Jane Lynch Interview

Yay! The interview that I did with Jane Lynch back at Providence International Film Festival is finally available online. Here’s an excerpt!

JANE LYNCH studied acting at Cornell University and then went on to act in comedy theater, TV, and film. Her role in The Fugitive introduced her to a wider audience, which led to appearances in major movies and TV sitcoms. However, Jane has remained committed to independent films and to playing lesbian roles whenever possible. She underscores this dedication through her work with Power-Up, a professional organization that “promotes the. visibility and integration of gay women in entertainment.” It was at a Power-Up conference that she first met L Word creator Ilene Chaiken, who asked her to join the cast.

Jane is known for the intelligence that shines through her comedy roles and has recently been honored with the Faith Hubley Memorial Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival. This award is a testament to her talent and versatility. Hilarious yet subtle, Jane is an accomplished actress with many films to her credit, including The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) and the recently released Tru Loved (2008).

I caught up with her at the Ptown Film Festival in June, where I sat with Jane at a screening of Best in Show, a 2000 movie in which she played lesbian dog trainer Christy Cummings. After the movie we talked about her status as an out actress and her work as an actress on the big and small screens.

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan: It was great to watch Best is Show with you in the audience. It was cool to see that it is still funny for you, even though I am sure you have seen it many times before.

Jane Lynch: I have, but I haven’t seen it in about four years, and we all look so young. There is such a difference in how all of us look eight years later. It was fun to watch it, because it holds up so well. I was really struck by some of the performances. Every time I see a Christopher Guest movie, someone’s performance stands out to me. This time it was Parker Posey who cracked me up.

RHH: I understand that it was made in a very non-traditional way, that you were given strong character descriptions, but no lines.

JL: That’s right. We improvised all the dialogue. We shot a lot of film. The art of this comes not only from our performances, I don’t mean to reduce our significance, but it’s in the editing. Christopher Guest creates these movies in the editing room.

RHH: I love your work on The L Word. What’s it like working with everyone on the cast–with Cybill Shepherd, for example?

JL: Cybill Shepherd is great. She’s usually who I work with. Cybill or Laurel Holloman. sometimes Jennifer Beals. I usually work with just one person. I love doing the show. They write really well, I just come in and do my piece, and then I leave. When I see the episode, it is brand new to me.

RHH: In both Best in Show and on The L Word you play a lesbian character. You are highly respected as an actor within the lesbian community; you have many lesbian fans. Is being well regarded by queer women important to you?

JL: Yes, absolutely. Acting is about human nature, so it is all of human nature that I’m curious about, and I know that historically we have been kind of a silent group and we haven’t garnered much respect or acceptance. This is changing now and I think it is really great that people like Melissa [Etheridge], and Ellen [De Generes] and Rosie O’Donnell stood up and were courageous enough to say, “I’m Gay.” Now the rest of us have had a much easier path. So kudos to them, and if someone looks up to me because I’m open and okay about it and they take strength from that, I think it’s great. Read More

Still to come, my review of Nights and Weekends, which I saw yesterday and Angent Angie’s post on the Jorie Graham reading that we attended last night. xx

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