Jane Lynch on Her New Memoir, ‘Glee’ and Emmy Rumors

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jane Lynch introduced her coming memoir, “Happy Accidents” (Hyperion Voice, September) to a full crowd at BEA, the largest book trade fair in North America. After an audience Q&A and autograph session, where she joked with fans and posed for photos, Lynch sat down with Speakeasy to discuss her book, what’s next for Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” and that rumor that’s been circulating about the Emmy Awards.

Is it true you will host the Emmys?
I think so. [Big wink.] That’s between you and I and the readers of The Wall Street Journal! It goes no further than that, okay?

Excellent, how do you feel?
I feel great! I did the opening number of the Emmys last year, and I was in awe of how Jimmy Fallon conducted himself throughout the show. He had so much fun and I’m going to use him as an example.

Are you brainstorming ideas?
No, not at all. I’ll leave that to the funny writers. And then I’ll come in and get all the credit for it.

What inspired you to write a memoir?
I’m a navel gazer so I’ve been investigating my feelings and my motivations for a long time. But I never stepped outside of myself and looked at the trajectory of my life thus far. So much has happened to me in one year’s time – I got married, I’m on a television show, I’m rebuilding my house, I’m bringing my wife and new child out here. I started to reflect a bit and I saw how much I suffered as a kid over feeling alienated and different and less than. As I was putting together the story of my life, I really wished I could go back in time and talk to that kid and say, “Just relax, it’s going to be fine, and trust in your life.” [Tears up] I’m going to cry, it’s amazing. As long as you stay open and you are uber-prepared. It’s not like the world is going to roll in at your feet. You really have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your passion and exactly where you want to be, but have faith in it. I was just so afraid that the parade would pass me by, and it was needless worry.

What ugly frogs did you have to kiss?
Mostly it was the fear of rejection around who I am, and then when I figured out I was gay, fear of that rejection from my family. That kept me from my happiness, and also my critical nature of myself and everybody else. So my frogs were more metaphorical. I didn’t have horrible experiences or do horrible projects. I did some things that weren’t great, but I enjoyed the pursuit of being an actor. I wish I didn’t have to suffer so much. I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself.

What was the experience like writing your book with your wife?
It’s so funny, we’ve done so much in our first year of marriage, and then to write a book together, it’s like are we setting ourselves up for failure on purpose? But we did very well. She’s extremely smart and edumacated as I like to call her – she has a Master’s and a Ph.D., she’s a psychologist. So she was so helpful. I would just write the way I speak, which means I’m digressing all over the place, and she would take my run-on sentences and my stream-of-consciousness and my rambling and she would shape it for me. So we’re a perfect team for writing a book together. Another happy accident.

What’s next for “Glee”? Are you going to sing more?
I hope I’ll sing more. They haven’t told me yet but I imagine I’ll probably get a song in there. Sue Sylvester’s running for Congress next season.

If your character is becoming more friendly with Will, will she lose her bite?
I think that’s the thing. I don’t think Sue will lose her bite. But we’ve established her as being somebody who actually has a heart. I don’t think she’ll ever let Will or the Glee club off the hook, but I think she has focused her wrath elsewhere now. We’ll see how that all works out. I know that my character gets to evolve and grow, and I think that’s great, but not change her stripes.

Are you planning more movies?
I’m going to Atlanta to do the Farrelly brothers’ “Three Stooges” in late June. I’ll be in Atlanta at the height of the summer! I’m looking forward to that. I’m playing Mother Superior and Larry David is playing one of my nuns.

Can you tell us more about your Public Service Announcement for stamping out the “R” word?
Lauren Potter’s [the actress who plays Becky, Sue Sylvester’s sidekick] mother is a wonderful advocate and has blazed a trail for parents of Down Syndrome children. She works for a lot of different organizations and one of the organizations thought this would be a great PSA. It makes the kids feel really good to have their needs vocalized in public and put into an announcement that everyone will hear.

How is your working relationship with Lauren?
I love working with Lauren, but she is so boy crazy. She has a fall-over-dead crush for somebody – not me! – so sometimes I don’t exist for her. Sometimes I’ll come and go, “Hi Lauren,” and she’s looking at Matt [Morrison]. Or she called herself Mrs. John Stamos for like two weeks. She falls crazy in love with these guys.

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