One episode into what is quickly becoming the “Glee Era,” Jane Lynch is making a serious play for the reigning title of Queen of Mean, playing the role of head cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester.
Speaking to a gaggle of TV reporters Thursday, the journeywoman comic actress says – who has done everything from Christopher Guest comedy features to a recurring role on Showtime’s ‘The L Word‘ – said the uber-bitchy, tracksuit-adorned Sue may be the most fun role she’s ever played.
“I’ve played arrogant people before, but the lengths she’ll go to in order to win fascinates me,” notes Lynch, who cites her acting teacher at Illinois State as perhaps the closest thing she has for inspiration for the role.
“We called her the dragon lady,” Lynch says. “She taught by humiliation and fear.”
Lynch wouldn’t say if this former instructor went as low as Sue Sylvester, who this season divides McKinley High’s glee club by race, gender and disability just to see what happens.
In fact, in early drafts of “Glee” scripts, Lynch has been even meaner.
“The writers like to push it, and always in the first draft, she’ll go too far with something and they’ll have to rein it in,” notes Lynch, who wouldn’t reveal any specifics.
Besides the entertainment of seeing just how low Sue will go each episode, Lynch also says she enjoys the fact that her character is seen in only one piece of wardrobe this season, save for a brief appearance later on in a zoot suit.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to get to work and put your pajamas back on,” she says.