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Actress Lea Michele landed the role of Rachel Berry, an ambitious teenager who dreams of stardom, on the TV show Glee.
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The creators and producers of the show, including Ryan Murphy, were impressed by Michele. Murphy told USA Today that the part was written especially for her. "I really believe in Lea's talent because her talent was once in a lifetime," he said. The role of an ambitious teenager who dreams of stardom appears to be a good fit for the actress. "Rachel is me when I was that age. She knows what she loves and who she is. She doesn't get caught up in what other people think is important," Michele told New York magazine. Her portrayal of Rachel earned Michele her first Emmy Award nomination in 2010.
Rachel is just one of the misfits that join their high school's beleaguered glee club. Ushkowitz appears as Tina, a punk teen. As Finn Hudson, Cory Monteith is a jock torn between music and sports. Matthew Morrison plays Will Schuester, the teacher that runs the club and tries to keep the club going. And Jane Lynch appears as Schuester's nemesis, a cheerleading coach who wants to bring down the club. Michele's close friend, Jonathan Groff, later signed on as the leader of a rival glee club.
In addition to its interesting characters, Glee features outstanding musical numbers. Michele earned accolades for her take on "Don't Rain on My Parade," originally sung by Barbra Streisand in the musical Funny Girl. The cast's rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" became the top downloaded song on iTunes the day after it was featured in an episode. The show's music has proved to be so popular that several soundtracks have already been released, and Michele and several other cast members played numerous concerts throughout the country in 2010.
Besides working on Glee, Michele will be voicing the character of Dorothy in an animated film based on The Wizard of Oz.
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