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Lilli Cooper Says It’s ‘Full Circle’ to Raise Kids Alongside ‘Spring Awakening’ Costar Lea Michele

Lilli Cooper Talks Raising Kids Alongside Lea Michele- It-s So Surreal
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Lilli Cooper and Lea Michele were wide-eyed Broadway ingenues when they landed their big breaks in Spring Awakening — and now they are both mothers.

“It’s just so surreal and full circle to be celebrating our children together,” Cooper, 33, exclusively told Us Weekly at the American Theatre Wing 2023 Fall Gala on Monday, September 11.

Cooper gushed that, of course, the former Broadway costars have “gotten the kids together,” referring to her son, Bodhi, and Michele’s son, Ever, whom the Glee alum shares with husband Zandy Reich. “Lea brought her son to my son’s birthday party [recently].”

Cooper and her husband, Paul McLaughlin, welcomed their first baby in September 2021.

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“Bodhi just turned 2! He’s amazing, he’s climbing the walls [and] he’s like the most active 2-year-old I’ve ever seen,” Cooper told Us of her firstborn’s latest milestones. “Recently, he’s been running in the puddles in the rain [and] having a blast.”

Cooper has also learned how to balance taking care of Bodhi with her career. The Tony Award nominee is currently starring in Broadway’s The Cottage.

“It’s real hard. You know pulling myself together and putting makeup on and a clean outfit is definitely a rare outing for me,” she confessed on Monday. “I have an incredible support system and it’s just one day at a time, honestly.”

The Cottage, a play directed by Jason Alexander, opened at the Hayes Theater in July. Cooper stars opposite Will & Grace star Eric McCormack, former Saturday Night Live comedian Alex Moffatt and Hart of Dixie alum Laura Bell Bundy.

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“It’s a totally stacked cast and it’s actually a pretty small cast, so we’ve gotten to know each other really well and we’re having a blast,” Cooper told Us of her stage costars. “Honestly, I think we’re having too much fun sometimes! … I had to pinch myself [and] pretend I wasn’t totally fangirling around everyone.”

She continued: “To be brutally honest, I definitely broke [character] the worst I’ve ever broke the other day and I started laughing and I couldn’t keep it together because this cast is so hilarious.”

Lilli Cooper Talks Raising Kids Alongside Lea Michele- It-s So Surreal
Lilli Cooper. Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

While Cooper’s Broadway credits range from The Cottage to SpongeBob SquarePants, her big break came in 2006’s Spring Awakening. Cooper originated the role of Martha, who was one of Wendla’s (Michele) classmates. Cooper, Michele, 37, and costars Jonathan Groff, Skylar Astin and more recently reunited for HBO’s reunion concert movie.

“I feel for me the minute I hear My Junk,’ I think of my knees swaying side to side, and me looking at Phoebe [Strole] and Lilli and Remy [Zaken], and the minute we started it in the concert, I was thinking, ‘Holy f–king s–t, oh my God,’ it brought me right back,” Michele told Billboard in April 2022. “And the song that felt the most different for me personally — I struggled with singing ‘Whispering’ on Broadway every night, I could never figure out how to make the song come to life. … And I don’t know, something about being 35 — I felt much more of a sense of power and strength I wish I’d felt back then, because that’s what Wendla’s feeling at that moment.”

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