fanny Brice at the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Cara Howe/NBC via Getty Images

Lea Michele poses at the Sony Masterworks Broadway "Funny Girl" New Broadway Cast Recording CD official release day signing at The August Wilson Theater Lobby on Jan. 20.
Lea Michele poses at a release signing for the “Funny Girl” Broadway cast recording on Jan. 20.
Getty Images

“What I told myself stepping into ‘Funny Girl’ was, ‘If I can’t take my role as a leader offstage as important as my role as a leader onstage, then I shouldn’t do this show.’ Because that was always a struggle for me,” she continued.

“So to have this opportunity now at 36 years old as a wife and a mother — to step into this job that comes with so much pressure and a huge amount of responsibility — was a very, very big achievement for me.”

Michele also told Interview that she’s had conversations behind the scenes with people who were “incredibly healing and very eye-opening.”

Lea Michele on growth after allegations, 'Funny Girl' being 'the hardest f--king role in New York'
Michele takes her first curtain call as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre on Sept. 6, 2022.

“I’ve been doing this for a really long time and I’m not going to ever blame anything on the things that I’ve been through in my life,” she explained. “But you also can’t ignore those experiences or deny them. They are a part of the patchwork of my life. When I got the call that I was going to play Fanny Brice, I said, “OK, this could be really big for my career, but it’s also helpful to have this opportunity to introduce people to who I am now.’ ” 

Michele now focuses on being the best Fanny Brice and mother to her 2-year-old son, Ever, while performing seven shows a week.

Signage at Lea Michele's first performance in "Funny Girl" on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre on Sept. 6, 2022.
Signage at Lea Michele’s first performance in “Funny Girl” on Broadway at yhe August Wilson Theatre on Sept. 6, 2022.
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

When asked why Michele chose not to perform the typical Broadway schedule of eight shows a week, she declared that the part is “the hardest f–king role in New York.”

Her predecessor, 29-year-old Beanie Feldstein, logged eight performances a week.

“In my contract, they said, ‘Would you do seven and Julie [Benko] will do one day?’ It was such a great decision both for me health-wise and for the longevity of this show,” Michele said.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Broadway star admitted that she understands that every single “Funny Girl” performance may not be a “10,” but she’ll “put my perfectionism aside and just show the f–k up and do the best that I can.”