UPDATE: In the November 2013 issue of Elle magazine, Glee creator Ryan Murphy talks about how he wrote the part of Rachel Berry specifically for Lea Michele. He brings up that fabled dinner meeting at Chateau Marmont with Lea and Jonathan Groff. She’d been bemoaning the fact that there were no roles for girls like her, not a lot of musical romantic-comedy roles,” Ryan says . “I really wrote the role for her, to give her something where she could really strut her stuff.”
Original story: If it seems to you that there’s no one else in the world who could play Rachel Berry on Glee besides Lea Michele, then you’re basically right!
It’s widely known in Glee lore that Chris Colfer originally auditioned for the part of Artie [Kevin McHale], and producers were so impressed by him that they created the role of Kurt for him. But it turns out that Lea Michele got similar treatment from Glee creator Ryan Murphy.
Earlier in her career, Lea Michele had become besties with Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James) over the course of starring with him on Broadway in Spring Awakening for two years. Lea then decided to follow J-Groff to L.A., as Jonathan was filming a pilot for Ryan.
The three of them ended up having dinner, and Ryan loved Lea so much that he wrote the part of Rachel with her in mind, according to Marie Claire magazine. And as they say, the rest was history.
“It was so much so quickly,” Lea says, thinking back on her sudden rise to stardom on Glee.
Thank goodness for that dinner in L.A., or Glee might have been very different — not to mention inferior, if you ask us!
Source: Marie Claire