Idina Menzel says it wasn’t easy being cast as Lea Michele‘s mom on Glee.
The Broadway star recently told Stellar Magazine that it “wasn’t great for the ego” to play Michele’s mom — who is roughly a decade and a half younger in real life.
Menzel was cast in the hit series back in 2010 as Shelby Corcoran, bio mom of Michele’s Rachel Berry. At the time Menzel was 38 and her counterpart was 23.
“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,” Menzel told the Irish publication.
“It just wasn’t great for the ego,” she continued, adding she just “sucked it up.” Mostly, she was “excited to work with Ryan Murphy and be a part of that hit show.”
The timing of her casting as mother to a twenty-something actress was itself a challenge as she just gave birth.
“I had my son Walker and then three months later, I got the call,” Menzel recalled. “And so I said, ‘yes.'”
She added, playfully, that she “sucked myself into my clothes” and was still breastfeeding at the time. Menzel went on to portray the character on Glee for three more seasons.