Actress also hosts new season of Hollywood Game Night
Jane Lynch is the type of woman whose talents make the hyphen one of the most used keys on a keyboard. She’s an actress-singer-comedian-and-awards-and-game-show-host extraordinaire.
Just last week, Lynch hosted the People’s Choice Awards, returned as host of Hollywood Game Night and debuted her new comedy, Angel From Hell. In it, she plays a dishevelled woman named Amy who claims to be the guardian angel of uptight doctor Allison (Maggie Lawson).
Allison initially brushes off Amy as wine-sloshed and/or mentally unstable, but she questions her assumptions when Amy’s warnings — like one concerning a cheating boyfriend — prove valuable.
The woman formerly known as Sue Sylvester on Glee spoke about her new show, the beauty of not having goals, and which celebrity she’d most like her guardian angel to be like.
Q What about this role appealed to you after six seasons on Glee?
A Amy just really spoke to me. I thought she was hilarious and soft and compassionate, and could be harsh when the truth needed to be told. The only agenda she has is to guide Allison so she has a wonderful life.
Q Do you believe in angels?
A I do, actually. I think they come in many forms. I think we’re guided in this life, and sometimes a friend will say something and it resonates. You might find a passage in a book that really opens your heart and sets you on a different path. I don’t know that I have a guardian angel — I probably have them all around me and you probably do, too.
Q If you did have a guardian angel, which celebrity would you want them to be like?
A A Bill Murray type — somebody who’s sloppy, but very wise. And who wouldn’t want Susan Sarandon? She’s so smart and so gorgeous and so reserved. That would be a great opposite for me.
Q Glee wrapped up last year — do you miss wearing Sue’s tracksuits?
A Not really — I got kind of sick of them. But the great thing was that I knew they would fit, I knew they’d look good and there were no mysteries about what I was going to wear.
And I’m doing kind of the same thing in Angel From Hell. I have one outfit, which is kind of nice. I put it together with our wardrobe designer — it’s this army jacket that has the sleeves cut off and a T-shirt and my own pyjama bottoms.
Q Who are some of your comedic influences?
A Eve Arden is a wonderful actress even though she’s not a comedic one, and Carol Burnett for damn sure. And Jennifer Saunders, who’s on a show called Absolutely Fabulous. I felt like the world had been reinvented when I started watching it. She’s amazing.
Q Kate McKinnon spoofs you as host of Hollywood Game Night on Saturday Night Live. What do you think of her impression?
A I think it’s fantastic — I love those sketches. I think it’s great. It’s the best form of flattery.
Q You became a household name later in your career, even though you’d already done so many projects. Are you happy that this level of visibility came when it did?
A It just kind of works out perfectly if you just allow things to take their own course. I do say that if I had more success as a younger person, I don’t know that I would handle it as graciously as I do now. I think my estimation of myself would’ve come and go with the tide of public opinion, which would’ve been a very bad place to be.
Q You’ve won a Golden Globe and three Emmys, hosted the Emmys, done Broadway and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Is there anything else on your bucket list?
A I really just take it a thing at a time. I really don’t have goals — I rarely set my sights on anything. It doesn’t feel natural. I just got this great television show and it’s not something I designed. I think I do better when I allow my guardian angel to guide me.
Angel From Hell airs Thursdays on CBS, Fridays on Global. Hollywood Game Night airs Tuesdays on NBC/CTV Two.