Lea Michele Who? Beanie Feldstein Says She Doesn't 'Know' 'Glee' Star 'Whatsoever'

Sunday October 17, 2021
Originally published on October 14, 2021

Who? Beanie Feldstein had no idea who Lea Michele is.

Channeling Mariah Carey, The "Impeachment" star said she was confused why actress Lea Michele's name was trending when it was announced the 28-year old was to play Fanny Brice in a much-hyped revival of "Funny Girl" next Spring.

"I didn't know that any of this was happening, by the way," she told Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show, Radio Andy. "All of a sudden people started explaining it to me and I was like, 'What?' Like...I didn't understand."

But the zinger turned out to be when she said that she had received a sweet Instagram from Michele that read: "Yes! YOU are the greatest star! This is going to be epic!" Feldstein noted that she had received the IG, but added, "I don't know the woman whatsoever."

Michele's break-out role was on Ryan Murphy's "Glee" (where she played aspiring Broadway baby Rachel Berry) and was said to be top-lined in a revival of the musical bio of Fanny Brice, which made a star out of Barbra Streisand nearly six decades ago.

Michele sang numerous "Funny Girl" songs on "Glee" as something of a very public audition for the role. She also told Cohen on his Bravo show "Watch What Happens Live" in 2017: "We were thinking of doing it right after 'Glee,' but I did a lot of the songs from 'Funny Girl' on 'Glee,' so it felt like a little soon. But I feel really ready to do it now, so maybe we could do it soon."

While Michele didn't get the part, another "Glee" alumni, Jane Lynch, has been cast in the revival as Fanny Brice's mother. The production also features Tony-nominated actor Ramin Karimloo as Nicky Arnstein. Directed by Michael Mayer, the production also has a revised book by Harvey Fierstein. It begins previews on March 26, 2022 with a scheduled opening on April 24, 2022, which is Streisand's 80th birthday.

By coincidence, Feldstein had the opportunity to meet Michele face-to-face when both were seen on the red carpet for the launch of CODE (RED) to Fight COVID on Wednesday night (October 13) in New York City, reports JustJared.com, both wearing similar black dresses.

"Another production of the musical was in development with Lauren Ambrose ('Six Feet Under') in the lead, but that was abandoned due to fears that Ambrose wasn't enough of a box office draw," HuffPost said. "She went on to star as Eliza Doolittle in the 2018 Lincoln Center Theater revival of 'My Fair Lady' for which she received a Tony Award nomination. In the New York Times, critic Jesse Green wrote Ambrose was a 'feral and then luminous Eliza' in Bartlett Sher's feminist rethinking of the classic musical."

For her part, Michele came under much criticism this past year for her diva behavior while working on "Glee," with some pointing out her rude behavior dated back to when she was a child appearing in the musical "Ragtime."

On Twitter, some users cracked jokes at Michele's expense over the situation:

While some showed their support: