With characters you’ve played like the one in Best in Show or Sue on Glee, the comedy is mined from their extreme personalities. When you play such extreme characters, do you have some sort of barometer that keeps you from crossing a line or going so far that it undercuts the comedic effect?
It’s got to be connected something real emotionally. You’re not being weird just to be weird. You can tell when someone is trying to push envelopes for the sake of pushing envelopes. It’s always something that I explore from the inside-out, absolutely. And I love it. That’s one of my favorite things in the world to do: Find an emotion and pump it up with air to see how far I can go before it pops.
Then with Party Down and Julie & Julia, you played characters that were quieter and more soulful and introspective. Do you wish you had more opportunities to play characters like that?
I’d love it. I like doing a whole bunch of stuff. Both of those characters are great, especially the Party Downcharacter, in that there was nothing aggressive or cynical about her. Shes very, very honest, and a little deluded and kind of in her own thought-place and world. That was fun, and almost a relief, to play her every day.
And now that you’re settling into a groove with Glee, which is officially a hit entering its third season, where do you want to take Sue this year? After playing her for over 50 episodes, where do you want Sue to go?
I think this whole running for Congress thing will expand who she is. I don’t think she’ll ever change her stripes. She’s always going to be that person who lashes out and then has tenderness for the weak link. But I think being on a different stage now, the community stage and who knows perhaps how far she’ll go with this political career, but I think that will invite an expansion of her own image of herself.
We host Jane Lynch who hosts the Emmy’s this weekend on Oct 2 at Live Talks in conversation with Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation). She appears on NPR’s Morning Edition today, and there is also a review of Happy Accidents on NPR. Hear the piece and read the review here. Here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times review of her new memoir:
“Happy Accidents” is, on one level, a straightforward, well-observed chronicle of Lynch’s life. She leaves Second City and gets a break playing Carol in the play “The Real Live Brady Bunch,” which becomes a huge hit. She drinks so much she finally decides to stop (replacing booze with NyQuil.) The show moves Lynch to New York, where she blows her sobriety and then ditches the NyQuil and joins AA, becomes obsessed with the Indigo Girls and yoga, and discovers the gay and lesbian community center. She moves to L.A., finds a good therapist and decides to come out to her parents who are, not surprisingly, not surprised. She gets a role in “The Fugitive,” does a one-woman show, meets Christopher Guest and is cast in “Best in Show.” Then comes “A Mighty Wind” and “The L Word,” a role as Meryl Streep‘s sister in “Julie & Julia” and though she’s working all the time, she can’t seem to get one steady job until, of course, “Glee.” She finally really truly falls in love, wins an Emmy and gets to work with Carol Burnett, who wrote the foreword to the memoir.
A Happy Days star helped launch her career.
In the summer of 1974, 14-year-old Lynch called into a Chicago-based radio station when the stars of her favorite show, Happy Days, were in town for a promotional tour. She asked how she could go about breaking into the business and upon the advice of Anson Williams, who played Potsie, Lynch set out to find an agent. She went to the Screen Actors Guild office in Chicago so she could get a list of talent agents, to whom she then proceeded to write letters. She wrote a letter to Universal Studios after visiting there, and then to the casting agent on The Brady Bunch, whose name she wrote down while watching the credits. Lynch got a crushing letter back from the assistant to the head of casting for Universal Studios that read, “We do not have the luxury of training young actors who are in the learning stage when we are working under such demanding professional conditions.” Still, Anson Williams would write her personal notes in the years that followed.
Nice piece on Jane Lynch with a video element in USA Today. We host her October 2 in conversation with Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) and her former cast member on Party Down. Here’s a couple excerpts:
The book, a story that evolved from a series of personal speeches Lynch made to gay organizations, chronicles her life from growing up in a loving family outside Chicago to her acting experiences, and to her personal relationships. It carries a comic tone but also addresses Lynch’s tougher challenges, including her time drinking (she stopped in 1991), and conveys her philosophy of embracing life as it is instead of how we wish it were.
And here’s another about those “Accidents,” some of which include: Being directed by Guest in a Frosted Flakes commercial, then bumping into him again at a coffee shop, a meeting that evolved into the role in the movie Best in Show.
Having a TV series to which she was obligated not get picked up, allowing her to accept a breakout role in hit Glee, which returns Sept. 20 (8 ET/PT); Being on the same airline flight with Mark Burnett, this year’s Emmys producer, where he proposed she host the show.
And another excerpt:
Lynch is proud of the phenomenon Glee has become, particularly in its advocacy of arts education. And she enjoys the recognition, whether from Emmy voters or youthful fans. “I’m one of those kids,” says Lynch, who was in her high school choir. “I would have been the No. 1 Gleek.”
As for her Emmy nomination, “It’s very gratifying. I’ve wanted nothing more than to be special and told ‘You’re exceptional.’ And now I’m going to do the best work I can whether I get an award or not.”
And she says she isn’t worried about the Emmy gig; she has hosted Saturday Night Live and two Do Something Awards shows. Her strategy? Take it in “little bites. That’s the only way I can think of it.”
Get yer tickets for what promises to be an entertaining evening…
Sunday, October 2, 2011
7:00pm (Reception 5:30pm-6:30pm)
An Evening with Jane Lynch
in conversation with Adam Scott
discussing her memoir, Happy Accidents
Club Nokia at L.A. Live
Downtown Los Angeles
Though she’s one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood today, Jane Lynch is anything but an overnight success. At age 50, she didn’t come into her own until the last decade. Before she landed her role in Glee, she’d battled alcoholism and anxiety, learned to embrace her sexuality, and accepted that life is sometimes a series of opportunities that come after what seem, at the time, like disappointments. Funny, poignant and brutally honest, her book Happy Accidents is one part comic-memoir of behind-the-scenes-Hollywood and one part inspirational-narrative about self-acceptance.
“If I could go back in time and talk to my twenty-year-old self, the first thing I would say is: ‘Lose the perm.’ Secondly I would say: ‘Relax. Really. Just relax. Don’t sweat it…Be easy on your sweet self. And don’t drink Miller Lite tall boys in the morning.” — Jane Lynch
A Frosted Flakes commercial and a chance meeting in a coffee shop led to a role in the Christopher Guest movie Best in Show, which helped her get cast in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Similar coincidences and chance meetings led to roles in movies starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Meryl Streep in 2009’s Julie & Julia. A series she’d signed up for abruptly got canceled, making it possible for her to take the role of Sue Sylvester in Glee. She has also appeared in For Your Consideration, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Rick Bobby, A Mighty Wind and numerous television shows. She is host of the Emmys on September 18th as only the third woman to host it solo in the show’s history.
Adam Scott stars on NBC’s Emmy nominated comedy “Parks and Recreation” opposite Amy Poehler and also gained notoriety for his performances on the Starz comedy series “Party Down” where he starred alongside Jane Lynch and in the hit comedy “Step Brothers” with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. He will next be seen in “Our Idiot Brother,” opposite Paul Rudd, and his film “Friends with Kids,” is set to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Additionally, he has wrapped production on See Girl Run and Paramount’s My Mother’s Curse with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. He is currently in production on The Bachelorette and recently signed on to topline the indie comedy A.C.O.D., an acronym for Adult Children of Divorce.
$29 Live Talks Los Angeles with Jane Lynch, 7:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
$49 also includes Lynch’s book
$125 includes pre-event reception (6-7:00pm), and the book
$31 Purchase book (includes tax and shipping to anywhere in the US)
Proceeds from this event support the good work of First Book, a national organization that distributes new books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families. Through a partnership with First Book, we are supporting libraries, schools and literacy organizations in underserved communities in Los Angeles.
Club Nokia at L.A. Live (Directions)
800 West Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015