03/04/2014 AT 12:20 PM ET
“I come from Broadway – everybody’s naked on Broadway,” Michele, who earned rave reviews as a teenager in Spring Awakening, tells Seventeen magazine for its April issue, on sale March 11.
“I like to think of myself as more granola. I’m not going to run around naked or anything like that unless I’m at my own home,” she says. “Today, I walked into my backyard and was standing out there naked for a while. Don’t tell: My neighbors will freak out!”
Michele, 27, also bares it all through her music. Released Tuesday, Louder is full of power ballads that “express extreme love and some pain” about the tragic loss of boyfriend Cory Monteith.
“I only have happy memories of Cory,” Michelle tells Seventeen, recalling their years as costars, friends and loves, and saying he was not defined by his struggles.
“He was not his addiction – unfortunately, it won. But that wasn’t who he was,” she says. “Cory made me feel like a queen every day. From the minute he said, ‘I’m your boyfriend,’ I loved every day, and I thank him for being the best boyfriend and making me feel so beautiful.”