Anyone else rewatching Glee? The show, which premiered in 2009, is actually pretty Jewish. One reason why? Dianna Agron, the actress who stole our hearts as Quinn, is Jewish! She’s done a bunch since Glee ended in 2015 (and did a bunch before Glee!), so let’s get into 18 things to know about Dianna:
1. Dianna was born in Savannah, Georgia, and was raised in hotels across the country. Yes, you read that correctly: Her dad, Ronald, was a general manager at Hyatt hotels. Her parents are Jewish; she has a younger brother, Jason.
2. She attended Hebrew school and had a bat mitzvah. Here is Dianna at age 13:
3. “I was so religious-based as a kid, and it was good and bad. I lived in Texas for a few years, from two to nine [years old], and I was severely bullied for being Jewish,” Agron said. “There were cops outside of my Temple every day, which I thought was normal until I moved to San Francisco. I was like, ‘Oh, it’s not normal to be bullied for this. It’s not normal to have police enforcement outside of your place of worship.’ I bottled it up [as a child], and I feel like later it’s come to a head where I can be sad for those times. I’m justified in those feelings. Now, thinking about how I’m going to involve my kids, it’s difficult. I love the religion in which I was raised. I see such beauty in other religions, and really to me, it’s about family and values and how that tethers you to everybody else. I don’t know what the answer is yet, and I have some time to think about it.”
4. Her first main TV roles were on Close to Home, CSI: NY Numbers, and Veronica Mars. She had a recurring role on season two of Heroes as a cheerleader captain in 2007.
Here is a very old headshot, from 2005:
5. Agron was the last main actor to be cast on Glee, and she auditioned with “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra.
6. The first song she performed on Glee was “Say A Little Prayer,” and Agron has said it’s her favorite song she performed on the show. One of her favorite episodes to shoot was the Rocky Horror episode.
In the fourth and fifth seasons of Glee, Agron appeared in only a few episodes. She hasn’t been on TV since Glee ended, fun fact.
7. “When I was singing on ‘Glee,’ it was on the highest part of my vocal register that I can access. I really am more of an alto singer and I was singing it on that show as more of a soprano singer, which I can hit, but it’s not where I feel the most confident and comfortable. I think I’ve had a complex ever since I was 13 because there was this boy who used to follow me around school singing ‘Walk Like a Man, Talk Like a Man,’ because my voice had changed and I was one of the first girls to have a significant drop in my voice,” Agron said.
8. In 2015, she became engaged to Winston Marshall, of the band Mumford & Sons. They married in 2016 in Morocco. Here’s a roundup of photos. Here she is talking about a mosquito that bit her lip at her wedding:
9. Agron is a fan of dark things, like Tim Burton, witches, cemeteries, and skulls. “They’re more interesting than bubblegum and lollipops to me,” she said.
10. Ahead of finding out she was offered a part as Sister Mary Grace in Novitiate, she and her husband were getting ready for Kol Nidre. “I was taking my husband to temple for the first time with our friends. We had this whole plan: go to the Carlyle Hotel, meet with [director] Maggie [Betts]. Because it was Yom Kippur, he and I were going to eat a really big dinner before temple, but what ended up happening as I fell so in love with Maggie [is] that we had a martini, which also comes with a sidecar, which is essentially another martini, so I had two martinis and no food,” Agron recalls.
“[During drinks] I’m getting so many texts from him like, ‘Hey, are we still having dinner? Are you OK?’ So he hurries over, we eat a handful of nuts and race off to temple, and the whole time I’m thinking like, ‘This is all so wacky and wild.’ One, I’m so in love with Maggie. I’m so happy we’re doing this movie together. [Two], how am I now drunk at temple for the first time? And who am I? On Yom Kippur of all the things that you’re not supposed to do. Sitting through this three-and-a-half-[hour] service, thinking about all kinds of religions, not just Judaism, this project. I’m like, ‘I really did not do this day properly,’ but it was one of those things where our schedules were kind of pulling us in and out of places. It was just a very, very funny experience to have that be our entryway.”
11. Agron uses her platform to advocate for causes she believes in, like #NoDAPL and the rights of refugees worldwide.
This #WorldChildrensDay, let's remember that over half of all #refugees and displaced persons around the world are children. @Refugees is helping children seek asylum & restore their futures. Support them here: https://t.co/B4YaxX1X6m pic.twitter.com/NrROnv6vjQ
— Dianna Agron (@DiannaAgron) November 20, 2018
12. Here she is dancing to a traditional Jewish song ahead of a Passover seder:
13. Here she is making latkes on Hanukkah:
She also gifted herself a nap for Hanukkah. Same, Dianna, same.
14. She’s starred in a wide range of films — from I Am Number Four to Novitate to Hollow in the Land. She’s set to star in Shiva Baby (out sometime in 2020, Molly Gordon also stars!) that tells the story of a college student who runs into her sugar daddy while at a shiva with her parents.
15. She’s directed music videos, shorts, and part of one feature film: Berlin, I Love You starring Keira Knightley. (Berlin, I Love You is an anthology film, directed by 11 directors from around the world.)
16. Her brother is a photographer and is credited with lots of photos on her insta:
17. She starred in the music video for Sam Smith’s song “I’m Not the Only One” (this cover photo is deceiving):
18. She plays the auto harp! So talented!
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If anyone would like a simple song from me and my new favorite toy…this one goes out to you. Finally found an instrument that my tiny fingers agree with, and I’m having a lot of fun learning. Anyone want to join an auto harp club? Is that a thing? Ten points to anyone that knows who sings this song that I adore. ❤️
Header Image of Dianna Agron by Mike Coppola/VF19/Getty Images for Vanity Fair.