I’ve been a massive fan of Jane Lynch’s for years, ever since she played the hilarious dog trainer Christy Cummings in Christopher Guest’s Best In Show. Of course, most of the world knows her as the ball-busting Sue Sylvester on Fox’s Glee. Now, she’s starring in the new feature film ACOD – Adult Children of Divorce, for short – alongside the likes of Adam Scott, Amy Poehler and Catherine O’Hara, where she continues to prove that she’s one of Hollywood’s funniest and most underrated actresses.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Jane via telephone last week to ask a few questions. Miraculously, I didn’t throw up from excitement.
I really loved ACOD and thought it was really funny. What drew you?
“The first thing that brought me in was Adam Scott. He’s a friend – we worked together on Party Down – and I love him and thought it would be fun to work with him. I said yes out of the gate and then I read the script and thought it was really funny. Stuart and I had a great conversation on the phone, after, and I got even more psyched.
It must’ve been hard to keep a straight face with so many great comedic actors around – Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara… “I only worked with Adam and he always makes me laugh. We really enjoyed each other and each other’s performances, I think. We had a really wonderful time together doing those scenes.”
The story really poked fun at some of the issues grown up kids of divorced parents might face. Do you think there’s any truth to that?
“Oh, there’s a total reality! It’s Stuart Zicherman’s story – his parents were awful to each other and it’s his story going through this. Ben Karlin, his co-writer – they’ve known each other since they were ten. Ben’s also an adult child of divorce and they grew up to be comedy writers. They can see the funny in anything, so there’s plenty of reality to it!”
Everyone loves Party Down – what are the chances of getting the cast back together?
“There’s hope – I don’t know that there’s plans. There were the beginning of plans about a year ago, but I haven’t heard anything since!”
What about a Christopher Guest project?
“Not that I know of, but Chris is one of those guys who can surprise you, so maybe something will pop up!”
You tend to take on a lot of powerful, aggressive roles – is that a natural draw for you?
“I think so! I think it suits me. It’s kind of my vibe I give off and you know, I enjoy doing that very much. I don’t feel that way in life – I’m fascinated with people who know how to lead and take charge and have that kind of confidence. I don’t necessarily have that – I’m more of a follower – but I’m fascinated by people who do, so every time I get to play it I realise I can’t be that way in real life, but I can act it.
People assume that and I think I’ve cultivated that part of myself recently because of that. When people view you in a certain way, you start acting that way. I’ve become much more of a person who’s in charge and a leader than I was years ago.”
Do you feel pigeon-holed into roles like that because of that vibe? “No, not really! I’ve been really lucky in that every once in a while I’ll get something that’s really outside of what has been my stock and trade and that’s always a lot of fun, like my role in Julie and Julia. Even Party Down, she was a character that was very passive, silly and sweet – doesn’t have a mean bone in her body and is almost in a coma in terms of forward energy in her life!”
You got a Walk of Fame star earlier this month – how did that come about?
“I found out over a year ago that it was announced. It was a very unreal thing, I was honored. They said they’d pick a date sometime in the future so it was very unreal, so it came together in just a few weeks and became very real and a great honor. It’s almost an unimaginable honor in that it’s not something I had on my bucket list. It kinda came out of the blue and I was just thrilled. I really took that day in and really allowed it to penetrate my heart deeply. I really felt it and really enjoyed it.”