The Broadway veteran was embarrassed to be playing the mother of a teenager.
Shelby was the biological mother of Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), and a competing show choir coach. She appeared in several episodes of the show. At the time of her first appearance, Menzel was 38 and Michele was 23, and the Wicked alum had just given birth to her son, Walker, whom she shares with ex-husband Taye Diggs.
"You’re worried you’re not going to work again, and then people hire you to be someone’s mother when you probably should be their older sister," Menzel recalls in an interview with Stellar Magazine (via The New York Post). "It just wasn’t great for the ego."
But at the time, Menzel says she "sucked it up" because she "was excited to work with [showrunner] Ryan Murphy and be a part of that hit show."
She also shares that she had to "suck" herself into the costumes as a new, breastfeeding mom, adding, I "couldn't fit into any of the costumes."
Menzel went on to appear in 12 episodes of Glee between 2010 and 2013 alongside stars like Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Naya Rivera, Amber Riley and more.