Jane Lynch got her start with a reoccurring role in the CBS sitcom Two And A Half Men and roles in films like Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Role Models. The actress made her breakthrough with her Emmy award-winning role as antagonist cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester in the hit Fox TV series Glee.
Now the 52 year-old crosses over to the animated realm with a role as Sergeant Calhoun in the Disney film Wreck-It Ralph.
Wreck-It Ralph stars John C. Reilly as the title character, a villain of a 1982 video arcade game called Fix-It Felix Jr. who becomes bored with his job, so he escapes from his game world to become a hero in other ones, unintentionally causing chaos to the natural order of things. One of the arcade game worlds Ralph encounters is a light-gun first-person shooter called Hero’s Duty, which features Calhoun as its hero.
It was asked of Lynch whether she felt the character was created specifically for her.
“Yes, I did feel that way,” Jane replies, “And when I went into the first session, I thought, do they want me to do a voice or am I here because of what I do and indeed I was there because of what I do, so, it made it very easy.”
It was brought up that a first-person shooting game with a female soldier as its lead was probably something that would not have even been conceived back in the golden age of video arcade games.
“Yeah, she’s a cutting edge…” Lynch says, “he’s in a cutting edge game and it’s a virtual reality type experience; the first person shooter thing as far as I know. I’m not real up on my games. But she, yeah, she’s hot.”
It didn’t take much to figure out that Calhoun’s visual appearance is clearly modeled after Jane’s likeness.
“They did a great, oh well, thank you,” Jane replies, “That’s high praise, too, cause she’s hot. Um, I think that’s what the genius of what these guys and gals do is they videotape us when we’re doing the sessions and by the end, we saw renderings all along of what our character looked like and finally by the end of it, they looked like us. Our lines in the script started to sound like us. I mean, it was a pretty organic, amazing process.”
Jane talks about what it was like to work with John C. Reilly and the rest of the cast which includes Sarah Silverman and Jack McBrayer and whether there was improvisation done during the recording sessions.
“He’s an improvisational machine,” Lynch says of Reilly, “I think he would say it how it was written maybe once, just to satisfy the powers that be; and then he would do it his own way, always. He always dug deeper to find a way to say it that was more appropriate to him and just sometimes shake it up just to shake it up.”
“We worked together in Talladega Nights too, and so did Jack McBrayer, so I’ve watched him in action,” she adds, “I’ve watched Jack in action. I’ve worked with Jack before, so, yeah, I know how these guys roll.”
Lynch was then asked if she had worked with Silverman before.
“No, have not worked with Sarah,” Jane answers, “I’ve known her for a couple years, but I have not worked with her.”
There is a scene where Sgt. Calhoun kisses Jack McBrayer’s character Fix-It Felix Jr. It was asked if Jane and McBrayer actually had to kiss during the sessions together.
“We didn’t,” Lynch replies, “We did not do the lip lock. And I’m glad we didn’t. That would have been completely unnecessary. But we did do the whole scene, the Nestle Quik-sand scene, we did get to do that together. Looking at each other and actually going pop! and ow! And boom!”
Lynch was asked if she found doing an animated film slow compared to doing a weekly TV series like Glee.
“Oh yeah,” Jane says, “Four years. It took four years to do this. Yeah, I did an episode of The Simpsons, it took a year. I would go back in and replace a line. Um, Phineas And Ferb, I’m doing Phineas And Ferb and I think we’re probably in about the year mark on that. One episode I might be doing two episodes. Maybe. Maybe, I’m not sure.”
Being that Wreck-It Ralph and Phineas And Ferb are both created by Disney, it was asked if Jane feels she’s become part of that legendary studio’s family.
“I don’t know,” Lynch says, “I wonder if that’s true. I really don’t know if that is. They told me in the last roundtable, they assured me I’ll be in another Disney movie and I said really? I hope, I hope so.”
Lynch talks about the changes made to Glee and because Lea Michele and Chris Colfer’s characters move to New York together, it feels like two different shows.
“It has in a way because we go to New York and we’re following Rachel and Kurt and it’s just been so much fun,” Jane says of it, “And now everybody’s broken up. So that’s really good, so we open up the opportunity for them to fall in love with somebody else and also to heal their wounds. I just think it’s going really beautifully.”
“There’s so many people in the cast now,” she continues, “We have the new cast members and we have our old cast members and who are actually back. And so everybody’s getting a little less, because they’re trying to lay the pipe for the new people and tie up the storylines and establish the storylines in New York. So this next episode coming up is more heavy and more McKinley, it’s heavier.”
It was asked how much time Jane and the Glee cast has to complete an episode versus the four years it took for this film.
“Eight days for us,” Lynch says.
Lynch talks about what she loves about the independent films she’s working on now.
“You go back to your guerilla filmmaking days where nobody has a dressing room,” she reveals, “They’re kind of throwing you into a bathroom and you’re doing makeup with a hand mirror. It’s a lot of fun and great directors. I did Adult Children of Adult of Divorce with Adam Scott and written by some of The Daily Show people so it’s really funny. Obviously, they’re brilliant. I watch the show religiously. Adam Scott plays a grown man in his 30’s now but as a child, he went through a contentious divorce with his parents, played by Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara and they’re hilarious and they still hate each other so much.”
“And so he was, my character wrote a book called Adult Children of Divorce,” Jane continues, “And I was, he thought I was his therapist, but actually I was just a researcher. So he’s having problems in his life now and he comes back to me and he says will you see me as a patient and I said well, I’m not a therapist bur I wrote this great book that I was, it was a best seller and now I’m out of money and I’m lecturing a community colleges and things aren’t going well for me. And I think I’ll write another book and I enlist him to be a part of it. And I kind of do therapy with him in a really, probably unethical way. We shot this in Georgia, using somebody’s bathroom as a make up room. I don’t think it has a distributor. I think we were trying to get into Sundance and other film festivals.”
Jane was asked if was true she had worked with Juno Temple recently in the film Afternoon Delight, which is set for release sometime next year.
“Oh, yes!” Jane says, “I did not work with her, but she was in it and I bet she was amazing. I worked just with Kathryn Hahn, and I play her therapist. Yes, there’s a theme. Jill Soloway wrote and directed that film and Jill is one of my best friends and was my writer on the Emmys, is a producer of The Real Live Brady Bunch. I lived with her mother for two years and this is her first feature film and I was very happy to do it.”