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After splitting time between ‘Glee’ and recording her first album, Michele says of her follow-up, “This record deserves all of my time and care.”
How do you come up with a title for for your album if your record label says that it’s due tomorrow, and absolutely nothing is coming to mind? If you’re Lea Michele, you hold a wine-fueled seance at home, of course.
Well, not a seance, exactly — the 30-year-old pop singer and former Glee star was not trying to channel the deceased, but the spirit of Stevie Nicks. “I poured myself the biggest glass of red wine, I put Fleetwood Mac on my vinyl, I lit candles, and I legit started praying and looking for a sign,” Michele tells Billboard. “I have this incredible book that Stevie Nicks gave me in 2013 when my boyfriend [Glee co-star Cory Monteith] died. She gave me this art book of hers that she put notes in over the years and song lyrics, and then she rewrote personal notes for me that say things like, ‘Keep singing, and have faith.’
“I was looking through this book and praying that there was an answer in it, somewhere. And there was something in there that said, ‘The only thing that matters is you, and who you are.’ That’s what I’ve been trying to do with this whole record — just connect to me and where I’m from.”
The message led Michele to frantically call her best friend, fellow Broadway star Jonathan Groff. “I was like, ‘What’s something from our time in New York — a word, or a phrase, or something that is from theater, or from us?’ And he said, ‘What about “Places?”’ When you’re on Broadway, you get your 30-minute call, then your 15-minute call. You hear ‘Places everyone!’ And that means it’s showtime.”
Read full interview here
For Lea Michele, diet and fitness is about much more than just looking good on a red carpet.
“It’s so important for me to stress that being healthy is not about being a gym rat. It’s not about being 90 lbs.,” she tells PEOPLE in the latest Wellness issue. “This is really how I live every single day.”
Her healthy habits include keeping her refrigerator and pantry completely vegan, starting her day with a green smoothie and finding plant-based restaurants near her home in Los Angeles. (Plant Food + Wine and Real Food Daily are a few favorites.)
When it comes to exercise, hot yoga, hiking and SoulCycle spin classes are her go-to workouts. “You have to look good, but you also have to feel good,” she says. “So I find workouts that take of both those things.”
That mind-body connection has helped the Scream Queens star through some of the most difficult points in her life – like the death of long-term boyfriend and Glee costar Cory Monteith.
“You always have to have faith, because life is going to throw things at you. You just have trust that there is a plan,” says Michele, who is currently working on her second album. “I really pride myself on the people that I surround myself with and how I take care of myself, so my ground is stable beneath me.”
Finding what worked for her body didn’t happen overnight, though. As an L.A. transplant filming her first few seasons of Glee, “you can see that my weight fluctuates a lot because I was really figuring out how to make things work here,” she says. The native New Yorker (and Broadway star since she was 8-years-old) was thrown when she wasn’t getting her steps in on a regular basis.
“I had more time in my trailer, more time in my car and less time walking around,” she says. “That’s when I realized how important it was for me, personally, to include activities and movement in my daily life.”
Now, after recently celebrating her 30th birthday, Michele says she’s in “the best place I’ve ever been” thanks to rigorous workouts, weekly trips to the local Korean spa – and the occasional cheat day with pasta or pizza.
“I’ve never loved my body more than I do right now,” she says. “And I’m so grateful that I feel that way.”
For Lea Michele, fittings aren’t just about clothing — they’re about gossip. That’s because she’s getting styled by one of her best friends, Brad Goreski.
“We’re similar personalities,” Goreski, 39, told Us Weekly as we sat in on one of their sessions in L.A., on August 13. “We get together and go into our TV shows, music.” To which Michele, 30, added, “We’re not talking about the Olympics or the election. We’re talking about who’s hot, who’s losing weight, who’s dating who.”
When the duo’s not dishing on the latest juicy news, they’re working hard on revamping Michele’s sultry style. “We’ve taken her sexy vibe — bodycon dresses really work on her — and started showing other sides of her personality,” the Fashion Police cohost explains.
The Scream Queens star doesn’t feel like Goreski’s new ideas are forced upon her, though. “He’s never said, ‘You have to wear this.’ It doesn’t matter if it just came off the runway, it matters how it looks and feels,” she tells Us. “I’m not a model. I’m not the type of person you can put anything on and they’ll look good. I’m a 5-foot-3 Jewish-Italian girl from New York. I truly believe that looking good comes from within. Our process is such a fun experience that I feel like it shows.”
Goreski weighs in on her everyday wardrobe too. “Lea was going to get her hair done the other day and asked me to pick her out something,” the stylist, who also works with Kaley Cuoco and Sarah Hyland, shares. “I was like ‘Oh, these white jeans are cute, and this black bodysuit, and then we’ll do a jean jacket and a cute heel. And you can wear this choker I brought!'”
The Glee alum then admitted, “I’d never touched those white jeans, and now I wear them every single day.”
Lea Michele’s heartbreaking new single, “If You Say So,” which she wrote after Cory Monteith’s tragic death, is everything you imagined it would be: beautiful, sad and incredibly moving.
Lea told Seventeen exclusively, “I have not talked about ‘If You Say So’ yet. It’s about my last conversation that I had with him. I spoke to a woman who lost her son, and she mentioned how grateful she was that the last words she said to her son before he died were, ‘I love you.’ Mine were that as well. [The song] is just about that. There are lots of different emotions—if you could see this person again, what are the things you would want to say to them? It’s a personal story.”