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Interview With Jane Lynch

Aired September 16, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jane Lynch and her alter ego, Sue Sylvester, the Emmy-winning star of "Glee."


JANE LYNCH, "GLEE": That's the smell of failure and it's stinking up my office.


KING: Has mocked Madonna, has rocked with Olivia Newton-John. Has a conniving cheerleading coach ever looked so good?


LYNCH: Outstanding!


BROWN: Break out your track suits. Get ready, Gleeks. Jane Lynch has something to sing about. She's here for the hour next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, in glee club, we do things a little bit differently.

LYNCH: Oh, yes, Will? How's that working out for you?


KING: On LARRY KING LIVE. Good evening. Jane Lynch just won an Emmy as the villainous cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox's hip musical comedy "Glee." She's got more than 100 TV and film credits to her name. Season two of "Glee" returns to Fox on Tuesday, September 21st. Season one of "Glee" is on DVD right now. And for those of you who've been living under a rock in the past year, watch.


LYNCH: Let me get this straight. The glee club got rid of Dakota Stanley. Mr. Schuester is back. And they're busy at work on a new number, more confident than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And down, up, and up, clap, clap. Down, clap, and up, clap, clap.

LYNCH: This is what we call a total disaster, ladies. I'm going to ask you to smell your armpits. That's the smell of failure.


KING: We're just getting started with "Glee's" Jane Lynch. We're going to talk about lots of things tonight. But what motivates, do you think, Sue Sylvester?

LYNCH: I think she's a warrior. She's always looking for the next fight. I think that's why she let the glee club off at the end of the first season, where she -- you know, they could have been -- glee club could have been, you know, gone. And she said, No, let them stay. And I think it's because they're a worthy adversary. I think she's always looking for the next fight...


KING: ... another season.

LYNCH: Exactly! There's got to be another season.

KING: When you read this...


KING: ... were you offered it right away?


KING: You didn't have to...

LYNCH: I didn't have to...

KING: ... audition.

LYNCH: ... audition for it. No, no. It was one of those great things where you kind of...

KING: Did you like her?

LYNCH: I did. I loved it. One of the first things that Ryan Murphy, who's our...

KING: Who also won an Emmy.

LYNCH: He won an Emmy, yes. He created the show, with a couple of other guys. It said Sue Sylvester may or may not have posed for "Penthouse" and may or may not be on horse estrogen.


LYNCH: And I said, I'm in! No, I loved it. I knew it was going to be really great. KING: Did you know that it would, despite this long and what we'd call successful career as a character actress -- I guess that's what we'd call it -- you would have this blossom?

LYNCH: I know. It's one of those things. I mean, there are so many great actors out there, and I know that I'm breathing rarefied air -- that I found a character and a writer -- Ian Brennan is the guy who basically writes everything I say -- where we just kind of -- we work really well together. I love saying what he writes for me.

KING: Did you know it would be a hit?

LYNCH: You know, when I -- when I saw the first number, "Don't Stop Believing" -- I got to watch that being filmed, and I went, Wow. You know, they -- I knew that these kids -- Lea Michelle -- I mean, I couldn't believe her talent. Matt Morrison, I couldn't believe his talent, and all the other kids. I had a feeling when I saw us do the first musical number, I went, Oh, my God, this is going to be a hit!

KING: Then you agree, then, it's all on the page.

LYNCH: You know what? Sometimes I read the script, and it doesn't jump out at me. It's not until I see it sometimes. It's not -- I mean, it's -- it's -- it's really great actors kind of bringing this stuff to life. I think it could be very sappy and sentimental, if you're not in the right frame of mind when you're reading it. And -- but when you see these actors, you know, bite into it, it really...

KING: But you say the lines, right?

LYNCH: Yes. Yes. Well, I'm memorizing lines all the time. I'm driving around Los Angeles, talking to myself, memorizing because I don't say anything in one sentence. Everything I do is basically a diatribe.

KING: Do they allow to you say, I'm not comfortable with this? Can we do it this way?

LYNCH: Yes. Yes, but usually, I'm talked out of it.


LYNCH: You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded. That's hard!



LYNCH: I had one line, though, that I don't even know how it got past Fox. But I had one line where I said something about how I was going to torture Will and I would skin a cat in front of him. And I said, I can't -- I can't say it. And they said, Well, we actually put that it there to see if it would raise any flags and it didn't. But we're going to rewrite it anyway. I couldn't say that.

KING: Animal groups.

LYNCH: Yes, oh, and I've -- I have two cats. I -- now I have five cats with my new wife. We have five cats and two dogs.

KING: I'll get to that later.


KING: You work so well with your adversary.


KING: Is that -- would you call that good chemistry or bad chemistry?

LYNCH: It's good chemistry. He's amazing, Matt Morrison.

KING: But you hate each other.

LYNCH: Yes, we -- our characters hate each other, but also, I think we have grudging respect for each other. And Matt's character, Mr. Schuester, is always trying to find my good side. He's always trying to, you know -- you know, make peace, and it's against Sue Sylvester's nature. She's a warrior, you know, but she has great respect for him. And she admires him, too, because his kids love him and they admire him, whereas my kids basically fear me.

KING: Why does "Glee" work?

LYNCH: I think it works because there's nothing more raw and truthful than when you raise your voice in song, when you get to a point -- it's like why the American musical theater works. When you raise your voice in song to express what's going on deep inside of you, I think people just react to that because it's so truthful. It's so raw. And I think especially kids are just so hungry for that.

KING: Do you like working with a young cast?

LYNCH: I do. They're really great. They're really nice people and they're -- they can't afford to have, you know, any of the attitudes or -- you know, they have to sing. They have to dance. They have to rehearse. They have to record. And then they're shooting. So they have to be disciplined. They have to have their head on straight. And they're really...

KING: But they're not veterans.

LYNCH: No, they're not veterans, but they're real show people. You know, they're real theater people, you know? And they know how to do it all. They're triple threats and -- you know, so that you can't -- you can't have an attitude.

KING: Now, it's billed as a musical comedy, but you get the bullying, sexuality, disabilities, infidelity.

LYNCH: Yes. I know. KING: You would think that couldn't work.

LYNCH: Yes, I know! You would think -- on the page sometimes, you think, Oh, my goodness, how is this going to work? We had a pregnancy right in the beginning, you know? One of our students was pregnant.

KING: Who was celibate, supposedly.

LYNCH: Yes. Right. She was the president of the Celibacy Club, and of course, she gets pregnant because that happens to those people. And so that was kind of, I think -- you know, right off the bat, I thought -- because we want kids to watch this show. So sometimes I read it and I'll think, Oh, is this a little too much? But obviously, it's not. I mean, kids just love it.

KING: You're a Chicago girl.

LYNCH: I am, yes. I'm from the South Side.

KING: Did you always want to be in theater?

LYNCH: I did, yes. From my first conscious moment, I wanted to...

KING: Do you know why?

LYNCH: I don't know why. I think I'm wired that way. But I knew when I was watching television that I wanted to do that. I wanted to perform. And I remember the first play I saw. I was very young. I was -- in my memory of it, I'm barely conscious. But I remember the lights going up and a whole world emerging from this darkness. And I was, oh, just intrigued with that and I wanted to be in that. I still love that. I still love going to the theater and sitting in the dark, and then the lights come on and there's this whole world in front of you.

KING: Given all choices, would you rather do theater?

LYNCH: No, I like it all. I really do.

KING: You do?

LYNCH: Yes, I like all of it. I love being in these ensemble comedy movies. I love working with a bunch of people and coming up with, you know, How can we make this moment funnier? And I enjoy the immediacy of theater, too, and you know, the audience out there and your heart pounding and how you have to just kind of surrender to it. You know, there's no take two. You're in it.

KING: Tony Randall says comedy is a serious business.

LYNCH: It is, yes.

KING: Because you don't play it funny, right?

LYNCH: Right. Right. It has to come from a truthful place...

KING: That's hard.

LYNCH: It has to come from a truthful place in order to be funny. If you're contriving something, if you're making something up, it's not funny. You can tell. It's instant. It has to come from someplace real. And I think, you know, comics, people who are funny I think really can look at themselves and look into the shadow of who they are and be able to embrace it.

KING: But when you're on a stage, you hear the laugh.


KING: In a studio, you don't, do you?

LYNCH: No. But you know what's really fun is, you're doing the scene and you're, you know, hopefully working your magic. And then they say cut, and the place falls apart. That is the best! That's the...

KING: You get that a lot.

We're going to talk about Madonna and marriage and the madness that is Sue Sylvester. Jane Lynch, "Glee" in its second year, major hit, is here for the hour. She'll be right back.



LYNCH: When I was a little girl, I developed early. By the time I was 14, I had this body you're looking at. Can you imagine that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to.

LYNCH: Sherry Ann (ph) did put some make-up on me, but it's really not my style, you know, so I took it off. I learned to play the ukelele in one of my last films, "Not So Tiny Tim." You know, one call to the judge from me and you are in the slammer like Emcee Hammer.


KING: Does comedy come easy to you?

LYNCH: Yes, I think so. I mean, I...

KING: Were you a funny kid?

LYNCH: I was a funny kid. My family's funny, you know, sometime not intentionally.


LYNCH: My sister and brother and I would laugh endlessly at our parents, yes.

KING: Some of your most memorable characters are delusional, right? I mean...


LYNCH: I know! Yes, I'm kind of fascinated with that, people who think they're pulling something off in the real world, and we're looking at them kind of like this. But they have absolute confidence that they're, you know, too cool for school.

KING: What was your first break?

LYNCH: My first break? You know, it's been a series of breaks, I guess. I'm kind of a slow burn. But the most recent one was probably when I did "Best in Show," when I started working...

KING: It's a great movie.

LYNCH: Thank you. Yes, I think it's great. It holds up, too -- which was, like, 2000. And I was almost 40. And that's when I started -- you know, when people started to know who I was and...

KING: Did anyone think that that movie was going to be a hit?

LYNCH: You know, I think -- "Waiting for Guffman" -- I don't know if you're familiar with that. That was his first film. And there was a small group of people who just adored it. You know, it was kind of a cult favorite. So there was a bit of anticipation for that small group. But I think that group expanded after "Best in Show."

KING: As an animal lover...



KING: Did you realize early you could make people laugh?

LYNCH: Yes. Yes.

KING: You were -- that's a -- but you have it or you don't, right?

LYNCH: Right. Exactly. I don't think you can teach it.

KING: We have a FaceBook question.


KING: Oh, FaceBook! The book (ph) is answering. What do you think of before jumping into a character? How do you enter the spirit of a character?

LYNCH: I think I find the Achilles heel. I find the... KING: The weakness.

LYNCH: Yes, the weakness. And if you're working from the weakness, there's all sorts of stuff you can find because you're in the vulnerable area. You're in the tender area. And great comedy comes from that.

KING: Do you get type cast because of it?

LYNCH: Probably. I mean, I do...

KING: You don't get serious roles?

LYNCH: Well, you know what? Now and again, I do. I do -- I play Matthew Gruber's (ph) mother on "Criminal Minds," and that's pretty heavy stuff.

KING: Very heavy.

LYNCH: Yes. And she's in an institution.

KING: Do you still do it?

LYNCH: I haven't done it in about a year. I hope to go back and do it...

KING: Won't they have you come back?

LYNCH: I don't know if they -- you know, when you're in a television...


KING: ... they going to say no?

LYNCH: I don't know. Because I'm doing this?

KING: Yes.

LYNCH: I don't know. I think people are more open-minded than that. I think there is a certain authoritarian character that I play that, hopefully, I don't do the same thing over and over again. But I mean, I'll admit I watch things sometimes and go, Oh, I'm kind of doing the same thing did I in "Best in Show" here, but -- yes, I think you do. I think people kind of want a sure thing sometimes. And so it's my job to try to make them different in some way, you know?

KING: In that unique position of having been (INAUDIBLE) did you still have to audition?

LYNCH: Yes. Oh, yes.

KING: Recently?

LYNCH: I haven't auditioned recently. I haven't had time to do anything. KING: I mean before "Glee."

LYNCH: Before "Glee." Yes, I was still auditioning. Yes, so it was a great gift to be handed this.

KING: Isn't it that a bitch?

LYNCH: It is a bitch!


LYNCH: After all -- you know what? When auditioning is great is when nobody knows you. And you walk into a room, and you know, they don't know who you are. And then you do something that makes them really go, Hey, you know? And when -- if I could get that from the people I'm auditioning for, that always made me so happy. So I always looked at auditions back then, before anybody knew me, as kind of, I'm going to show them something.

KING: Have you done -- Danny DeVito told me, in "Taxi"...


KING: You know, a lot of people tried out for that little character who ran the...


KING: He came in in character.


KING: He insulted the people in the room.


LYNCH: That's a risky thing to do. Obviously, it worked, but yes, sometimes, you get rolled eyes when you do something like that.

KING: Have you taken chances?

LYNCH: Not like that, no. Not like that.

KING: Have you turned down anything? That you may have regretted?

LYNCH: No. I haven't turned down anything I regret. No. But basically, I say yes to everything.


LYNCH: My agent used to say I will work for $1.50 and a steak. I always figured that if you're being offered work, you got to take it, you know? Maybe not so much anymore, but...

KING: Oh, you don't have to do that anymore. LYNCH: But I did. I took everything. And I love -- I love working. You know, I -- and sometimes I'd work in things that I didn't think were very good, but I had to do them.

KING: So what did you do it for, just to work?

LYNCH: Yes, just to work. Yes. I love to work. I love doing it.

KING: So what if you thought the script was horrid?

LYNCH: Oh, I've done scripts that are horrid!


LYNCH: And I do my best. You know, I don't know so much anymore, but I mean, definitely in the beginning. I just wanted -- I love being around actors. I love being around people who, you know, love this work.

KING: Anthony Quinn said -- I guess you'd agree -- you always give your best...

LYNCH: Always, yes.

KING: ... no matter what you think of...


LYNCH: Exactly. You play each moment as truthfully as you can, and you try to make it -- you know, it's supposed to be funny, or you know, poignant, whatever it's supposed to be, you work to do that. Yes.

KING: Tuesday night, September 21st, second year of "Glee." The first year, you can get now. Buy a box set. More with the actress Jane Lynch about her successful career and her personal life, too. She recently married her girlfriend. Stick around.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Emmy goes to Jane Lynch! Yay!

LYNCH: I want to say to the cast, I love you. You're young and you're wonderful. You're fresh-faced. And when I'm not seething with jealousy, I'm so proud of you. And to my agent, Gabrielle Kringle (ph), I love you so much! You're the best agent in the world. And I love you my wife, Lara, and my little girl, Hayden (ph). And God bless! Thank you.


KING: That, of course, if you didn't know, was Jane Lynch accepting her Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy. And quite a year for you, you wrap up "Glee" and then you married your partner.

LYNCH: Right.

KING: Right? Who you'd been together with how long?

LYNCH: We got married on our first anniversary.

KING: Was it a marriage-marriage?

LYNCH: Yes. We were -- got married in...

KING: When it was legal.

LYNCH: Yes. In Massachusetts. Yes. Yes.

KING: What was -- now, she's a clinical psychologist.

LYNCH: Right.

KING: Right?

LYNCH: Same work as me.


KING: Does she analyze you?

LYNCH: No. Well, we -- you know, I mean, I think we come together on -- you know, we love to talk about motivation and process and stuff like that. We just -- you know, we kind of click on that.

KING: What was it like to get married?

LYNCH: It was wonderful. It's something I never thought I would want to do, gay or straight. I didn't think that that was something I wanted to do and...

KING: You mean you wanted to be single.

LYNCH: Not even that so much. You know, it's almost like having children. I never thought about it. I never had that drive to do it. And you know, it just -- when I met her, it was just perfect. It was right. It was, like, this is the woman I want to marry. And this -- you know, I have a daughter now. I have an 8-year-old daughter and...

KING: You adopted her at what age? Oh, she had...

LYNCH: I didn't adopt her. I'm her stepparent. Yes. She has two parents. She's 8 years old, so -- she'll be 9 in a couple weeks. And she's great.

KING: What's that like?

LYNCH: It's great. She's wonderful. She's -- you know, I always said if I was going to have a kid, it would have to be a pretty exceptional kid. And she's wise. She's ironic. She's funny. She's adorable. She's a real sweetheart. She's not kid-like in the way -- you know, sometimes when she'll have her little friends over, I go, Oh, my God, children are tedious! But she's wonderful. She's a real bright light.

KING: Call you both Mom?

LYNCH: She calls me Jane.

KING: Oh (INAUDIBLE) the name.


KING: Let's go into this a little.

LYNCH: Sure.

KING: When did you know that you were, for want of a better term, different?

LYNCH: Oh, about the same time I knew I wanted to be an actress, you know, kind of the first moment of consciousness. I knew that...

KING: You liked girls.

LYNCH: Yes. I knew that that was the deal for me and...

KING: Did you wonder why?

LYNCH: Yes. I wondered why. I knew there was -- I thought there was something very, very wrong with me.

KING: Because your girlfriends are saying, Look at that guy. He's cute, right?

LYNCH: Right. And I didn't see what it was talking about, and I'm looking at her and going, I think you're really cute.


LYNCH: Yes. I knew that -- and it was kind of my deep, dark secret all through high school. There were no gay role models. Nobody was open. You know, I come from the South Side of Chicago in the '70s. And you know, there were no gay role models. And I remember someone saying the word "gay" and hearing what it was, and I thought, Oh, that's what I am! Oh, God, nobody can ever know! So that was kind of tough.

KING: One doesn't know why they are.


KING: I don't know why I'm heterosexual.

LYNCH: Exactly.

KING: You don't know why. LYNCH: You don't know why.

KING: I didn't choose it.

LYNCH: No. You just -- you know, we're all a series of just little networks going on inside of us. And we have preferences and -- you know, and it's -- it's tough because -- I mean, it was tough for me growing up and I know it's tough for a lot of people. It's not tough for me anymore. But it is tough for a lot of people out there.

KING: Do you think we're changing?

LYNCH: I do think we're changing, but it's very slow. And it seems like the courts have to -- tend to lead us into social change, you know? We don't seem to do on it our own very well.

KING: Senator Reid said the Senate's going to bring up `'Don't ask, don't tell."

LYNCH: Yes. Yes, and I hear it doesn't look very good, but -- it's part of a bigger bill.

KING: Yes.

LYNCH: But I don't know if they're going to (INAUDIBLE)

KING: Does it offend you to know that that exists?

LYNCH: Offend -- I don't know that -- it hurts me. I'm rarely offended, you know? I think, more than anything, it kind of hurts my feelings and it hurts my feelings for a lot of other people, too. I think that there -- for the people who are against us...


LYNCH: That's a goofy thing, you know?

KING: Why are they against...


LYNCH: I guess it's a moral thing for them and -- or a religious thing for them. And it's -- you know, I think it's -- it's hurtful and it's kind of ridiculous.

KING: Do you think people should be open about their sexuality?

LYNCH: I think people need to do what they have to do.

KING: Did you come out?

LYNCH: Not formally.

KING: Did you ever (INAUDIBLE)

LYNCH: I never hid it, though. I mean, I hid it when I was younger. But you know, you get to be 40 years old and tired of hiding. It just kind of happened naturally, you know, that I started letting people who know I was, and not like I walked into a room with a rainbow flag. You know, I would talk about somebody I was dating. I didn't hide the fact that when I met Lara, everybody in the cast knew that, you know, I was in love and I was getting married. I don't (INAUDIBLE)

KING: When you were in high school, did you go out with boys?

LYNCH: No. No, I didn't.

KING: Did not.

LYNCH: No. I had -- I found the one who's, like, still my best friend, probably the other gay kid in school, Christopher, a guy, and we hung out together. And I think people knew we weren't dating, but (INAUDIBLE)

KING: (INAUDIBLE) fun poking at the gay guy in "Glee"? You, gay guy!


LYNCH: That's right. Yes. I love how Sue gets to do -- you know, and I don't mean to compare myself to such an icon as Archie Bunker, but for a moment, if might compare us -- you know, what we loved about him was just so how unpolitically correct he was, you know? And how he, you know...

KING: That was script, boy.

LYNCH: Yes. Boy, Norman Lear. Yes.

KING: More with Jane and her Cheerios when we come back.



LYNCH: I hear people say, That's not how I define marriage. Well, to them I say love knows no bounds. Why can't people marry dogs? I'm certainly not advocating intimacy with your pets. I for one think intimacy has no place in a marriage. Walked in on my parents once, and it was like seeing two walruses wrestling. So woof on Prop 15, Ohio. And that's how Sue sees it.


KING: Art imitating life. That was Sue's corner (ph), where Sue Sylvester played by Jane Lynch was talking about a proposition on the ballot. What did you make of the Proposition 8 fight?

LYNCH: Well, I thought it was -- I really didn't think it was going to lose until the final hours, when the numbers were coming in. I couldn't believe it was going to lose. And I think now, if you took a poll, it's -- I heard that it might be flipped the other way, where it might be 52 for and maybe 48 against.

KING: Last night, a Supreme Court Justice was our guest, who pretty much admitted the Court's going to have to hear this.


KING: There's going to be a decision. There's going to be an appeal.

LYNCH: Yes, I know.

KING: Is that...

LYNCH: It's going to go up to the Supreme Court. I don't know.

KING: You think it'll 5-4?

LYNCH: It probably will be 5-4 when I...

KING: Reflection of the nation.

LYNCH: Yes. And we hope that we have the 5.

KING: How do you think the president has handled all this?

LYNCH: I think that the president probably has so much on his plate and he's so overwhelmed. I can't imagine what that job must be. You know, I can sit in my armchair and watch my political shows and say, Get moving on this stuff. All you have to do is sign a piece of paper. All you have to do say so.

KING: You sound like Sue now. Go ahead! Go! Go! Go!


LYNCH: Yes. But you know, I don't know what he's facing in there. I mean, I don't know what it's like to be president. And I imagine that it must be really overwhelming and I...

KING: So you're not a -- the knee-jerk critics on the left...

LYNCH: I kind of am.

KING: ... who are saying he's slow on this.

LYNCH: I'm being -- yes. I think he is being slow. But I'm not sitting in his place. I don't know what he's doing. I would love for him just to -- he could right now declare a stay on "Don't ask, don't tell" and...

KING: He could -- a president (INAUDIBLE) edict.

LYNCH: Yes, he could, and he's not doing it.

KING: Because it was an edict when Clinton did it.

LYNCH: Yes. I know. I know. So -- and he's not. And I wish that he would, and I don't know why he's not.

KING: Do you ever wonder why people are so intense about this subject?

LYNCH: I don't. I guess I do on some level. I think it's -- you know, if someone is different than you, you have to destroy it. You know? If you don't understand --

KING: Like any kind of prejudice. Prejudge means stupid.

LYNCH: Right. It does. It's a stupid thing. And I think that people are lining up on the wrong side of history. Maybe someday we'll wish they haven't.

KING: Someday we'll have a gay president.

LYNCH: Oh yes, absolutely. We'll have a gay president.

KING: Probably before a woman.

LYNCH: We'll probably have a gay man before a woman. Absolutely.

KING: Women will come last.

LYNCH: When Hillary was running, I really was all for Obama. And gosh -- well, she's doing a great job, I think, as secretary of state. She's doing an excellent job. Wouldn't she be a heck of a president? I don't know. I think she has some cojones.

KING: Spunk. A little bit of Sue in her.

LYNCH: Yes, a lot of Sue in her. Yes. I think so.

KING: When you're doing that -- back to that character for a second. When you're having fights with the coach --

LYNCH: Right.

KING: -- do you ever really get wound up enough to really dislike him?

LYNCH: No. No.

KING: Always playing a scene.

LYNCH: Always playing a scene. And Sue is ridiculous. Her prejudices are -- they benefit her in the moment and she'll change her mind about an opinion if it doesn't benefit her anymore. I think that's the thing that is so ridiculous about her, is that her prejudices and her opinions are just outlandish.

KING: We'll be right back with a great lady, Miss Lynch, and Sue Sylvester vogues next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: The music of Madonna, Lady Gaga and Beyonce have been central to some "Glee" episodes. Britney Spears is apparently on the call list. Why do some of the biggest names in music want to be on the show?

LYNCH: People have really taken to this show. And musicians, basically, they love music. They understand the power of music. And I think it touches them all very deeply that this is a show that celebrates making a joyful noise.

KING: They want to be on.

LYNCH: Yes, they want to be on. I don't know if it is -- Lady Gaga can't get any bigger. What benefit does she get from this? And I think it is just that when we gave her her award at the VMAs, when she came up to accept it, she embraced us and said, I love you guys. She just really loves the show.

KING: Who is coming on in the next year?

LYNCH: We have a whole --

KING: Britney Spears.

LYNCH: Yes, a whole Britney Spears episode. John Stamos has a part and he's amazing. We're doing a Rocky Horror episode right now. I think I can say that. Gosh, who else? This wonderful actress. She is 6'4". Her name is Dot Marie Jones (ph). She plays the new football coach. And we go toe to toe and eye to eye. And she is four inches taller than Sue Sylvester and Sue is not used to that. She is used to being the tall one.

KING: OK. Now you sang with Madonna. You dueted with Olivia Newton John. Is Sue going to sing again? Are you a singer?

LYNCH: I guess I'm a singer. I probably sing more than the kids on the set. I sing all day long. And every once in a while, someone will ask me to sing in a professional capacity.

KING: Have you in plays or --

LYNCH: Yeah. No, I went through a musical theater thing when I was in college. And I do -- did a lot of sketch comedy on stage and I would always find a way to get a song in there. And I found a way to get a song in the "40-Year-Old Virgin."


KING: Was that a fun movie to do?

LYNCH: That was great. That was one of those -- that was the first big ensemble. I guess the Christopher (INAUDIBLE) stuff, too. But working with these guys, like Steve Carrell and Judd Apatow, and Paul Rudd, that was so much fun. We had a really great time.

KING: Are there any musicians who said don't use my music? LYNCH: In the beginning, there was. I'm trying to think who it was so I can shame them. I can't remember who it was. But now people are saying, yes.

KING: Do you get a "Glee" bump if your music is on? Do you know if iTunes increased?

LYNCH: Oh, yeah. Journey has a whole resurgence I think due to that number.

KING: Now, you would have bet, wouldn't you, that a weekly musical ain't going to work.

LYNCH: Well, I think it's how you put it together. And I think in the past the efforts failed because it didn't stick to the formula of musical theater, which is a character has to get to a point of emotion where the only way they can express themselves is through song. And people really respond to that.

KING: How many songs are on every week?

LYNCH: Well, sometime there are up to -- the Madonna episode we did ten number. We've done eight in episodes. And our first episode of this new season, we only have four number.

KING: Next Tuesday.

LYNCH: Yeah, next Tuesday. But it is an amazing episode.

KING: Tell us about it. Come on. Clue us in. Make us watch.

LYNCH: We have a new coach, a new football coach.

KING: 6'4". She is really 6'4".

LYNCH: She is really 6'4". We kind of catch up with all the characters. I don't want to give too much away. But we all watched it and we were all just so thrilled with it.

KING: When the audition for this football coach, did they say you must be a 6'4" woman?

LYNCH: I think Ryan knows Dot Marie. And I think she's been in other shows with him.

KING: So she'll be on every week?

LYNCH: About five episodes in the first half and then probably more in the second.

KING: How many episodes ahead are you?

LYNCH: We're working on episode five and six right now.

KING: What is the work week like?.

LYNCH: We do eight days for each episode, which is rather ambitious. It means that those kids work their little fannies off.

KING: You don't work Saturday and Sunday.

LYNCH: We don't work Saturday and Sunday. So it's Monday to Friday.

KING: When do you read the script first? what day of the week do you get --

LYNCH: There is really not one day that we get the script. I just got episode six two nights ago.

KING: You'll take that home?

LYNCH: Yeah. They send it to your house. Then we'll start working episode six like next Wednesday I think. We're still in 205.

KING: Like Fonzie previously, do they keep building Sue more?

LYNCH: Right now -- and this is something coming up that I can tease. Yeah, Sue is -- we're going to learn more about her. She has a sister with Down Syndrome. And she talks --

KING: A great scene.

LYNCH: Thank you. She spoke last season of her parents who she said were famous Nazi hunters. And she lies all the time. I figured she was making it up. It turns out my parents were indeed Nazi hunters. And my mother is coming back, played by Carol Burnett. I know. Outrageous.

KING: What episode?

LYNCH: I'm not sure. Further on. We're at six now and I don't think -- I think it is in the next few. She come back. I guess all the Nazis have been hunted. And she comes in to check on her daughters. And I know she is going to have a musical number. And we're so thrilled.

KING: A closer look at Sue and Willy's relationship. Will they ever be getting together? Next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have always been out to get me.

LYNCH: If I was out to get you, I would have you pickling in a mason jar on my shelf by now. Look at me. Even in the heat of battle, I am so elegant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will destroy you.

LYNCH: I'm about to vomit down your back.


LYNCH: Outstanding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Sylvester, I'm talking to you.

LYNCH: Oh, hey, buddy. I thought I smelled failure

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, that was a amazing.


KING: We're back with terrific Jane Lynch. And that was Sue and Will, one of the many interesting couple dynamics on "Glee." Do you think Sue and Will --

LYNCH: Romantically?

KING: Come on. Come on. You know something is going to happen.

LYNCH: We had a moment last season where he asks me out. And I get all hot and bothered. He does a -- basically gives me a lap dance. And then he stands me up at Bread Sticks, at the local Italian restaurant. And he does it to get back at me. It's like Will, who is really a nice guy, decides to play by my rules.

Of course he feel terrible about it and he humiliates me.

KING: That date, was she susceptible to him.

LYNCH: Yes. She did. She was not unmoved by his charm. And then she is humiliated by him. And she forces him to kiss her. And right as she is about to kiss her, she says "even your breath smells of mediocrity" and it stops the kiss.

KING: We learn more about the sister, of course. Are there other things you're going to learn about Sue?

LYNCH: Well, her mother is Carol Burnett.

KING: Her mother is Carol Burnett.

LYNCH: Yes, that's pretty big. Yes, that's not bad. So yes, we're just up to episode six. I'm sure they're going to throw something on me.

KING: Why do you think we like -- maybe it is cathartic -- that we like watching high schools?

LYNCH: You know what?

KING: High school. It was the best and worst time of our lives.

LYNCH: Exactly. The hierarchy is so -- our show really focuses on it. The hierarchy is brutal. We try to be subtle about it as adults, but it is right out there. You've got the losers. You've got the jocks. Sue Sylvester paints it in the pilot episode. She says, you've got your jocks and your cheerleaders up in the penthouse and then the glee club is in the sub basement. Everybody else is in between.

It is really -- the hierarchy is really defined in high school.

KING: What were you like in high school?

LYNCH: Kind of one of those fellow well met. I kind of traveled with all the different groups.

KING: You were hiding a secret, too.

LYNCH: Yes, I was hiding a secret. That's for sure. That was big a part of, you know, you don't want to be exposed. That would be the worst thing, you know.

KING: Do your parents know?

LYNCH: They do now.

KING: They didn't then.


KING: Did they wonder why you did not go out with boys?

LYNCH: No. My mother said that they kind of had a feeling. And my parents were very close and they love each other very much. And they talked about everything. My parents were great communicators. They never talked about this. Never.

KING: What do you make of the fan base? They're called Gleeks, right?

LYNCH: Right.

KING: What do you make of that? What makes a Gleek?

LYNCH: The people who love making a joyful noise and raising your voice in song. I think that's what it is. And it used to be kind of a shameful thing, and now we're embracing it, saying I'm a Gleek, which, of course, is a combination of glee and geek.

KING: It's a phenomena.

LYNCH: It is a phenomena, yes.

KING: Back with more of Jane Lynch right after this.



KING: We're back with Jane Lynch, one of the great stars of a terrific television show, "Glee." Is it disorienting, by the way, to be seen as an overnight sensation, which people look at you and they maybe not know you. Where did you come from? Is that a little weird? You've been around.

LYNCH: I've been around. Not so much. That doesn't press a button for me. I don't need to be rewarded for being at this a long time.

KING: In your previous life as a character actress, did people used to say, I know you, I saw you in --

LYNCH: what people would say usually is did we go to high school together. Or they would say, wasn't that a great party last night and blah blah blah. I'm like, I wasn't at that party.

KING: What about loss of privacy?

LYNCH: That's a little challenging.

KING: Are you in tabloids yet?

LYNCH: No. I'm not like a magnet for news, but just --

KING: They'll find something.

LYNCH: Maybe. Who knows? And that's all right with me. I'm not bothered by that.

KING: I tell you what it will be.

LYNCH: What will it be?

KING: She has a boyfriend.

LYNCH: I have a boyfriend?

KING: And your wife doesn't know. That will be in the national something.

LYNCH: That will be so unbelievable, Larry.


KING: How close are the characters? When you play that, is it you.

LYNCH: Well, I don't have to dig very far for these people. No, I think it's trying to be a good human being keeps me from being Sue Sylvester in my waking life. There -- I do have a part of me that is arrogant and --

KING: Really?

LYNCH: Yes, that thinks I know all of the answers.

KING: You think that comes from living, having to hide a secret?

LYNCH: Maybe, yes. I just think I'm wired that way, too. I think it's just kind of my defense. And I've had enough therapy. I've looked at myself enough. I remember I was in therapy one day and I was talking about how people don't follow the rules. And my therapist started to laugh, and she said, you know, you've got to do a character because you're very righteous right now. I created this character called the Angry Lady. And from that angry lady all of these characters I've been doing lately.

KING: All year, we've introduced you to remarkable every day people who are changing the world. In just one week, we're going reveal our top ten CNN Heroes of 2010. Let's check in with our 2009 hero of the year to see how the he recognition has helped him expand his extraordinary work.

Efren Penaflorida has had a truly remarkable year. A young man from the slums of the Philippines now has a national voice. And he's challenging his countrymen to unleash the hero within. Take a look.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The CNN Hero of the Year is Efren Penaflorida.

(voice-over): From the slums of the Philippines to the stage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Efren Penaflorida has come a long way.

For 12 years, Efren and his team of volunteers have pushed their mobile classrooms, teaching kids who never make it to school. But after being named 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, Efren became a national hero. Upon his return, Philippine President Gloria Arroyo presented him with one of the country's highest honor. One year later, the pushcart classroom model has been replicated and inspired the construction of an education center funded in part by the CNN Heroes grant.

EFREN PENAFLORIDA, CNN HERO: Now they see the push cart as a symbol of hope and education.

COOPER: Recently, Efren can be seen weekly in his own search for heroes on Philippine television.

PENAFLORIDA: My fellow Filipinos, they are unleashing the hero inside of them. Thank you.


KING: To read more about this hero or to help, go to >

I have to bust out my track suit in a minute. Stick around for more with Jane Lynch.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sue, can I talk to you for a second?

LYNCH: Sure, buddy. You look steamed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those kids went out and really tried to show what Glee Club was all about. How's how does the school repay them? By defacing the sign up sheet. Butt Face McBallnuts, Assprahami Lincolon? They're not even funny.

LYNCH: Don't be rude, William. I put a lot of thought into those.


KING: Yes, we're back with our remaining moments with Jane Lynch. If I look a little different it's because I'm a McKinley High person. Does it look good?

LYNCH: It looks fantastic.

KING: We have something for you. A McKinley High jacket with suspenders.

LYNCH: Suspenders, thank you so much. Awesome.

KING: How about that, folks? Making history here. How about that track suit? How many are stashed in the -- do you have a lot of them?

LYNCH: I bet I have close to 30 now.

KING: You're going to host "Saturday Night Live."

LYNCH: Yes, I guess that's in the works. I don't know that it's confirmed.

KING: I'm confirming it. It's confirmed. You're going to host.


KING: What about "Two and a Half Men?"

LYNCH: I love that show. I don't know if I'll be back on. The thing is, now that I'm on another show, it's so hard to do it. I hope they'll have me back. I had such a great time on that show.

KING: You play who?

LYNCH: I play Charlie Sheen's therapist. And it's the only woman on the show who tells him what's, what besides his maid.


KING: Why does it click?

LYNCH: You know, the sitcom is kind of a dying form right now, but they really know how to do it over there at the "Two and a Half Men." They know how to write those jokes. And I think Charlie Sheen is such an endearing character, because he's basically saying I'm a cad, but I'm a cad with a good heart and I'm trying my best.

KING: Do you -- if you were the director of "Glee," who would you have cast for Sue Sylvester?

LYNCH: Oh, who would I -- that's a very good question. I can only see me in the role, Larry.

KING: That's right. When someone gets indelible, you are her.

LYNCH: I do have an answer to that. I think Glenn Close. In fact, she's inspired a lot of --

KING: You resemble.


LYNCH: Well, thank you. I'm a poor man's Glenn Close. On "Damages" -- her character on "Damages" -- I love that show and I love her in that show -- very much inspired Sue Sylvester, because she kind of has this -- you never quite know where she is. Is she lying or is she telling the truth. You kind of always know where Sue Sylvester is. She's not as good at hiding it as Patty Hughes is.

KING: Few other things; do you look beyond "Glee?"

LYNCH: I am an in the moment kind of person. So I'm enjoying where I am right now. I'm trying to just stay right here.

KING: In the marriage, who's dominant?

LYNCH: We share. We're not -- we don't -- it depends on the subject.

KING: Someone's 51. Someone's 49.

LYNCH: No, she's very, very smart. And she's very, very wise.

KING: And you're?

LYNCH: I can be, too. We work very well together in that way.

KING: Honestly, do you pinch yourself a little every day?

LYNCH: I do. Yes, This is amazing. I can't believe it. Sometimes I feel like I have to step out and look at it, because it's -- to truly appreciate it.

KING: Are you enjoying fame?

LYNCH: Yeah, I'm enjoying it.

KING: It's nice to be recognized.

LYNCH: It is nice to be recognized. I've been at this a long time and to have people say, hey, we like what you do --

KING: It's not bothersome, people stop you in an airport?

LYNCH: Just when I'm eating. But someone interrupting you to tell you how much they love you, it's kind of hard to be mad.

KING: You ever get back to the south side of Chicago?

LYNCH: I do a lot.

KING: Where you go, Evergreen Park?

LYNCH: I was born in Evergreen Park, Little Company of Mary Hospital.

KING: What hospital?

LYNCH: Little Company of Mary. Yes, that's sweet. I was born there in Evergreen Park, but I grew up in Dalton. And my family is now in LaGrange, Illinois.

KING: Sox fan or the Dodgers.

LYNCH: Cubs you mean.

KING: Cubs on the south side?

LYNCH: Yes, I did not sell it through the neighborhood.

KING: You were different in many ways.

LYNCH: I had many secrets as a child.

KING: Thanks, Jane.

LYNCH: You bet. Thank you.

KING: Wonderful. Hope you enjoyed this hour. Tomorrow night -- we may investigate this hour because tomorrow night's topic is the brain.

Anderson Cooper and "AC 360" is next.