The Glee star on her latest cause, what's next for Rachel Berry, and being vegan (or not)


She may be best known as everyone's favorite "Gleek," but recently in New York City, Glee star Lea Michele was on hand for a different reason. The 25-year old actress and singer was promoting a new effort by Valspar Paint called "Hands for Habitat," where the handprints of various celebrities (including Michele's) were being auctioned off to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

We got the chance to chat one-on-one with Michele (who's currently dating co-star Cory Monteith) on her latest cause, the status of Rachel Berry, and being vegan (or not).

SHAPE: You're not only beautiful and talented, but you're working for a great cause too. Tell us a little bit why you wanted to get involved with Valspar Hands for Habitat?

Lea Michele (LM): It's such an amazing cause! We have all these handprints, which you can find on the Valspar Facebook page. You can bid on them and all the donations and proceeds go to the Habitat for Humanity Disaster Response Program. It's really such a great thing that so many people have donated their handprints and have gotten super creative, although mine are definitely the best and should be bid on the most (laughs).

SHAPE: With such a busy life, how do you stay so fit?

LM: Working out for me is something I do when I feel like it. But it's really about feeling good and taking care of my body rather than having to fit into any sort of model or anything like that. I try to eat well, and everything I do is really just to make me feel my best so that I can come to my job or my personal life and just feel really good.

SHAPE: And I know you're also a vegan.

LM: Well, I go back and forth between [being a vegan and not being a vegan]. I try lots of different things. I really feel that you need to kind of listen to your body and what your body is telling you to eat. So I was a vegan for about two years.

SHAPE: So do you have any tips or tricks for readers that may want to become vegan? Like how they can ease into that lifestyle a little bit?

LM: Well, everything with being vegan and vegetarian is a really big commitment. You have to do what you feel is best and what you believe in and what your body is telling you that it needs. I really think everyone should do what's best for them, and what's best for me may not be best for someone else. But like I said, you just have to do what makes you feel good.

SHAPE: Any favorite workouts that you do? Like Zumba or anything fun?

LM: Oh gosh, no, I'm simple. I love hiking, going to the gym, doing some simple stuff. I love being outdoors, I love bike riding. Just stuff that's fun!

SHAPE: So all the Glee fans want to know, what's happening next season for Rachel Berry?

LM: We still have to shoot the entire fourth season, but it's going to be a really big year for my character and her story line so I am focusing on that right now and not taking on any other big projects!