Already have an account?
Get back to the

Idina Menzel Explains Why Appearing on ‘Glee’ as Lea Michele’s Mom ‘Wasn’t Great’ for Her Ego

Why Playing Lea Michele Mom on Glee Wasn’t Great for Idina Menzel
Lea Michele and Idina Menzel Shutterstock (2)

Idina Menzel is looking back at her time as Shelby Corcoran on Glee with some not-so-fond memories, admitting playing Lea Michele’s mom“wasn’t great” for her ego.

“I had my son Walker and then three months later, I got the call,” Menzel, 52, recalled during the Friday, August 11, episode of Stellar Magazine‘s “Something to Talk About” podcast, referring to her son, now 13, whom she shares with ex Taye Diggs.

At the time, Menzel, who was 38 years old and still breast-feeding, struggled when she “couldn’t fit into any of the costumes” at the time.

“You’re worried you’re not going to work again, and then people hire you to be someone’s mother when you probably should be their older sister,” she shared, noting that “it just wasn’t great for the ego.”

Glee Where Are They Now

Related: 'Glee' Cast: Where Are They Now?

However, Menzel “sucked it up and sucked myself into my clothes,” because she was “excited” to work with Glee cocreator Ryan Murphy on the show’s set.

Menzel made her debut during the show’s first season as the director of Vocal Adrenaline — William McKinley High’s main Glee Club rival. Later on in the season, it was revealed that Shelby was actually Rachel Berry’s (Michele) biological mother.

Why Playing Lea Michele Mom on Glee Wasn’t Great for Idina Menzel 2
Idina Menzel on ‘Glee’. Fox-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

Previously, Menzel shared that the “hardest” Glee scene she ever filmed occurred during her “first day on set.”

“I just had my little son, Walker. I was three months after having a baby and I barely fit into any of my costumes,” she said during InStyles Badass Questionnaire in September 2021.

Why Playing Lea Michele Mom on Glee Wasn’t Great for Idina Menzel 3
Lea Michele on ‘Glee’. Carin Baer/Fox-Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

“The scene that was the most memorable was probably singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ with Lea Michelle,” Menzel added at the time. “She was 26, and I probably should’ve been her older sister. But I don’t have a chip on my shoulder about that.”

Glee' Cast's Dating Histories Through the Years Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison and More

Related: Singing Showmances! 'Glee' Cast's Dating Histories Through the Years

Despite any qualms with the role, Menzel played Shelby on Glee through the show’s fourth season. In fact, her last scene on the show was with Michele. The sweet mother-daughter moment showed Shelby as she helped Rachel prepare for an audition to play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway — a role which Michele currently holds in real life.

Glee aired on FOX from May 2009 until March 2015.

In this article

Got a Tip form close button
Got a tip for US?
We're All Ears for Celebrity Buzz!