Lea Michele may be the best-sounding noisemaker of “New Year’s Eve.”
The vocally dynamic “Glee” star makes her film debut in director Garry Marshall’s episodic, interlocking rom-com, starring as a backup singer for a major pop star (Jon Bon Jovi) who “meet-cutes” her New Year’s-hating neighbor (Ashton Kutcher) in a faulty elevator on her way to Times Square. With far more than a few minutes to midnight left on her burgeoning career, Michele sings about her first stint on the big screen.
On keeping up with Kutcher:
"I got to be stuck in an elevator with Ashton for two weeks, which was awesome. And, as you know, he's hilarious and I got punk'd a couple times. He's also really smart. And we'd like talk about everything going on in the world – I had absolutely no idea half the stuff he was talking about so I would go home and Google everything and try to brush up on everything that's going on in our world to come in the next day and try to have a conversation! But he was great. He made me feel really comfortable – and then he opened the door with the towel on. He was supposed to have all of his clothes on and opened with a towel, right? He did that. Yeah. It was a good punk."
On flexing her famous pipes on the big screen for the first time:
"I was supposed to sing in the movie. She's always been a singer, but I wasn't supposed to end the movie with that the song. That wasn't in the original script. Garry was so sweet: Originally that wasn't in the script and he was like, 'I'm going to let ‘The Bronx girl go – Bring it in. Let her take us home.'"
On the possibility of playing non-musical roles:
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"I didn't really intend on doing a film where I sang. I sing so much on my show that I sort of felt like maybe I would start looking into things that didn't involve me singing. But when I read the script, these songs were already in there. They didn't add them for me, and I just felt that it was such a perfect part for me to play for my first film, just to really transition from 'Glee' into something. So I thought it was great. I had so much fun! I got to be a backup singer for Bon Jovi, which was awesome. And I think that from now on I might start to try to look into other things without singing, just to maybe give my voice a little break. But when something as perfect as this comes along where it just makes sense and it fits then, you know, it's sort of a no-brainer."
On her own New Year’s Eve plans:
"I do the same thing every year for New Year's. I've done it for the past seven years now. I'm from New York – I did the Times Square thing once and I'll never do it again. But New Yorkers have this special spot in Central Park where they do a 5K run the minute the clock strikes 12. I ran once. Again, I'll never do that again. But it's awesome to watch these people run, and it's such a great environment and place to be. And so that's where I'll be, and where I have been for the past seven years."
On her fondness for celebratory champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve:
"That's why I'm not running again, because those two combined didn’t really work very well."
"New Year's Eve" opens nationwide Friday, December 9th