Lea Michele Denies Bad Blood with Beanie Feldstein Over ‘Funny Girl’ Exit: ‘Pitting Women Against Each Other’

"I think that everybody just thinks everything is so drama-filled," the "Glee" alum said in a new interview.
Lea Michele, Beanie Feldstein
Lea Michele, Beanie Feldstein

Lea Michele is taking no “Glee” in the rumors surrounding Beanie Feldstein’s exit from Broadway’s “Funny Girl.” Michele was announced to be replacing “Booksmart” actress Feldstein in the lead role of Fanny Brice starting September 6. Feldstein took to Instagram to share that she was leaving production earlier than expected as the show was moving “in a different direction.”

Now, Michele is clarifying that there is no beef between the two actresses. “I think that everybody just thinks everything is so drama-filled,” Michele told People. “I also think that people really love the excitement of pitting women against each other, which I think is really sad and unfortunate.”

She continued, “I saw the show. I wrote her and told her what an incredible job I thought that she did. I thought she was hilarious and beautiful and so wonderful. This is not an easy role, and she took it on with such bravery. And I wrote her and told her that.”

The “Spring Awakening” alum admitted that she “sort of let it go” when the “Funny Girl” Broadway production was rumored to be kicking off in 2014. “There was a lot going on for me personally in my life,” the actress shared. “I didn’t feel like I could do the show or the role justice, just on a television hiatus. You have to invest yourself into this process.”

Yet during the November 2021 reunion for Tony Award-winning “Spring Awakening,” Michele claimed she was ready to return to the stage for good. “I have been in the television world for really 15 years, but it was in that moment where I just was like, ‘This is my home,'” she said. “I moved back to New York with my family, and that’s when I really just started to get the itch to be back here and to be back on stage. And when this opportunity came my way, I jumped on it. I never felt more ready in my life to play Fanny Brice with the experiences, everything I’ve gone through in my life. Being 36, being a mother and a wife, I feel like I’m ready for this now.”

“Funny Girl” reunites Michele with “Spring Awakening” helmer Michael Mayer, who produces and directs “Funny Girl.”

Michele recently told The New York Times that the “Funny Girl” cast has “been through a lot” and she hopes to minimize any possible stress backstage. “I just have to come in and be prepared and do a good job,” Michele explained, “and be respectful of the fact that this is their space.”

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