When Monteith died in July 2013
, Michele, his Glee
co-star and longtime girlfriend, was devastated by the loss. Two and a half years later, Michele has found love again
with boyfriend Matt Paetz -- and she believes Monteith would be happy for her.
Speaking withFempire podcast
hosts Becca Tobin, Keltie Knight and Jac Vanek, the 29-year-old actress and singer gushed about her 30-year-old boyfriend and the strong base of support their relationship provides.
"At the end of the day, this industry is really tough, and the only way to get through is to create a solid unit, and that’s really what we’ve been since day one," Michele shared. "We’ve stood by each other through anything that was thrown our way. [Matt] is a such a great man that he would never really let anything like that ever crack our lovely little core that we've created."
Aside from their strong bond that protects them against the pressures of Hollywood, Michele also praised her boyfriend for respecting her prior relationship with Montieth.
"He is very respectful towards the person that I was with, and that, again, is something I love so much about him," Michele said, adding, "I really know that Cory would love him too."
Michele also brushed off critics and haters who have speculated and commented on the nature of her relationship with Paetz, explaining, "They don't know my private life, so I understand that people are going to say whatever they are going to say [but] as long and he and I are good, my family’s good, my friends are good, that’s all that matters."
Despite the strong bond and support, the Scream Queens star admitted that she still doesn't really feel like she's "made it."
"I have a sort of anxiety all the time," Michele shared. "But I think that’s good because that’s what helps me keep that drive."
It's that drive that encourages her to reach for her dreams -- dreams like becoming friends with Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.
"I really would love to be best friends with Chrissy Teigen. I feel like she would cook for me, she would defend bullies for me," Michele said. "I would go to their house and John Legend would be singing or naked in a shower somewhere… I feel like me and Matt would be really good friends with them."
Listen to Lea's full Fempire Podcast interview below to hear more on her experiences in Hollywood, and what she considers to be one of the biggest moments of her career.