Lea Michele for Allure Magazine

Posted on November 16, 2011

Lea muses on her image and sports Connie Francis’ old makeup for Allure.

Lea Michele for Allure Magazine Lea Michele for Allure, photographed by Norma Jean Roy

On rumours she’s a diva: “That’s a huge thing I learned . . . Not everybody knows you and has the same sense of humour. At the same time, if I couldn’t be myself, I’d lose my mind. I came from the theatre world, where the word ‘diva’ was awesome. But it’s different in Los Angeles. And this all happened to me so quickly. But I came to LA, and the first audition I went on was for Glee. And I was on the show two months later and had a very different life.”

On her controversial GQ photo shoot shot by Terry Richardson: “People were really offended by this, being that we play high school students. But we’re not high school students! Cory is almost 30, and Dianna and I are 25. But there was such controversy. I do try to keep in mind that there are a lot of young viewers watching our show. But it’s a delicate balance, continuing to be who you are but also remembering you’re in a certain position. But would I do the shoot again? Absolutely.”

On Gwyneth Paltrow: “I don’t know what people are smoking, because this woman is one of the most talented, beautiful, smart-but-laid-back, cool people I’ve worked with. That’s what I hate about this business. Before I met her, I was intimidated because of her image. But she’s the greatest.”

Lea Michele for Allure Magazine

Lea Michele for Allure Magazine

Lea Michele for Allure Magazine

Lea Michele for Allure Magazine

 

That last shot of her is kind of cute, but the rest of them leave us pretty flat. We don’t know why she’s packaged so forcefully as the sultry sex symbol. We’ve never seen a relatively new star fight so strenuously so early against the very image that made her a star. You’re the pretty, perky, talented girl, Lea. Somewhere between Barbra and Mary Tyler Moore. You’re not J Lo.

 

[Photo Credit: Norman Jean Roy for allure.com - Video Credit: allure.com]

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like her much, but I was trying really hard to like her until she fawned over La Paltrow.

    • http://heartprintandstyle.blogspot.com Vivi N

      What is this hate about Gwyneth? I honestly don’t see what you guys see.  Lea? Yes. The girl is an irritant. But Ms. Paltrow? I really like her and don’t see this ‘bitch’ people think she is. Ah well.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    She really doesn’t understand how she comes across in interviews, does she? Or maybe she does and she doesn’t care. I can get behind that.

    At any rate, these pictures are boring. SEXY FIERCE LEA is not something that will ever work, no matter how much she (or her people, or Allure) would like it to.

    • Anonymous

      She really doesn’t. Maybe that’s why she loves Gwyneth so much. Two women without an ounce of self-awareness probably get along famously.

      • Anonymous

        I love you, LuLu.

  • Anonymous

    “I came from the theatre world, where the word ‘diva’ was awesome.”

    Really? ‘Cuz in the theatre world I inhabit, “diva” is code for “bitch.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

      I suppose she means like in opera, but it is still loaded with connotations of demanding behavior even so. 

    • Anonymous

      This.

  • Anonymous

    Boy howdy, I really hate her hair in these shots. Love they eye makeup though. Wish I could rock the heavy cat eye.

  • Anonymous

    She kinda looks like Eva Mendes in the third-to-last shot.

    • bookish

      I thought she was Michelle Rodriguez from the smaller photo on the homepage. I think it’s because I’m not used to seeing Lea with her hair and makeup like that.

  • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

    I think she’s *so* much prettier when she cracks even the smallest smile, but yeah, she’s trying way too hard to be “fierce.”

  • http://fafafab.tumblr.com/ fafafab

    yeah I don’t think the sex bombshell image suits her, but I love her so no biggie

  • http://profiles.google.com/laurenjeanstm Lauren St Martin

    See I like all the other shots except the last one. Mainly cause her hair looks like something I’ve pulled out of a drain.

  • Anonymous

    “But we’re not high school students! Cory is almost 30, and Dianna and I are 25.” Yes, darling. But you played high school students IN THE SHOOT.

    • Anonymous

      So true! (and hi, from LJ!)

    • Anonymous

      at least for me, it wasnt the ‘sexualized high school students’ part that pissed me off, but the jaw-dropping difference between how the guys and the girls were presented.

  • MilaXX

    Yup, I like the last shot the best and WORD to everything you said about he image. She’d be loads more likable if she wasn’t such a try hard.

  • Anonymous

    i LOVE the cover picture of her!  her makeup is as flawless as it can be, but i agree with you about her hyper-sexualized image.  i honestly think it stems from her, though, b/c she seems to always be the driving force behind the sexuality, whether it be her red carpet choices, solo shoots, or group shots with other cast members.  it’s fine, and she can pull it off to a certain degree (she IS gorgeous, after all), but it’s just so … boring.  ninety-nine percent of ingenues try to go this route, so it’s all just a lot of white noise.

  • Anonymous

    I cant help but think the last photo is her as “Baby” in Dirty Dancing. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      Jennifer Gray’s make-up NEVER looked like that, though the hair is spot-on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ailsa-Martin/644946901 Ailsa Martin

    The cover shot is really cute but that hair is AWFUL. And the problem with that photoshoot was not that she PLAYS a high schooler – it was that they were DRESSED UP AS high schoolers. And it looked like porn.

  • Anonymous

    Sophia Loren she is not.
    That said I like the last photo.

  • Anonymous

    And all that this interview and these pictures served to do was to make me dislike her a little bit. I never really cared before but… can she possibly be that clueless about how she comes off?

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Wondered the same. Maybe she is aware and she doesn’t care? I agree that it’s off-putting.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really think she’s trying to be JLo. It seems like in this she is going for almost a Kim Novak or Lauren Baccall thing. Regardless, it seems silly as there is in fact a place in this industry for like you said, exactly the type of girl that made her famous to begin with. 

    • Anonymous

      Oh. No, no, no. Not even in the same zip code as Lauren Bacall.

  • Anonymous

    She wishes she had the sex appeal of Sofia Loren.

  • Anonymous

    Horrendous hair. Plus  “I came from the theatre world” is a statement that makes you a diva.

    • Anonymous

      Yes; very Eve Harrington.

  • Anonymous

    I got the impression they were trying to make her more Gi Lo (Gina Lollabridgida, hope I spelled that right) than JLo.

    • Anonymous

      I think you’re right.

      –GothamTomato

    • Anonymous

      I think you could be right because I remember Connie Frances and Lea is not anywhere in the same timezone as Ms. Francis.

      cheers,

  • Anonymous

    She’s so hot on being herself, but she’s channeling Sophia Loren. Anyway, to set the record straight, the Richardson shoot was heinous not because they play high school students but because it was demeaning to women. Have/show some respect.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRedZavodnik Ginger

    Am I the only one that thinks she looks like Amy Winehouse in some of these pictures?  Maybe I’M the one that needs to put the crack pipe down.

    • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

      You’re not the only one. First thing I thought of too. Prettier and of course cleaner. But still, AW all the way.

  • Anonymous

    Her singing voice and the way she holds her mouth when she sings, so Brittany-in-Baby-Hit-Me-One-More-Time, I just can’t stand to look at her. It’s not rational, but there it is.

    • Anonymous

      Oops, Hit Me Baby One More Time. :) 

    • Anonymous

      Her lip synching in Glee last year worked on my LAST NERVE! I think she’s reined it in a bit this season. I seriously couldn’t watch her sing b/c it bugged me so much. So, I’m totally with you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jay-McBee/100003159374064 Jay McBee

      people are so clueless she was doing Brittany in that video  ergo the exaggerated lip synching.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Her exaggerated lip syncing, facial expressions, and general mugging are a presence in nearly every Glee song. I don’t mind it, but I get why some hate it. I believe people are saying it is similar to Britney’s mannerisms in “Baby…”

  • Anonymous

    “somewhere between Barbra and Mary Tyler Moore”. That’s so perfect, TLo. I’m always amazed at your ability to do that.

    Anyway, I like the photos. I like that I can’t see her inner thighs, so that’s a plus.

  • http://victoriapavlova.com Victoria Pavlova

    Speeking of the looks only, I think she’s got this Sophia Loren thing going here, at least it feels like that’s what they were going for, which I like.

  • Anonymous

    If there is a more self-involved, irritating celebrity alive today I cannot think who it might be.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QCJEZMOV4VYMXC5WJALLZNYEB4 Mari Rose

      Gwyneth?

  • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

    The thing that boggles me is that she could do sexy so well if she’d just embrace what works for her — don’t go so cliche about it! 

  • Rebecca Johnson

    WHAT in the name of chili cheese fries is blocking half the frame in the first photo? It looks a side-view diagram of the female anatomy. It’s all I can see!!!

    • http://profiles.google.com/pariahsdream L. Mynatt

      It’s her back. She’s looking into a mirror and the camera is focused on the reflection- you can tell because the blackness on the fleshy pink portion is her bra strap.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve tried and tried and I still can’t see what you see. Strange shot, indeed!

        • Anonymous

          ok, i can kind of see it.  but why are we seeing her front and her back at the same time.  in the other shots we’re seeing her and her reflection, i think.  it’s all very confusing in a totally pointless way.  odd for the sake of oddness.

  • oohsparkley!

    I like Lea.  Don’t like these pictures.

  • Sara__B

    Leah IS cute and perky. She may be cute and perky all her life. In the cover photo she’s still cute and perky, but sexy, too. The other photos are so forced and phony. Yes, somewhere between Barbara and Mary Tyler Moore is where Leah can shine with a genuine light of her own. She won’t be able to pull off Sophia Loren or Liz Taylor, at least not for a long long time.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. There are many variations on sexiness. It isn’t all about pouting with big hair and cleavage. She could easily be a spunky sexy girl rather than a sultry sexy girl if only she’d embrace the type of looks she was blessed with. 

  • http://twitter.com/karenrubyleo Karen

    I don’t see what you mean at all, i think she looks stunning, she is a very sexy girl so why shouldn’t she run with it? and I love her honesty in interviews.

    • Anonymous

      Well, Karen, this is not a contentious site, and thank God for that, so I won’t challenge you besides asking what is honest about her interviews? She sounds like she’s been coached. And with that, Peace Out.

  • Anonymous

    I see these and read the stupidity (YEA, Lea, we know you’re not a high school girl but you dressed like one in that vile GQ spread — with “spread” being the operative term, and that’s why people are disgusted) and I’m so very glad I quit “Glee” last season. 

  • Mariah J

    Ugh at the pictures and the interview

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you, TLo, I really like the last picture–Connie Francis eyes and all. The others–somewhere between ho hum and oh ick.

    • Anonymous

      Me too. In fact she looks cute, perky AN D sexy in the last photo without appearing to try so hard. The bra, hand on mouth, hair stuff all seems so calculated to be sexy.

  • Anonymous

    She would do the Richardson shoot again?  EPIC FAIL.

  • Anonymous

    See I think this is the first thing I’ve seen of her where the sexiness doesn’t look all that forced. Love the hair and makeup. Not a fan of her or Glee, but this is ok. Not a Gwyneth-hater either, so I found what she said about her interesting.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never met Gwyneth Paltrow, so I imagine that someone who has worked with her knows way more about her than I do.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it’s fair to bottle her into an image we think she fits based on her appearance when it doesn’t seem to be who she is to be honest. Why dislike her for “trying too hard to be Streisand” and then dislike her for not embracing being packaged exactly like Streisand? She is who she is, for better or worse, not who you want her to be. And I’m glad she’s not apologizing for that photo shoot. A lot of the rhetoric I saw used to trash the shoot was itself sexist. That said, she looks beautiful (amazing eyes!) and I love that they let her play with the natural texture of her hair. The old Gina/Sophia styling really works for her.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QDTYKBJF23YJKXYRP2LWWOMJFQ TN

    She continues to look like a man to me with her square jaw and harsh features.  I don’t think she is a soft pretty, and I think all those pictures above make her look draggish.  

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get the first photo at all. Why is there a blurry…thing taking over the photo?

  • Anonymous

    I  like the cover shot, but the rest is average or below. I agree that she is working too hard to be a sex symbol.

    If I’m correct, part of the reason that Richardson photo shoot bothered people was that they were playing up the underage thing, right? They weren’t looking and acting like adults, but like minors viewed through a really pervy lens.

  • Nora Mulllin

    Why does she look like a drag queen in 3 of the 4 shots?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550881905 Hildegerd Haugen

    For some reason I just love her hair. 

  • Erin Boland

    Preach, TLo

  • Anonymous

    Trying too damned hard. I can’t lay ALL of the blame at her feet, though at other times I do, because she didn’t photograph or style this shoot. But does she always have to come off as so pretentious? Girl is clueless. And honey, you’re not fabulous enough to be the kind of diva you think you are. In this instance diva = bitch.  

  • Anonymous

    Okay, that first shot after the cover, that fuzzy thing? I’m torn between weird nippleless boobs or weird alien genitals. 

    • Anonymous

      really. WTF is going on there?  it looks like a giant butt with a T incised in it with a wood burning tool.  after that i was seeing naked butts everywhere, and it took me a while to figure out that she’s supposed to be looking in a mirror.  i guess…

      that last shot is too cute, though.  it is more early sixties than it is eighties, to me.

  • Anonymous

    Since I don’t watch Glee, I have no preconceived ideas about her. She’s gorgeous and I’m sure it’s fun for her to play her alter-ego in pictures. She’s probably pulling out all the stops not to be typecast, and this is better than a sex tape or Playboy spread. Hope she never gets her nose done.

  • margaret meyers

    She has to be so careful about the angle she gives the photographer.

  • Anonymous

    nice eyebrows.

    soundbites are puke-worthy. she didn’t even answer the first question. “Not everybody knows you and has the same sense of humour…” = I’m just a bitch sometimes, and if people don’t think it’s appropriate, screw them because, like, they just don’t know the real me!

  • http://stitchingincircles.etsy.com Tina

    I love her hair in the last shot — very 80s, but softer and cute, very girl-next-door, which is a nice contrast with the earlier confusedly partially out-of-focus shots (yes, I get that her body is both present as the out-of-focus non-object and as the object of the gaze of the photographer, who seems to be intimately right over the shoulder of Lea, but still, it’s weird and makes me crane my head into weird contortions trying to figure out what way she’s facing).

    I don’t see why she shouldn’t play against “type”  — or maybe this is closer to her self-perception, even if the one role most of us have seen her in is not this way. That’s why she’s an actress, playing different characters in photoshoots. If it is a bummer that her photoshoots have presented her in one way, I see that as an interesting counter to the version of her we all get beamed into our living rooms weekly, and a good reminder that in this age of “reality” tv, people’s identities are constructions that can be altered depending on context and audience.

    -from a brown- and curly-haired girl who sometimes wears serious sex-kitten clothes, sometimes Lesbieber hoodies, sometimes goes full 80s hair and has martinis and sometimes wants only to curl up with tea and wear sweatpants. 

  • http://twitter.com/yankeefoxtrot Alex McGeagh

    She totally reminds me of Jennifer Grey in these photos…

  • Anonymous

    I jus don’t get it with her. Her singing voice is irritatingly nasal, and not in a good Streisand-way, if you know what I mean. And she’s not pretty enough to compensate. For me, she’s meh.

  • Anonymous

    she looks best in the top & bottom picture [same one] but she looks like someone else who i cant properly place.
    or like a cross between dawn wells & anne frank, or something. very odd.

    • Anonymous

      i know what you mean… natalie wood in West Side Story?

      • Anonymous

        That’s it!

    • Anonymous

      i was getting a little annette funicello.

  • http://profiles.google.com/embersonfire ember beasley

    flawless. she is flawless.

    I have loved Lea Michele since before glee though. I think she looks fabulous in these pictures, and i really dont think she comes off as a diva or anything like that. I dont know, i just really love her

  • Joyce VG

    Bored of her.

  • Anonymous

    is this supposed to be a “valley of the dolls” spread or something?

  • Anonymous

    I think the Gwyneth Paltrow answer says it all, really.

  • Anonymous

    She reminds me of Amy Winehouse with the cat eye make up.

  • Anonymous

    I just cannot with her and her delusions of grandeur… go back to the “theatre world”, seriously.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah they fall flat, but it’s the lighting, not her.  The lighting looks like an episode of The Brady Bunch, not sultry.

  • http://twitter.com/RzYoung RzYoung

    I really like this styling, it reminds me of a character from West Side Story or something, I think it suits her, the last pic especially

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, yeah, Lea, we get it. Growing up you never felt sexy and now you do. We know. And we don’t care.

    • Anonymous

      So true.  Loathe her.  Phony as the proverbial three-dollar bill.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    The thing about Lea is, she is sexy when she’s NOT trying to be.  She looks like a 12 year old trying to be grown up in some of those shots, but the cover so just so lovely.  Stop trying Lea. Just stop.

  • Anonymous

    TLo, you must institute a “this is not your style” declaration -or any editorial equivalent to “this is not your dress”). 

    Aside from that, I think she doesn’t have her stuff very clear (she is 25 after all) so she comes across contradictory and ultimately she’s not really saying anything. I think she should do a vow of silence for a while. 
    I am so picturing the “I was young and confused” interview in 10 years, in 20 years and in 30 years. 

  • Anonymous

    I think she looks great. I love her hair natural like that. Maybe it the Jennifer Gray from Dirty Dancing vibe but I love it.

  • http://peterwendyblog.blogspot.com D. and A.

    Agree that the sex symbol thing just doesn’t work for her, but I think this is actually not too bad, since she’s not ever hamming it up as ridiculously as she does on the red carpet.

    And I’m sorry but…Gwyenth Paltrow.

  • Mary McClelland

    Yeah – Sofia Loren she is not. Stop trying. SHe isn’t innately sexy and it looks forced and pathetic. I guess for some odd reason I inexplicably hate her and I find her so unattractive. Now I feel mean. 

  • Anonymous

    i love the last photo. connie francis indeed & thats a good thing

  • Anonymous

    Honey, another picture of you in your bra isn’t going to make me buy into the fact that you are the next great sex symbol.  Own who YOU are, not who you want to be.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, I am now firmly in the “she’s an idiot” camp. First, she doesn’t get that she wasn’t posing as a late twenty-something early 30-something, but as a high-school student, thereby playing on oddball fetishes and overly-sexualizing youth (in ways that can be problematic). So here extreme lack of self-consciousness about that “delicate balance” is very problematic for me.
    But the nail in the coffin? She’s a Gwynnie fan! Of course, if she’s as un-self-aware as she appears to be in this article, then Gwynnie is probably her perfect role model.

  • R. L.

    I used to like her.  Now I am not so sure because she confuses me.  I want to see her exude Broadway star not sexpot wanna-be.

  • Anonymous

    Okay – straight guy here. She is incredibly sexy to me. I know she gets slammed for doing the vampy sexy stuff, but it works for me. That said, when I see her dressed up as Rachel on Glee it only makes it all hotter.  

  • http://twitter.com/MandySCG MandyJane

    I love the picture of her pulling her hair over half her face.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I don’t know why they keep trying to sex her up, because the girl has the sexuality of a piece of linoleum.  Just no “it”.  And trying to make her pout just falls flat. 

  • Sara S Rummell

    She looks like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing in that last shot…the hair, the dress

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AJ237ND3GAHDQJZ4TLCO4WLRA Emily

    I like the photos – they make her seem more grown up than she usually appears.  The last one is totally Baby in Dirty Dancing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHWCJIMARF4OOW6PQZQS3RFOOA JillK

    She seems to be invoking Sophia Loren.

  • Anonymous

    I think these pictures could be fine, but for the hair. THE HAIR. Even setting aside that the very idea was ill-conceived, did no one notice they had given her triangle head? I just. I can’t.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s obvious that the look that suits her best is a more innocent sort of sexy – just like the cover shot.  In photos, she just doesn’t exude an overt sex appeal like, say, Eva Mendes.   It’s puzzling that neither she, nor her handlers, realize this

  • Anonymous

    Oh please, girl, get over yourself! She just is not attractive, or, frankly, that talented, don’t get it…

  • Anonymous

    That last photo of her reminds me of Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing.

  • http://twitter.com/WendyPan6 Wendy Pan

    I think she really looks beautiful here.  Like Sophia Loren.  Am I alone?  This might sound meaner than I intend, but the cat eye really balances her nose.

  • Anonymous

    Lea, darling, the problem with the Richardson shoot was not the actual ages of the participants (which we all knew) but the fact that the women especially were put in hair, makeup, and wardrobe that portrayed them as sexed-up adolescents. Poor judgment, sweetheart, poor judgment.

  • Anonymous

    Lea, darling, the problem with the Richardson shoot was not the actual ages of the participants (which we all knew) but the fact that the women especially were put in hair, makeup, and wardrobe that portrayed them as sexed-up adolescents. Poor judgment, sweetheart, poor judgment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61101261 Becca Robson

    She looks a little like Ollie in “Made In Chelsea”…

  • http://twitter.com/mellafe natalia h

    I agree. I like the last shot but in the rest, with that make up, her eyes look lazy and weird.

  • Anonymous

    so being an asshole tot he people you work with is a HUMOR thing…OOOOH! Who knew?
    On the TR shoot…Do ANY of these celebs EVER just apologize? Its always spin spin spin. How about a hearty “Oops sorry my bad” for once? Decent pics though. 

  • Anonymous

    She’s so channeling Baby from Dirty Dancing in that shot, which strikes me as a good reference for her: sweet, accidentally sexy, and more talented than she realizes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7DDBWDEQZA3OUS4S6MEMDEKWQ4 chhivt

    Should we believe Lea or Kathy Griffin about Paltrow?  Hmmm.  Not buying it, fake-lips-Lea.