“Glee” Star Jane Lynch Talks About Hosting The Emmys, New Episodes of “Glee” and Her Personal Memoir
HollywoodNews.com: Jane Lynch met the Television Critics Association today to discuss her job hosting this year’s Emmy Awards. After the presentation, we got to ask her more about her preparations, the new season of Glee and her upcoming memoir, Happy Accidents.
Q: Are you wearing a tux on The Emmys or dresses, and how many costume changes will you make?
JL: I think I’m going to have a couple changes. David Meister’s designing them. I might be wearing a tux but he has some great ideas for non traditional gowns.
Q: How much input are you having with his designs?
JL: One of the things that I’ve learned is I don’t go into areas that I know nothing about. I have a great producer, I have great writers and a terrific designer. I’m just sitting back and marveling at their talent.
Q: Are you nervous?
JL: I am. The live aspect of it, it’s like when I did Saturday Night Live, once I was on stage, it was heaven, absolute heaven but it’s that anticipation. Mark just gave me a flow chart of what happens in the show and when I was able to look at it in terms of bites, and my stuff is in orange, it’s like oh, I’m not the whole show. It’s about awards, so I can relax and go it’s not all about me. It’s about awards.
Q: What do you like to see in an Emmy show?
JL: I love the funny bits. I love the Conan O’Brien bit, he did that hilarious thing where he ended up on the To Catch a Predator set. That’s fantastic. I like when it’s funny. I thought Jimmy was so good last year and also move it along and know that it’s about the awards and get your funny bits over with and let’s all go have a party.
Q: Have you talked to any previous hosts?
JL: No, but Jimmy sent me flowers when it was announced which was lovely.
Q: Are you tapping any writers that know your voice?
JL: Yes, my friend Jill Soloway who also wrote The Real Life Brady Bunch. Well, we didn’t write it, we ripped it off from television. Sherwood Schwartz died this year so there’s kind of a beauty to our working together again. We’re totally on the same wavelength. Any time I write something, I never show it to anybody but Jill.
Q: Are you actually in the writer’s room?
JL: Yes, I am. It’s great. It’s how Jill and I have worked together for years. It’s bouncing ideas off of each other. What does though is the hard part. She goes away and writes it. Robb Cullen is also a writer, the head writer. They work together and they actually know each other and they get along well so it’s kind of a happy accident if I can quote my book.
Q: What did you have to do for the Emmys?
JL: I wanted to sing. I knew I wanted to sing, have some kind of a singing number.
Q: How do you calm down and relax?
JL: I don’t drink or smoke anymore so I’m just caffeinated. No, I don’t really. You know what I do to help myself though is I’ve cleared my schedule for the three or four days before. We’re going to stay in a hotel downtown and my entire family’s coming in and I’m getting their makeup artists, I’m getting their clothes, getting their accommodations and flights. I’m doing that all now when I have the wherewithal. Then I’m leaving them to their own. I said, “Once I do this for you, I don’t want to hear from you again until after the show.” They’re like all right.
Q: Do you bounce ideas off your wife, Lara?
JL: Oh yeah, absolutely, and she’s so smart.
Q: A lot of people think of you at that crazy woman in the suit. What will surprise people about watching you up there?
JL: It’s hard for me to say because I’m mean and if I really answered that, I’d be like, “They’re going to be surprised with my depth of talent.” I don’t know. I leave that to people’s perspectives.
Q: Very few women have hosted.
JL: Only three. I’m the third.
Q: Did you go after this job?
JL: I didn’t. I never had the ambition but I was on a plane after the upfronts in New York going to L.A. and Mark Burnett came up to me. He was on the same flight and he said, “I don’t have the authority to offer you this yet but would you consider hosting the Emmys.” I said without a thought yes and then I walked away and went, “What have I done?” It’s one of those things where I went of course I must. I must, dear God help me.
Q: What’s coming up on Glee?
JL: I got the script and it’s great. It’s really funny. My character is continuing her campaign for Congress on the Sue Sylvester American Liberty ticket. She’s going to be more right wing than Michelle Bachman at this point I think.
Q: How will she torture Will?
JL: I don’t know yet. Not torturing. Making fun of his hair a little bit in the first scene.
Q: But you’re going to torture the winner of The Glee Project, right?
JL: Oh really? I’ve watched a little bit of it. I didn’t know that. You must know something I don’t know.
Q: What was your participation in the Glee concert movie?
JL: Oh, it was great. I’m not in it. Ultimately I’m not in the movie but I did the promos. I went to New Jersey and I saw them shoot it and it was amazing.
Q: Why aren’t you in it?
JL: Because it’s about the kids. It’s about the concert and I’m not in the concert.
Q: Is it getting harder to logic Sue’s hatred for Will since they’ve had so many bonds?
JL: I don’t know. I think it’s always going to be there because it’s her lower self and she operates basically from her lower self but when she gets to her higher self, I think they have that kind of relationship. It can go on and on that way, that kind of love-hate thing.
Q: Will anyone be helping Sue’s congressional run?
JL: I don’t know but Ryan [Murphy] told me his ideas which of course I can’t tell you. I’d probably be fired but it’s going to get heavy and it’s going to get intense.
Q: What do you think about Glee focusing on character and avoiding guest stars and theme shows?
JL: I think we’ve got a huge cast as it is. I think that’s good and we’ve done some stunt casting where we’ve brought in these great people but unless it serves the major stories, I don’t think we’ll be doing any more of that and I think that’s a good idea. We’ve got a lot going on on this show.
Q: Will Sue be singing this season?
JL: I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine. I hope so though.
Q: Why did you decide to write a memoir and what does it cover?
JL: It comes out September 15th. It’s a memoir. My wife wrote it with me and it came out of my telling her, you know how you tell each other your stories when you first fall in love. She’s like, “This stuff is fascinating.” She’s a psychologist and I’m no dummy in that area either. We started putting some things together and I don’t fear self-disclosure. I think it can be helpful. I was a very, very anxious kid. It was totally cathartic. I was an anxious kid, I created a lot of worry for myself and she said, “If you could go back in time and tell your 19-year-old self anything, what would you say?” I would say, “Relax. It’s going to be fine. You don’t have to suffer over your suffering. Just have faith in your life.” This is of course a general wash of everything that goes on in about 300 pages.
Q: Is it anecdotes?
JL: Yeah, exactly, and basically I said yes to everything except porno in my life. No one was offering me porno either. It actually served me, even the crappy stuff that I’ve done.
Q: Have you been able to offer the Glee kids any advice for dealing with fame?
JL: Oh, it’s brand new for me too. They’re just young and they don’t ask me for any advice. I will tell you that I mostly work with Matt Morrison but they are great kids. They’re really good people and they’re in the spotlight so everything they do is like, “Oh, So and So’s a diva.” Ultimately they’re actors who have to show up. They’re in an ensemble. They have to give the spotlight as much as take the spotlight. Some episodes they might not have a line and they show up and do it. Nobody’s complaining.
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