Idina Menzel Thinks She Should Have Played Lea Michele’s Sister Instead Of Her Mom On “Glee”

September 29, 2021 / Posted by:

There’s perfect casting, and then there’s Idina Menzel being cast as Rachel Berry’s biological mother on Glee. The only way Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk could get a closer match would be to put Lea Michele in some digital wrinkles and shoot a split-screen take of her singing against herself (fast forward several years into the future when digitally aged Lea Michele comes forward to accuse Lea Michele of calling herA pitchy old hag“). Idina played Rachel Berry’s biological mom, Shelby Corcoan, in several episodes. Now, looking back, Idina is admitting that she thinks she would have been better suited to play Rachel’s older sister instead.

This news doesn’t surprise me, really, because Rachel Berry is in the Top 5 Tiny TV Terrors of All Time, and there isn’t a soul alive that would want to admit they played the woman who spawned her. But that’s not why Idina is putting out vibes that she would have rather played her sister. It’s more because of the age difference between the two of them. Idina first appeared in the first season of Glee, in 2010, to provide a maternal backstory for Rachel Berry, who had two fathers on the show. Idina’s Shelby was the coach of the rival glee club group, Vocal Adrenaline. Shelby later adopts Quinn’s baby and moves away, only returning to coach the Troubletones in the third season. And that’s what you missed on Glee. Lea was playing a high school student, but was about 24 or 25 at the time, in 2010. Idina would have been about 39 or 40. In a recent questionnaire for InStyle, Idina was asked about the most memorable scene from her tenure on Glee, and she answered:

“The most memorable was probably singing ‘I Dreamed A Dream‘ with Lea Michele. Even though I was cast to play her mother, and she was 26, and I probably should have been her older sister. But I don’t have a chip on my shoulder about that.”

This isn’t the first time that Idina has mentioned that she’s a little salty about playing Lea’s mom. In 2016, she called the gig “bittersweet.” via Playbill:

“One: Because the gig came in three months after I popped a baby out, so I felt fat as all hell, and I was Lea Michele’s mom. I was like, ‘I can’t just be her older sister?’ She wasn’t as young as she was playing, you know, so it was like, ‘Really? I’m her mom?’ It wasn’t good for my ego, to be honest, but I was happy to be there and work with those people. It was cool, but I kind of had to get over myself.”

Lea was supposed to be playing a high school student, and Idina was her 40-year-old bio-mom. And with a little math, I guess you could assume that Shelby Corcoran gave birth to Rachel Berry when she was in her early twenties. That’s not crazy. And according to Rachel Berry’s expository monologue in the pilot episode of Glee, she was told she was born via surrogate that was selected by her fathers based on beauty and IQ, and then provided a mixed sperm sample. But there was no mention of a sister! Although honestly, Idina is kind of right. She should have been playing Rachel Berry’s sister. Glee had so many messy, unrealistic storylines, it’s a wonder they never pulled some secret long-lost twin sister shit. One could be the good twin, one the evil twin. Okay, I can see how Glee didn’t do that. Rachel Berry? Revealed to be the evil twin? That’s a little too on the nose.

Pic: FOX

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