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"A lighthouse doesn't save the ships; it doesn't go out and rescue them, it's just this pillar that helps to guide people home," says Michele three months later.The superpetite 5'3" actress is dressed in track pants and a black T-shirt, her bare feet tucked under her on a patio chair outside by the pool at her modest, airy West Hollywood home. Lately, I've been using it as a guiding metaphor." Exactly what the metaphor stands for isn't immediately clear: Is she the lighthouse? But it seems to be her way of describing what she's searching for, and perhaps what she tried to be for Monteith, before it was too late.Together, they became a spokescouple for the increasingly powerful brand.Since its debut, the show has become a cross-genre phenomenon."It was such a short period of time between when people found out to, you know, July, but there are so many personal aspects of this whole journey that people are not invited to know. " Considering her well-documented focus and ambition—and those extraordinary pipes—Michele might strike you as someone who was a musical-theater-fanatic kid, the kind who breaks into songs at the dinner table. Born Lea Sarfati, the actress was definitely a natural performer, but, always doing voices and accents, she seemed more like a comedian than a vocalist. When I'm with them, I'm Lea Sarfati." Michele's parents met in their Bronx neighborhood when they were barely teenagers. Their courtship was "not quite accepted," Michele says, but they've been together "for, like, a hundred years." "It's a blessing to come from such great, strong, solid parents who are still together," Michele says.We had a full life, and that had lots of different details that will be ours forever, for only us to know." Asked if she was worried about him, her response is quick. When Michele was in elementary school, her mom drove another girl to an open call for as a favor, and eight-year-old Lea, on a whim, decided to audition as well. "But it's also a little bit like, 'Whoa, they achieved it—can I as well?
Cory Monteith and Lea Michele were by some superficial measures an odd couple.Could their relationship have been a publicity stunt all along?"Now that I am in this position, you can choose to rise, and that's what I'm going to try to do," she says.Monteith liked to talk about how intimidated he felt by her accomplishments and how nervous he was to meet her, a thought that still makes Michele smile."From the minute I met Cory, I was like, This is the most handsome man I've ever seen in my whole life," she remembers. They were both adjusting to celebrity life in Los Angeles, being followed by paparazzi and obsessed over by some 10 million viewers, who'd fallen in love with their show overnight.
His parents split when he was seven, and Monteith didn't see much of his dad, who was in the military.