Lea Michele was told she was "too ethnic" to land a leading TV role.

The 'Glee' star - who plays geeky singer Rachel Berry in the high-school based musical TV show - thinks she had trouble being cast on television because of her looks.

She said: "I came out to Los Angeles with the hopes of taking a break from New York and the stage and maybe getting a little guest spot.

"I was always told that I was too ethnic, or not pretty enough, or too much this or not enough of that."

However, her audition for 'Glee' went well because the show's creator Ryan Murphy remembered her from a brief meeting in 2007, where the pair discussed Barbara Streisand.

She explained: "I was working on Broadway in New York, and the Broadway strike happened, and my co-star was working on a pilot with Ryan Murphy out here in Los Angeles.

"I met Ryan... and we just had a great night talking about Barbara Streisand and our shared love for her and musical theatre and what not - and I never saw him ever again.

"'Glee' was the first audition I went on in Los Angeles and Ryan was there, and I went, 'Do you remember me?' and he was like, 'Of course I remember you.' After going through the studio and the network, he then told me that he had written it with me in mind."