Here’s How Idina Menzel Really Felt Playing Lea Michele’s Mom on Glee

Although Idina Menzel landed the memorable role of Lea Michele’s mom in Glee, the actress recently mentioned that another family-related role may have suited her just a little better.

By Kisha Forde Sep 28, 2021 2:04 PMTags
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Idina Menzel was more than happy to grace the Glee stage over 11 years ago—despite one detail.
The Broadway star—who first caught the eye of Gleeks everywhere when she landed the reoccurring role of Lea Michele's biological mom in the series—touched on the topic during a recent questionnaire with InStyle.
"The scene that was the most memorable [on Glee] was probably singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' with Lea Michele," Idina recalled. However, the Frozen actress, 50, then cracked a little joke, hinting about her casting as Lea's mother. "She was 26, and I probably should've been her older sister," she continued, adding, "But I don't have a chip on my shoulder about that."
At the time of Idina's first on-screen appearance in 2010, the actress would've been around 39, and well—the math for an age gap between sisters for her and co-star Lea, may add up just a little more in retrospect.

Stars on Stage: Broadway & Beyond

When it came to stepping into the shoes as rival coach and mom, Shelby Corcoran, for the show, Idina also reflected on the possibilities of her guest-starring role during a Tribeca Film Festival event in 2016, calling it "bittersweet."

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"The gig came three months after I popped a baby out," she said, referring to her son with ex Taye Diggs. "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 [on the show] so it was like, ‘Really, I'm her mom?' So, it wasn't good for my ego, I'll be completely honest."

However, the actress also emphasized that her overall experience with the cast and crew was full of glee, to say the least. "I was happy to be there and work with those people," she shared at the time. "But I had to get over myself a little bit."