Throughout the run of “Glee”, the show was plagued with rumours of discord on the set between stars Lea Michele and Naya Rivera, and series co-creator Ryan Murphy reveals the feud between the two actresses was far more than rumour.
“I feel like in the case of that show [‘Glee’], that show was just a s***storm of difficulty, largely because, what do you do when you’re 18 years old or 19 years old and you wake up one day and you’re world famous?” Murphy said in an interview with E! News.
“I think a lot of that was informed by their youth and being involved in a phenomenon. And I know for a fact that they [Michele and Rivera] admired each other’s work, ’cause I directed them both in scenes.”
Murphy knows a thing or two about feuds, as he’ll soon debut a new FX series called “Feud”, chronicling the infamous Hollywood rivalry between legendary stars Bette Davis (played by Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) while they reluctantly worked together in a last-ditch effort to save both both their careers with the 1960 horror hit “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”.
With future seasons of “Feud” to tackle other famous feuds, Murphy doesn’t think that what he saw on “Glee” quite stacks up to the Davis-Crawford battle — at least not yet.
“I don’t think I would take on Lea and Naya,” he admitted. “I think for a feud to work on this show, it has to have decades of pain behind it. But if they’re still feuding at 40, I might consider it. I’ll call them up in a couple years.”
However, Murphy points out that the female co-stars on “Glee” weren’t the only ones feuding — simply that those feuds were the only ones the media had any interest about. “There were many boys on our show that didn’t get along,” he revealed. “And you never hear about that. You never hear about that in our culture.”
For her part, Rivera has written about her feud with Michele in her 2016 memoir, Sorry, Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes & Growing Up.
“One of the ‘Glee’ writers once said that Lea and I were like two sides of the same battery and that about sums us up,” she wrote. “We are both strong willed and competitive — not just with each other but with everyone — and that’s not a good mixture.”
Added Rivera: “As the show progressed, though, that friendship started to break down, especially as Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel — erm, I mean Lea — didn’t like sharing the spotlight. On top of that, she had a hard time separating work from our outside friendship, whereas it was a lot easier for me. I’m not offended when people offer feedback or criticism, and if things get heated on set, I try to keep perspective. We’re all stressed, yes, but we’re all working toward the same goal, so laugh it off and keep it movin’. Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and it seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong.”
Things between the two became progressively worse, Rivera wrote. “Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn’t say a word to me for all of season six. Lea and I definitely weren’t the best of friends, and I doubt we’ll ever sit on her couch and eat kale together again, but the rumours of our ‘feud’ were blown out of proportion.”