From the Broadway stage to the TV set, Lea Michele was always a rising star but no one could have predicted her level of popularity on the hit show "Glee."
In 1998, Lea, then 12, and her mother appeared in a documentary that was obtained by MTV's "The Seven." In the footage, Lea seems very excited to be on camera, even requesting make-up. "Lots of people say, 'When do you have time to be a real kid?', and I really still am. I'm a normal kid," she says when asked about being on Broadway at such a young age. "The whole situation with how my friends treat me has been so difficult. ... I'd have some friends that would be like, 'Wow, you're on Broadway', which I hate to be treated that way. That, I think, has been the worst part of being in the theatrical business."
Over a decade later, Lea stars on the hit FOX show "Glee," playing the always theatrical character of Rachel Berry that is constantly being compared to Lea's real-life personality. In the 1998 documentary, she said of her maturity, "Being in the business has kind of made me grow up so fast because I'm around so many older actors that I just learn so much so fast."
The pre-teen Lea adds, "I can do anything and that's how I kind of stay sane in this really tough, dog-eat-dog business." Lea is currently up for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series.