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An Interview with Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch talks to Lesbian Life


Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

© Club Skirts
Updated November 30, 2011
Jane Lynch has to be one of the busiest working in Hollywood. She’s appeared in more than 100 movies and TV shows including The L Word, The 40 Year Old Virgin, CSI, The Gilmore Girls, Friends and Best in Show. And best of all, this out lesbian actor has never once felt the need to be in the closet.

I had opportunity to talk with Jane Lynch about a few of her upcoming projects including her appearance at Dinah Shore. She also shared some great advice for those struggling with whether or not to come out of the closet.

What are you working on right now?

I finished a movie last Wednesday. It’s working title is Ticket to Ride. It’s with Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett and Alexis Bledel of the Gilmore Girls.

Wow, Carol Burnett.

I know. She plays my mother-in-law. It was the highlight of my life. Michael Keaton is wonderful too. But boy did we enjoy Carol Burnett!

What can you tell me about the movie?

I’m the mother. Alexis is trying desperately to start her own life and circumstances foil her. It’s about finding the boy nextdoor is the love she’s been waiting for and that there’s no place like home.

So, a romantic comedy?

Yeah. It’s a very wacky romantic comedy.

How long have you been working in Hollywood?

I’ve been out here about 14 years. I’ve been chugging right along.

You have been. You’ve been in everything: movies, commercials T.V. Are you the busiest workingwoman in Hollywood?

I don’t know. I’ve been very lucky, I work a lot.

Do you prefer comedy or drama?

I prefer work. Just doing it. I love to be busy.

Do you have a role that you consider one of your favorites?

Laurie Bohner in A Mighty Wind. I really enjoyed doing that character. I loved singing in a group. And we toured. The best part was being this sexpot who has no shame about her body and loves her femininity.

It seems like a lot of the characters you play have a swagger, like in the 40 Year Old Virgin and The L Word. Is that swagger you?

No. It’s me on a REALLY good day.

A few years back, you won an award from POWER UP for one of the Ten Amazing Gay Women in Hollywood, which was the first time I realized you were out. I wanted to ask you about that. Was coming out a decision you made at some point?

No, it was very organic. I didn’t stop going to gay events because my visibility was a little greater, I just continued to live my life. I benefited from the work of the brave people like Ellen and Melissa and Rosie. They did the grunt work and I happily walked that trail, whistling a tune. It was much easier for me.

Has being out affected your career that you can tell?

No. If it has it’s been behind my back. But you know what, I don’t play ingénues. I think if I were a Julia Roberts type, wait, no that’s not true, I know some women in television who are gay and it doesn’t seem to affect them. But I think if you’re a really big star, then it can affect you. But that seems to be getting better.

Do you have advice for young lesbian looking to pursue a Hollywood career?

I would say don’t be a young lesbian pursuing a Hollywood career. These identifications that we wrap ourselves around: I’m tall, I’m a lesbian, I’m African American. Yeah, those things affect how people perceive us. But ever since I was a little kid, I never wrapped myself around any of those labels. So I think that’s why I always assumed more was possible for me. So I would say, if you want to be an actor, go out there and act.

The thing is, the world has changed. Like I said, there were really brave, powerful people before us who laid this groundwork, who sacrificed and were given a hard time. But work has been done, so jump on that path and benefit from that. It’s all about how you feel about yourself. Do what ever is comfortable for you. Some people are more comfortable in the closet. You’ve got to let them be. It doesn’t make them bad people and it doesn’t make them dishonest. They have to ask themselves, where am I comfortable? It’s a process.

Let’s talk about Dinah Shore. Have you been before?

I went last year. It was my first time. I only went for a couple of days. It’s crazy and it’s fun. I only regret that I didn’t go when I was younger.

What role will you have there?

I’m just going for 24 hours. I’m going to do the fashion show. I’m just gonna strut down the catwalk.

Switching to The L Word. I love your character Joyce on The L Word.

I do too. I love doing it.

What’s it like to play across from Cybill Shepherd?

It’s heaven, in a word. I think she makes me a better actor. It’s usually a scene an episode so we’re in and out pretty quickly, but it’s so enjoyable. It’s so worth the ride to Vancouver. It’s the best.

Are you up there for a week?

24 hours.

You did all your scenes in 24 hours?


Is that what your life is like then?

Sometimes. I’m a jobber. I hang my hat in many places. It’s been my life for a while now.

That sounds like a really fun life. Are you enjoying it?

I am. I’m loving it. There is a part of me -- you know you always want what you don’t have--would like to hang my hat someplace for a while, but every once in a while I get to do that. I just did this movie for five weeks where I got to live here the whole time.

What would be Jane Lynch’s ideal role?

I do it everyday. I’ve been so lucky. Every role I get is something new and it’s a part of myself I haven’t discovered yet. I don’t have goals anymore. Not that I’ve achieved everything. But having goals is so stressful. I’m pretty happy with the ways things go. If I think for a moment, I should have a goal, it makes me stressed out and I think, you don’t need a goal, you’re doing fine.

What can we look forward to seeing you in the future?

A movie called Spring Breakdown. We did it like a year ago. That should be out in October. This movie that I did, Ticket to Ride, probably not out until next year. I’m actually writing with a friend right now. We’ve got an idea we’re going to be pitching around. A comedy.

We’ll look forward to that. Thank you Jane Lynch

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