It's been a "Glee"-filled year for character actress Jane Lynch who, after two decades of guest TV and movie roles, became the scene stealer of TV musical comedy "Glee," married her girlfriend and started filling her shelves with awards.
Lynch, 50, who plays acid, scheming cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester in "Glee," was nominated Thursday for U.S. television's top honor, an Emmy, for her role as Sylvester. Also, she is receiving an achievement award this week from the Outfest film festival in Los Angeles.
In a recent interview that took place before her Emmy nomination, Lynch talked with Reuters about her newfound fame, what an Emmy would mean to her, and getting the Outfest award from the gay and lesbian event, which starts Thursday.
Q: Outfest organizers say your varied career and move onto mainstream TV mirrors the growth of Outfest over the last 28 years as the biggest U.S. gay and lesbian film festival. What does getting the award mean for you?
A: I have been going to Outfest for years and I know people who have gotten the award in the past, so I feel I am in very good company. I never pick something because it's gay or straight. It's all about fun things — who I get to work with. One of the great things about the short films I have done for Outfest is the great can-do spirit.
Q: You and "Glee" are expected to be high on the list of potential Emmy award winners. What would an Emmy mean for you?
A: It would be affirmation from my peers, and it would be a wonderful thing for the show. We really feel like we have something very special.
Q: Has your sexuality ever been an issue in getting roles as an actress?
A: Not that I know of, unless it was behind my back. The people I love to work with are not belly-achers and complainers who sit around discussing conspiracies against them. I find myself surrounded, whether gay or straight, by people who are really cool and fun and positive.
Q: What was your reaction to the recent attack in Newsweek on Sean Hayes, and the credibility of gay men playing straight romantic roles?
A: It was one person, so I don't know if that was an attack. Everyone gets to say what they want to say, and a lot of people didn't agree with (the Newsweek writer) which was a great thing.
Q: What has this past year been like, finding that Sue Sylvester is the star of a show that has proved such a hit?
A: I know I am breathing rarefied air and that it doesn't happen all the time. I know that I am blessed and I am enjoying it. I am really riding the success and having a great time. But I have been at it for the long haul and even after all this glory, I will still be plugging away.
A: How much of Jane Lynch is there in Sue Sylvester?
Q: I can be very short. There is a part of me that is intolerant and aggressive. I try not to lead with that in life but I didn't have to dig too deep to find that and just blow it up a little bit. And put it in a track suit.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about being on "Glee"?
A: I've been a job-to-job actor for many years, where I work for three days and then go to the next job. So it's nice to have a home and a place I go almost every day. I actually know the names of the crew!
Q: How much work did the "Vogue" Madonna parody take?
A: We did more pre-production for that than for any other piece. They had to get me into the rehearsal room pronto, because I am not a dancer. I practiced it over Christmas, I taught it to my daughter, I taught it to anyone who would do it with me. Finally I got it into my body. But it only took a day to shoot. We knocked that baby out.
Q: What's up next season for "Glee" and Sue Sylvester?
A: I have no idea. They don't tell me a thing! The great thing is I get to show up and each week I get a different script and it always makes me laugh out loud and it always surprises me.
Q: Have you always been so modest Sue ... I mean, Jane.?
A: I am faking it right now! (laughs) I am putting my best face forward. If you knew what was going on inside of my head and my heart ...