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Lea Michele on her inspiring new album 'Places' and going filter-free on Instagram

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Oh, the places she’ll go. Having survived the full-on cultural phenom that was Glee – and the heartbreak of losing her beau, Cory MonteithLea Michele is back in the spotlight. This time the New York City native, 30, takes centre stage with her sophomore album, Places, in which she leans into her theatrical origins with songs like “Anything’s Possible.” The triple threat, who recently also starred in TV’s Scream Queens and performed to a sold out crowd at Toronto’s Massey Hall, rang me up to talk melodies, mermaids and more.

What’s In A Name

"For me, this whole second album came naturally. But when it came to picking a title – that was the thing I was stuck on. I had a deadline and had, like, overnight to come up with something. I called up my friend [fellow Broadway star] Jonathan Groff and begged him to help. “What’s a word or phrase, from our days in theatre?” I asked. And he said, “Places!” When you’re on Broadway, you get a 30-minute call. Then, a 15-minute call. Then you hear, “Places, everyone. Showtime!” Places seemed like the perfect title."

Inspiration Diva

"I listened to a lot of Celine Dion while making this album. I never stopped listening to Celine and Streisand. And, of course, Adele."

Old Souls

"Adele is actually younger than me! I can’t believe it sometimes."

First CD Purchase

"Alanis! I remember going to the Virgin mega-store to buy Jagged Little Pill. I was with my mom. It’s still my favourite record of all time! Have I met her? No, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many of my idols, but not her. I don’t want to meet her, actually. It’s important that some of your idols just stay idols in your head."

Height of Glee Fame

"I’m really so grateful for that show ... we got to have so many experiences. Singing at the White House – especially singing for [Barack] Obama. I’ll always remember that. It was the same weekend we did Oprah. Crazy!"

Donning A Mermaid Suit

"I stole it from a six-year-old [while poolside on a trip to Napa this year – it’s a look she promptly posted on Instagram, naturally!]. It’s harder than it looks to move around in that thing!"

Instagram Hues?

"I try to be a no-filter girl."

Major Obsession

"I love television, and Guy Fieri [the Food Network mainstay] is my favourite guilty pleasure. When I met him [an encounter she also documented on social media], it was like meeting my own version of Meryl Streep!"

Housewives Forever

"I watch all of them, but Carole Radziwill [the writer-turned-reality-star on The Real Housewives of New York] is my favourite."

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