Lea Michele was stunned when she was cast in hit U.S. TV musical GLEE - because she had always been told she was "too ethnic" and "not pretty enough" for small screen roles.
The actress, whose mum is Italian American and dad is Spanish-Sephardic Jewish, admits she never got a callback for a television show before she moved from New York to Los Angeles, because casting directors were confused by her look.
She tells the Hollywood Reporter, "I was always told I was too ethnic or not pretty enough or too much this or not enough of that."
And Michele was stunned when Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy remembered meeting her through a mutual friend, and revealed he wrote the lead role specifically for her.
She explains, "Glee was the first audition I went on (in Los Angeles), and Ryan was there. After going through the studio and the network, he told me that he had written it with me in mind."