TV’s Glee has made a star out of the unconventional Lea Michele, just like Funny Girl did for Barbra Streisand. When Michele was hired for Glee, series creator Ryan Murphy made her watch Funny Girl for the first time. Now it’s a tradition for her, she revealed when she introduced the film at a special showing at American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.
“I bought champagne, those water crackers, a $10 jar of caviar and Temp Tee cream cheese,” Michele told the audience at the Egyptian on Saturday night. “I sat and I put cream cheese and caviar and sipped champagne and watched Funny Girl. To this day, I think back to that as being one of the greatest nights of my life. I stretched that out. I would stop it and take a break because I didn’t want it to end. I still do that. I still play the movie whenever I need it, and I treat myself to it. I love it so, so, so much.”
You can see a lot of Funny Girl in the work of Murphy too. Examine the episodes he directs, or his feature films, for the Funny Girl shot. “I watch this movie before I direct anything,” Murphy said to the audience at The Egyptian. “Specifically, you’ll see in this, there’s a beautiful, beautiful, one of the first helicopter tracking shots in movies. When she sings ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade,’ watch the shot where it goes from forest to Barbra in the train. They probably had to do it 60 times and I’m always obsessed with it. I think about it all the time. I just did a movie called Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts and I did that shot because it always had such an impact on me.”
Attending the screening of Funny Girl will also help Michele prep for her next musical endeavor, the Glee concert tour. “Just like Ryan says, he watches it before he directs, this movie’s like therapy for me,” Michele said. “We’re about to do our big tour and stuff so I’m going to watch it right now to get me ready.”
Glee airs Tuesday nights on Fox.