updated 10/19/2010 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/19/2010 AT 2:50 PM ET
Lea Michele has thumbed her nose at the ubiquitous pressure in Hollywood to be perfect.
When she first started acting, people told her she needed to get a nose job – but with the encouragement of her mom, she held firm and refused.
“I was one of the only girls in my high school that didn’t get one,” Michele, 24, says in the November issue of GQ. “And if anybody needed it, I probably did. But my mom always told me, growing up, ‘Barbra Streisand didn’t get a nose job. You’re not getting a nose job.’ And I didn’t.”
For Michele, resistance was about more than the surgery. “That’s why I’m proud,” she says, “to be on a positive show and to be a voice for girls and say, ‘You don’t need to look like everybody else. Love who you are.’ ”
Another revelation comes from Cory Monteith, 27, who admits he got into a little trouble when he was in high school.
Monteith, who dropped out in ninth grade, was drawn to “this whole world of excitement and danger outside the doors of high school – this kind of renegade teenage lifestyle,” he tells the magazine. “You have to really look to get into trouble in Victoria [Canada] … but I was industrious. Skipping school. Drinking. All that kind of crap. Things started off innocent like that. I definitely found myself in some places that I’m very fortunate I came back from.”