ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 8 - December

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 112 of 147

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE YARISH/FOX (GLEE ); JEFF KRAVITZ/GETTY IMAGES (EMMYS) Yes—it's a classic. Do you still feel a strong connection to the city? JL: I do. My family is here, but with my mother passing away last year, I don't go to the suburbs anymore; I go to the city and my sisters and brothers meet me there. I usually go to the Public Hotel, which used to be the Ambassador—I went to the Ambassador for the longest time. I hang out there, and then we take a walk north, because I lived in Old Town. My sister lived on LaSalle, and I lived on Menomonee and Cleveland, so we walk around that area. We'll go have breakfast at the original Nookies on Wells. Of course Second City, and then there was the Earl of Old Town. We used to drink there a lot, and we used to shop at Treasure Island. Moving ahead in your career, you attained a certain level of acclaim for your work in the Christopher Guest films—also very much ensemble pieces. How did you get involved with that crew? JL: Christopher directed commercials, and I think he still does. He was directing, like, a commercial a day back then—that would have been 1999, right after Waiting for Guffman, which I was a huge fan of. So I auditioned for a Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercial; I got called back, he was at the callback, and he cast me. Then about six months later, I ran into him at a restaurant in Beverly Hills and he said, "Ah, I forgot about you—come to my office today," and by the end of the day, I was cast in Best in Show. Your role in Glee has come to define your career, at least for now. What has that journey of playing Sue Sylvester for nearly 100 episodes been like? JL: My recognition factor has gone up in terms of the public, so my life has changed in that way, for good and sometimes annoying. But creatively— playing the same character for nearly 100 episodes, I'm still enjoying it. There are moments when I'll look at an episode and go, "Oh come on, can't I do something else other than destroy the glee club?" Then of course they always give me something just stellar and fun, and this season I'm having the best time. Professionally, I don't think I would have been just handed the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie on Broadway if I hadn't been cast as Sue Sylvester—I don't think that would have happened—so I am deeply indebted, because that was the best experience of my life. Doing Miss Hannigan on Broadway and working with all those wonderful people and doing eight shows a week, it very much brought me back to why I do this and why I was bitten by the need to be on stage. Whatever inspired me back when I was a kid seeing that play at the local high school, that came alive again. Miss Hannigan is such an iconic mean character, and Sue Sylvester has her meanness, too—what is it about characters with a mean streak that you're attracted to? JL: I guess I have to take responsibility for it. I can't sit here and say, "Well, I think people throw that at me," and I'm the victim of this wonderful typecasting. You know, I think I just do "put upon" well; I do victimized well, and I do entitled well, and I think it's because I'm fascinated with all three 108-113_MA_FEAT_CS_Winter2014.indd 111 of those things. Of course they live in me, of course they do. But I find them hilarious and curious and a very satisfying step into the shoes. Whereas Miss Hannigan was kind of sloppy and drunk and frustrated and she just wanted out of there, Sue Sylvester is stealthy and looks at everything as an opportunity to wage war and win. She's a warrior goddess. Do you see yourself doing more theater in the future? JL: Yes, absolutely. I will be back. You have so much experience working with ensembles, but Glee is CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester in Glee, for which she won an Emmy in 2010; and in the 1991-1992 run of The Real Live Brady Brunch. 11/20/13 10:18 AM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of ML - Michigan Avenue - 2013 - Issue 8 - December