Beanie Feldstein landed her dream role as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl, but she didn’t realize who else had been gunning for it: Lea Michele.
The 28-year-old actress will be leading the musical revival, which she previously told Variety provided Feldstein with “a foundation for my love of musical theater” ever since she requested (and successfully had) a Funny Girl-themed third birthday party.
“It has been my dream my entire life, like from the moment I understood how to dream for something, it was this,” she told Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show Radio Andy on Wednesday (Oct. 13).
But Feldstein confessed she had not known that it was also Michele’s dream to be in Funny Girl, so she was confused when the Glee star’s name started trending on Twitter when Feldstein’s Broadway casting was announced. “I didn’t know that any of this was happening,” she said in her defense. “All of a sudden, people started explaining it to me, and I was like, ‘Wait, what?’ … I didn’t understand. But she very sweetly wrote on my Instagram — I don’t know the woman whatsoever.”
When the Booksmart actress first announced she would be in Funny Girl in an Instagram post in August, Michele made sure there were no hard feelings by commenting, “Yes! YOU are the greatest star! This is going to be epic!!”
The 35-year-old actress previously made her desire to play Fanny Brice known during Glee, as it was her character Rachel Berry’s favorite musical and she performed many songs from the show throughout the Fox musical comedy-drama series, before Berry went on to star in a fictional Funny Girl Broadway revival. In 2017, Michele appeared on Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live and said her dream role would be starring in Funny Girl and that she had spoken to Glee creator Ryan Murphy, who had reportedly bought the movie rights to Funny Girl, about “doing it right after Glee. I did a lot of the songs from Funny Girl on Glee, so it felt like a little soon,” she explained at the time. “But I feel really ready to do it now, so maybe we can do it soon.”
The official Broadway revival of the 1964 musical, which received eight Tony nominations and propelled Barbra Streisand to stardom, will run at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre, with performances officially opening on April 24, 2022 — which just so happens to be Streisand’s 80th birthday.
Watch Feldstein’s new interview below.