Fresh from a successful premiere as Fanny Brice on Broadway Funny girlLea Michele sat down with Drew Barrymore to talk about how starting a family has changed her views on life and her career.
“Now, to me, as a mother and wife living on Broadway in New York and playing this role, it just feels like the timing was right,” Michele, 36, told Barrymore.
Michele shares 2-year-old son Ever with husband Zandy Reich. As she looks back on her career, she acknowledges that becoming a mother has put everything — life, love, and past mistakes — in greater perspective.
“I just couldn’t see things clearly,” she said of her life before starting a family. “It was about my career. I’ve been so career focused my whole life that I’m thinking about a mistake. I think I had this drive that created a lot of blind spots for me in my life.”
“It was a real grounding feeling for me when I met my husband,” she continued. “Having our son and going through the challenges we had during pregnancy was something that sadly created a stronger bond within us that I wouldn’t wish on anyone — but it was.”
Michele has spoken out about her pregnancy complications in the past.
In March 2021, she opened up to Katherine Schwarzenegger during an Instagram Live series, sharing that the pregnancy brought unforeseen challenges brought on by her polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that affects the functioning of a woman’s ovaries due to the abnormal control of the Hormone levels affect the body.
These difficulties almost led her to give up trying to have a baby altogether.
“I really felt like maybe this isn’t meant for me right now,” she recalled of Schwarzenegger at the time. “Always my biggest fear of my whole life [is] that I could not be a mother. It’s what I wanted more than anything. And emotionally it just started to build and build.”
Michele later opened up to Yahoo Life in April, admitting she’s ever had a cesarean and that any mom who’s had the same experience should be “so proud of herself.”
“I think women feel a sense of failure after a cesarean, [thinking] we didn’t all do the same job,” she told Yahoo Life. “I think that every woman who has or had a cesarean section should be so proud of herself.”
What made her pregnancy even more stressful were multiple allegations of on-set harassment made by her ex joy castmates.
In June 2020, actress Samantha Ware claimed that Michele made her life “hell on earth” while Ware was working on it joywhich ran from 2009 to 2015. fellow joy Alum Heather Morris also spoke out for Ware and others, explaining that many people on set were too scared to address Michele’s allegedly inappropriate behavior at the time.
But as Michele Barrymore recounts, having those experiences alongside her husband and newborn baby was a major test.
“The fact that somehow we were able to get through it all and then how that transformed us into this new life here,” she explained. “When you get an amazing opportunity like I did, which I’m so incredibly grateful for as a performer, as a person, I just feel like what I’m doing with it now and how I’m embracing it.”
“I’m really willing to take all of that and put on a great show every night, but also have fun with my cast and then come home and celebrate with my family, which I’ve never done before.” , she continued. “I really enjoy being able to open my eyes to everything that’s going on around me because everything is good, and if it’s not fun, then why are we doing it?”
Michele publicly addressed the allegations in an Instagram statement in June 2020, writing that she “clearly acted in a way that has hurt other people” while “sorry for my behavior and for any pain I’ve caused.” “, excused.
It was announced soon after that she would replace Beanie Feldstein Funny girlMichele addressed the allegations again with the New York Times.
“Everyone here has been through a lot,” she said before her first appearance. “I just have to come in and be prepared, do a good job and be respectful that this is their space.”
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