The Truth About Melissa Benoist's Time On Glee

A decade before the behind-the-scenes chaos of "Don't Worry Darling," the poplar musical series "Glee" had cultivated a reputation for being one of the messiest sets in Hollywood. From feuding cast members to actors' personal struggles, the real-life story of the 2010s Fox musical dramedy was light on the comedy, heavy on the drama. 

The fascination with "Glee" tea saw a resurgence in 2020, after the heartbreaking tragedy of Naya Rivera's untimely death and reports surfacing of Lea Michele's backstage behavior. Now, with Michele pulling off a surprising comeback as Fanny Brice in Broadway's "Funny Girl" and former cast members Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz reviving their "Glee" recap podcast, the tea is stronger than ever before.

As former and future Gleeks rediscover the series, they might be surprised to see a familiar face. While she's much better known these days for her turn as "Supergirl" on The CW, Melissa Benoist first got her big break as Marley Rose during "Glee" Seasons 4 and 5. After Michele's character Rachel Berry had graduated from William McKinley High at the end of Season 3, Marley served as a down-to-earth foil to Rachel's high-strung personality, standing in for her role within the show's glee club, New Directions. Benoist almost seems too normal to have been present for the madness of "Glee," but she was once an instrumental player during the series' transition years.

Melissa Benoist's Glee breakout set her up for success

Given her important role as Rachel Berry's successor, Melissa Benoist's "Glee" audition process for Marley Rose was extremely lengthy. In 2012, she told Teen Vogue, "I first auditioned in New York at the Roundabout Theatre Company, and then went through five auditions all with different songs ... And then I had two screen tests in California for [creator] Ryan Murphy and his team." She was a fan of the show before auditioning, and later got to act and perform alongside the cast she watched as a viewer. Benoist also met her now ex-husband Blake Jenner on the set, and became friendly with her other co-stars. She continued, "Everyone is so nice, welcoming, and fun to be around."

Once the curtains closed on "Glee," Benoist continued to juggle her acting career with music. In 2017, she added perfect pitch to Supergirl's long list of superpowers in a crossover musical episode of "The Flash." Given that the Flash is played by none other than Grant Gustin, who portrayed Sebastian Smythe on "Glee," the episode was a reunion that returned to the actors' roots. Then in 2018, Benoist displayed her vocal chops once again in the Carole King Broadway musical "Beautiful." However, long after her time on "Glee," later events showed Benoist wouldn't make it away unscathed from the show's signature off-screen drama.

Lea Michele was Melissa Benoist's Kryptonite

Despite Marley Rose being one of the less catty characters on "Glee," Melissa Benoist wasn't fully immune to the behind-the-scenes drama. Although she never openly spoke out against any of her co-stars, she was found liking tweets in 2020 alleging Lea Michele's toxic backstage behavior. Benoist's first co-star to come forward, Samantha Ware, said, "REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE MY FIRST TELEVISON GIG A LIVING HELL?!?! CAUSE ILL NEVER FORGET," according to Just Jared, and went on to accuse Michele of making racist micro-aggressions towards her on set.

Soon after, other "Glee" veterans such as Alex Newell and Amber Riley corroborated Ware's account. Benoist silently liked now-deleted tweets from all three, showing quiet solidarity with her co-stars and possibly pointing to her true feelings about Michele. However, it's unknown if Benoist ever had any negative experiences with Michele herself or simply witnessed them occur with others. Although Benoist's character was introduced as "the new Rachel" with that even being the title of her first episode, the pair didn't have that much screen time together.

Michele soon made a public statement acknowledging her conduct over the years, writing on Instagram, "I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We can all grow and change." Since Ware's allegations, Benoist and Michele have yet to interact again or speak about one another in public. It's a shame how things turned out, because on the occasions they did share the spotlight, they were quite the duet partners!