Lea Michele has gained fans worldwide for her portrayal of the neurotic yet determined Rachel Berry on this hit series, Glee.
Now, the 25-year-old star is lending her famous voice — and hands — to an important cause. Michele has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity and Valspar Paint for the “Hands for Habitat” project, in which celebrities auction off their handprints and signatures to benefit disaster response programs.
Michele talked to Parade.com about her involvement in the program, the upcoming fourth season of Glee, and what’s in store for one of TV’s hottest couples: Finn and Rachel.
On the famous handprints she’d like to walk away with.
“I saw one of my best friends Jamie Lynn Sigler’s prints, which would be great. Some people got really createive with their prints. I made mine basic, but I probably will make another set and make it a little bit more creative.”
On shining her spotlight on a good cause.
“It’s really imporntat. As actors and performers, we are able to have our voices heard, and if we find something that we’re passionate about, it’s important to take that time to do what you can for it. I took ten minutes out of my day to go outside in my backyard and make these really fun handprints that will definitely go to a good cuase and hopefully make a difference.”
On how she likes to spend her down time.
“I just moved into a new house, so I love spending time at home. Everything for me is all about self-care because I really feel that if I’m at my best, than I’m able to come to my job and really be feeling the best, so if I’m not working out or going on a hike, than I’m at home recharging and cooking dinner and hanging out with my cat.”
On inspiring young performers through her role on Glee.
I’m honored to be in a position to have young girls or performers look up to me. I really have been blessed with this amazing experience, and I’m proud to be a voice for kids.”
On getting used to fame.
“It’s really incredible, especially when I go overseas. At the beginning, everybody would call me, ‘Rachel Berry,’ and now they come up to me and say ‘Lea Michele,’ so that’s really unbelievable. I’m always approached by people and they’re always so wonderful and have such great stories to share, so it really makes me feel good.”
On the fourth season of Glee.
“I’m very excited. We started filming last week. I’ve already been in dance rehearsals and in the studio. We’re doing a Britney Spears tribute episode. You’re going to see the kids still in high school, and every episode as of now seems as if it’s just going to be the two storylines: me in New York City and the kids still in high school. They’re going to go pretty evenly back and forth between the two. I love that Rachel’s in New York. She’s taking classes in college and Kate Hudson plays my teacher. Working with her is like the cherry on top of everything that I’m excited about!”
On relating to her small screen alter ego.
“We’re very different. I can relate to her determination, but I grew up in New York City — in Times Square — and Rachael grew up in Ohio.”
On her favorite Glee performance.
“I would probably have a different answer every single day because I have so many, but I really loved doing the Celine Dion number in our National's episode last season. For the group numbers, I loved when the girls did ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.’ I loved our ‘Thriller’ mash-up, but I didn’t love filming it because it was in the middle of the night, but I loved how it came out.”
On what’s in store for Finn and Rachel after their big breakup.
“I don’t know yet! Cory [Monteith] is going to be back next year, which is amazing, but we broke up at the end of the season, and we don’t really know what’s going to happen for them. When the season starts, Rachel hasn’t really heard from Finn. He’s away in the Army, and she’s questioning where they stand.”
The Valspar Hands for Habitat Celebrity Charity Auction is live and ready for bidding at Facebook.com/ValsparPaint.
See behind-the-scenes photos taken by the cast of Glee
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