NYLON X LEA MICHELE

don't change channels on our september cover girl!

She appeared on Sally Jessy Raphael when she was just nine, shocked Broadway audiences with Spring Awakening, but perhaps Lea Michele's greatest feat yet has been making singing cool again. With the fourth season of Glee set to premiere September 13, Mallory Rice talked with the TV star about dodging diva rumors and dealing with on and offscreen romances.

On making people uncomfortable:
When I was in Spring Awakening, every night I had to do this nude scene. I always loved to find the one person who I knew was going to be uncomfortable--who throughout the show was cringing in their seat--and when [co-star] Jonathan Groff would undo my top, I loved it!

On being open-minded:
I grew up in a very, very different world than a lot of people did. Everyone I knew was gay--the weirdos were the straight people. Obviously we don't just deal with homosexuality on Glee, but nothing shocks me. Nothing.

On all those diva rumors:
I think I was fighting so hard to change [representations of my personality], that I was not really being myself. [But] I came to a place where I'm much happier personally in my life and because of that I really don't feel like I need to explain anything or be anything. I'm really proud of who I am.

On her relationships on and offscreen:
We were Finn and Rachel before--I feel like they come first.

On her love affair with Glee:
When the show first started I knew immediately that it was so special. But so much was happening for us so quickly that it was very much a whirlwind. And I don't know what happened, but when this third season finished, I fell madly in love with it again.

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