‘It wasn’t great:’ Idina Menzel explains why she initially struggled to play Lea Michele’s mum in Glee

’But I sucked it up,’ actor said

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 14 August 2023 11:37 BST
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Idina Menzel has explained why she struggled to play Lea Michele’s mum in the TV show Glee.

The star first appeared in the musical series, which was created by Ryan Murphy, in 2010.

However, Menzel initially found it difficult to get her head around playing the mother of Michele’s character, Rachel Berry, as she was 39 – just 15 years older than Michele, who was 24 at the time.

Speaking to Irish magazine Stellar, the Frozen voice star admitted: “It just wasn’t great for the ego.”

She said (via New York Post): “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.

“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.”

Menzel signed onto the show three months after giving birth to her son, Walker.

The actor recurred in the series as Shelby Corcoran, Berry’s mother who is also the director of a rival glee club. After first appearing in season one, she returned in season three and again in season four.

In December 2022, Menzel shared her experience with in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and how she realised that she “wasn’t meant” to have a second child.

Menzel, who shares her 13-year-old son, Walker, with ex-husband Taye Diggs, noted that when she got remarried to Aaron Lohr, she didn’t initially plan on having more children. However, she still thought about the kind of father that her spouse could be.

Idina Menzel

“Maybe before meeting me, [Lohr] didn’t think he wanted to have kids, and then he sees how good of a dad he can be,” she said. “So I wanted that for him. I didn’t think I wanted to have a baby but then Aaron has been the most amazing man to my son.”

She noted that as it’s been four years since she did IVF, she and Lohr “have moved beyond that” and are content with co-parenting Walker together.

“I have this amazing son and I was fortunate enough to have him,” she said. “And the pregnancy was pretty easy and I conceived easily, and there’s a lot of people that don’t even get to have that.”

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