05/22/2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
alter ego doesn't get much edgier than a Madonna dance routine
, but off camera, Lea Michele
's inner bad girl makes an outward appearance – 14 times.
The actress, who plays Rachel Berry on the Fox series (whose finale season airs Tuesday night), flaunts more than a dozen tattoos
and says her ink addiction runs in the family.
"I come from a very big Italian family, and tattoos are very popular," Michele, 25, said on Monday's Late Show with David Letterman
. "We'll be like, 'Let's all get tattoos.' "
She added: "Then we get super sentimental, and then the next day I wake up with, like, another butterfly on my foot. And I'm like, it seemed more important in the moment."
Their latest outing? Easter, said the Broadway-turned-TV star, whose skin decor includes a bird on her hip and a butterfly – a nod to her 2006 role in Spring Awakening
– on her right foot.
"Some people go hunting for eggs," she told Letterman. "We go get tattoos."
So will Michele take a family outing to the tattoo parlor to commemorate her character's pending graduation on Glee
"All my secret hidden spots are done," said Michele, who was spotted smooching costar Cory Monteith
last week. "My real estate is over."