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Idina Menzel Reveals What Bruised Her 'Ego' Most While Playing Lea Michele's Mom On Glee!

Idina Menzel Reveals What Bruised Her 'Ego' Most While Playing Lea Michele's Mom On Glee!

Idina Menzel wasn’t so thrilled about one aspect of her role on Glee! And it’s not what you might think!

In 2010, the Frozen star was cast as Shelby Corcoran, Lea Michele‘s biological momma and the coach of the rival show choir Vocal Adrenaline on the hit musical comedy. Despite the popularity of the show, Idina is now opening up about how it was a major blow to her “ego”!

In a new interview on Stellar Magazine’s podcast Something To Talk About on Friday, the singer revealed she was initially thrown off by being cast as Rachel Berry’s mother because she was only 38 while Lea was in her 20s. But considering she’d just become a brand new parent herself, she was just feeling lucky to be working again! We know, we know, how could the Idina Menzel think she’d never work again?! But those were the times!

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Opening up about the role, the Disenchanted lead dished:

“I had my son Walker [with ex Taye Diggs] and then three months later, I got the call. And so I said, ‘yes.’”

While she had no hesitations about joining the cast, she was upset about playing a parent so quickly after becoming one, she mused:

“You’re worried you’re not going to work again, and then people hire you to be someone’s mother when you probably should be their older sister. It just wasn’t great for the ego, but I sucked it up and sucked myself into my clothes and was excited to work with Ryan Murphy and be a part of that hit show.”


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This isn’t the first time the actress has thrown some shade at her casting. During an appearance at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, she called the role “bittersweet,” elaborating:

“The gig came three months after I popped a baby out. So, I felt fat as all hell, and I was Lea Michele’s mom — like, could I just be her older sister? She wasn’t as young as she was playing so it was like, ‘Really, I’m her mom?'”

Hah! This clearly bugged her!! Ultimately, she had to put her feelings aside because she could tell what a special project Glee was:

“I was happy to be there and work with those people. But I had to get over myself a little bit.”


While the Broadway star felt way too young to be playing a mother, most fans felt the iconic casting worked perfectly for the storyline, they reflected on X (Twitter) over the weekend:

“Idina was 39 in 2010 Rachel’s character was 16, Shelby (Idina) was meant to have had Rachel in her early 20s so yeah that makes sense.”

“Did she not understand the script? The age difference is perfect for the role. I’m confused.”

“she was 40 at the time and lea’s character was 16. they looked alike, sounded alike, and it was great casting. not once did i think ‘they should be sisters.’ i thought mother/daughter worked perfectly”

Welp, looks like most people aren’t siding with Idina! Reactions, Perzcious readers? Sound OFF (below)!

[Image via MEGA/WENN & Disney+]

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Aug 14, 2023 12:46pm PDT