Sara   /   April 12, 2011

 Source: Marie Claire |  Written By: Jessica Henderson |  Published On: 12 April 2011 |  Type: Article, Interview |  Filed Under: Glee

With a vise grip on iTunes, a Midas touch in the ratings, and a world-conquering tour this summer, the hardworking, chart-topping, fearless girls of Glee pause to catch their breath. As Quinn, Dianna Agron spends most of her screen time as a cool and calculating cheerleader, but at her first audition, producers didn’t think she was sexy enough. What are the other differences between the actress and her character? And what of those rumors she’s in a relationship with Lea?

Amber Riley, gifted with an incredible voice and an unshakably positive body-image, was a virtual unknown before belting out her first notes on the Glee set. Amber unveils the big plans she has for herself and her character, Mercedes — and she addresses those pesky tabloid reports about elitism among the cast.

No stranger to the spotlight, Lea Michele spent more than a decade on Broadway before joining the cast of Glee. She tells Marie Claire how playing Rachel Berry has changed her life and what it’s really like having to pretend to pine for Cory Monteith in front of the cameras.

Age: 24
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Character Name: Quinn Fabray

Was high school heaven or hell?

I loved and hated it. I was in the dork classes, like honors English. I also did drama and was a yearbook photographer. But there were definitely embarrassing moments: My first week, my two best friends and I convinced our parents to let us go to a party for an hour. So people are drinking, and the three of us are standing in this terrified triangle. All of a sudden, this senior gets into an argument with a guy next to us, and as I’m turning to see what’s going on, she goes to punch him and I get clocked in the nose instead. Blood is everywhere. Meanwhile, somebody caught it all on video, and the football team was like, “We’ve been watching it in the locker room. You should’ve seen your face!” I was Bloody-Nose Girl for a while. I have a deviated septum from that night — it’s why my voice is so nasally.

My pre-Glee gig was …

In high school, I taught dance classes for 3-year-olds up to 16-year-olds, so between that and some bat mitzvah money, I saved up a pretty good nest egg to move to L.A.

Walking into my Glee audition …

I’d gotten a callback that said, “Please come back, wear something sexy” — not my forte — “and have straight hair.” I had an hour to get there from another audition, and I was wearing the same vintage dress — my go-to audition outfit that week — but I bought a straightener that I used in a Starbucks bathroom. For the next callback, I got to the studio early to warm up with vocal exercises in the parking lot. I went into the office, but no one was around. Later, I found out they saw that I checked in an hour before at the gate, so they’re calling my agent: “Is she lost?” and my agent is calling me, but my phone was locked in the car. Finally, someone finds me, has me sign a form, and says, “You start in two days.” I thought I was being punk’d.

Who have you learned the most from?

Lea taught me how to stand up for myself more, like realizing that I can’t be in 10 places at the same time. She’s also very protective. Once, we were flying from Sydney to Melbourne when a crazy guy grabbed my face and kissed me. Lea yelled and pushed him off of me. A mean stewardess who hadn’t seen it turned around and said, “You two be quiet!” And Lea yelled, “No, that man just kissed my friend!”

How many tattoos are you sporting?

One. It says “Mary had a little lamb”; my mom’s name is Mary. I don’t know if I’d get more, even though around Jenna and Lea, I’m like, “Yeah, I want another!”

Tabloid terror: What’s been the most absurd rumor you’ve heard?

Everybody is convinced that Lea and I are in a relationship. There are supposedly forums with photos of us hugging at work or events. It’s funny, but flattering — Lea is beautiful. Since when can’t you hug your friends?

You’ve been campaigning heavily for Christopher Walken to be a guest star — why him?

People always expect us to say Justin Timberlake. But I always go back to Walken’s Fatboy Slim video. A rivalry between him and Jane Lynch would be fabulous.

Where do you want to be in five years?

I sold my first screenplay six months before Glee, but they had the option for a year and now it’s back with me. So I’d like to get that made. I wrote it during the writers strike when there weren’t any auditions — I now know every coffee shop in L.A.

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