Lea Michele (‘The Mayor’) chats playing a ‘strong,’ ‘vulnerable’ chief of staff in ABC musical comedy series [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), Lea Michele reveals that when she first got involved with “The Mayor,” she was hoping to get away from her musical roots. “I wanted to step into the world of just straight comedy,” she explains. “I just wanted to rely on my acting skills.” Yet when she read the script for the pilot, “I just fell in love with it,” adding with a laugh, “of course, I looked for a project that didn’t have any musical elements, but found a show that does have a musical element.”

SEE ‘The Mayor’: Can it win Golden Globes because of its similarity to ‘Atlanta’… and Donald Trump?

This ABC comedy series centers on Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall), a struggling hip hop artist who runs for mayor of a small California town to promote his mixtape, unexpectedly winning the election. Michele plays Valentina Barella, Courtney’s former classmate and chief of staff. She describes Valentina as “a strong girl,” but someone who’s “still vulnerable. She gets to have all of those great colors and elements.”

Michele’s work on “Glee” brought her an Emmy nomination as Best Comedy Actress in 2010 and Golden Globe bids as Best TV Comedy/Musical Actress in 2010 and 2011. She won a SAG Ensemble prize for the series in 2010 and competed in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She made her Broadway debut at the age of eight as a replacement for Young Cosette in “Les Miserables,” leading to roles onstage in “Ragtime,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Spring Awakening.”

“The Mayor” was created by Emmy nominee Jeremy Bronson (Variety Talk Writing for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in 2011) and executive produced by Tony winner Daveed Diggs (Featured Actor in a Musical for “Hamilton” in 2016).

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