The writer/director has addressed the famous spat between the actresses, noting the two stars were thrust into the spotlight too quickly while working on the hit comedy and although they admired one another’s work, they couldn’t get along off-screen.
He tells E! News, “I feel like in the case of that show (Glee), that show was just a s**tstorm of difficulty, largely because, what do you do when you’re 18 years old or 19 years old and you wake up one day and you’re world famous? I think a lot of that was informed by their youth and being involved in a phenomenon.
“I know for a fact that they (Lea and Naya) admired each other’s work, ‘cause I directed them both in scenes.”
Rivera detailed her stormy relationship with Michele in her 2016 memoir Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up. In the book, the 30-year-old claims the on-screen sparring between their characters often carried over into real life.
“One of the Glee writers once said that Lea and I were like two sides of the same battery and that about sums us up,” Rivera wrote. “We are both strong willed and competitive – not just with each other but with everyone – and that’s not a good mixture.”
Despite the headlines the rift between Michele and Rivera made, Murphy isn’t planning to include their struggles in future story material just yet – even though his latest show, Feud, centres on the rivalry between movie icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
“I don’t think I would take on Lea and Naya,” Murphy smiles. “I think for a feud to work on this show, it has to have decades of pain behind it. But if they’re still feuding at 40, I might consider it. I’ll call them up in a couple years.”
Murphy, who is also behind TV hits such as American Horror Story and American Crime Story, notes that actors on Glee also butted heads: “There were many boys on our show that didn’t get along. And you never hear about that. You never hear about that in our culture.”
Ryan’s anthology series Feud debuts in the U.S. next month (Mar17).