Nothing stands between them—not even underwear. Best friends Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff met playing lovers on Broadway in “Spring Awakening,” and the new HBO documentary “Spring Awakening: The Ones You Knew” shows that they weren’t just flaunting themselves on stage.
Michelle, 35, and Groff, 37, played Melchior and Wendla, who had a sex scene on stage during a rock musical, but the Glee alumni got up close and personal behind the scenes.
“At one point, I literally showed him my entire vagina,” Michelle recalled in the documentary. “He’s like, ‘I’ve never seen a woman’s vagina before. Could you show me?” And I’m like, “Of course.” I took a desk lamp… and showed it to him. That’s how close we are.”
Groff is openly gay, so he had no experience of female anatomy until Michelle taught him a lesson. The document described this story in detail when they reunited with the rest of the original cast of the Tony Award-winning musical for a concert dedicated to the 15th anniversary.
Michelle said she talked about the strange behind-the-scenes moment because she felt very comfortable with the producers: “Radical Media and the incredible production team behind this documentary, we felt so safe and comfortable with them.”
The singer of “Christmas in the city” added: “It was so wonderful to talk about this material as an adult and get very serious questions. Not like, “How does it feel to have sex with Jonathan Groff every night?” so I was very comfortable with them. With this level of comfort came the story of what happens behind closed doors between me and Jonathan Groff. This is just one of them. There are many other things.”
Groff chuckled and added, “There’s probably a lot more to this story.”
The Mind Hunter graduate held back his laughter enough to say in Vulture’s “Stage Whisperer” newsletter on Monday that Michelle’s private parts are “beautiful.” She was joking: “Thank you so much for saying that, because you didn’t say it in the documentary!”
According to the best friends, comedy was necessary behind the scenes. “Spring Awakening” is dedicated to dark topics, including rape, abortion and suicide. Turning to difficult topics for eight shows a week affected the cast.
“Playing these characters really put pressure on us emotionally, and on my well-being a little. I was really ready to get out of this world,” Michelle explained in an interview with Billboard on Monday. “I remember walking off the stage, literally covered in blood, sweat and tears, looking at Jonathan and saying: “I want to participate in the happiest show in the world.” I want to perform musical numbers with fireworks and tap dancing with Kristin Chenoweth.”
Does that sound familiar? She added: “I think I’ll put it out there and it will come true, because three years later I ended up on a show called Glee, but I really knew I needed to do something easier.”
Michelle played Rachel Berry for six seasons on Glee, often with Groff, who occasionally appeared as Jesse St. James.
The premiere of “Spring Awakening: Those you Knew” on HBO on Tuesday, May 3, at 21:00 ET.