Lea Michele Finds Inspiration Watching ‘Glee,’ Talks New Song About Late Ex-Boyfriend Cory Monteith

Lea Michele can’t believe people think she wouldn’t want to watch old episodes of her show, Glee.

“I think that everyone is so shocked when I say that,” the 30-year-old actress tells PrideSource in a new interview. “I’m shocked at people being shocked.”

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And for good reason, says Michele, who starred as Rachel Berry on Fox’s musical romp for six seasons. Her most frequented episode? When the cast shot on-location for a New York-themed episode in season two centered on Michele’s character. The Scream Queens star says it was personally meaningful, as she’d left New York before returning a year later to shoot Glee, which she remembers as “this hugely successful show being followed by, I think, close to, like, 200 fans and paparazzi.”

“I’m so proud of the work that we did,” she notes. “And I get that some people would be embarrassed to watch their own material. I understand that. But sometimes it’s so fun. I’ll be like, ‘Remember when we did that number?’ I think I watch it more because I can’t believe that we did it.”

“It’s just to remind myself, ‘You did that. You did that! And that’s incredible. And you should be proud of it.’ It’s sort of inspiring for me.”

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When asked whether she watches episodes featuring co-star Naya Rivera, who wrote about her on-set drama with Michele in her memoir, Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up, Michele simply says, “I don’t like to talk about that. There are so many more fun things to talk about.” (Michele did, however, acknowledge that she was recently jamming to one of her Glee collaborations with Rivera: their duet version of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.”)

Michele also dished on her girl crushes, expressing interest in making out with Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz. Regarding the latter, she says, “I’ve been told that she kind of looks like me, so I don’t know what that says about me – that I’m narcissistic?!”

With regard to her music, Michele got serious while addressing her song, “Hey You,” the final track on her newest album, Places. She says the song is about her late ex-boyfriend, Cory Monteith, and calls it the “part two of ‘If You Say So,'” the heartbreaking song from her 2014 debut that reminisced on her last conversation with Monteith before his sudden death in July 2013.

RELATED: Lea Michele Announces New Album ‘Places’: ‘F**k It If People Don’t Like It’

“I wasn’t originally thinking of including that on the album,” she reveals about “Hey You.” “It’s sort of a sensitive subject for me that’s hard to talk about, and I didn’t want anything on the record that I couldn’t talk about. But it just felt so beautiful. … The song is pretty specific, and people are gonna make of it what they want, but I wanted to make a song about loss that wasn’t necessarily sad.” Read the full PrideSource interview here.

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