Jane Lynch's popularity exploded last year with her scene-stealing performance as head cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox's hugely popular dramedy Glee. This week, she can also be seen in the hilarious new romantic outing I Do & I Don't, which arrives on DVD today, July 20th. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast, this outrageous adventure follows a blissfully unaware couple (Bryan Callen and Alexie Gilmore) that must endure church-sanctioned marriage counseling before they can tie the knot. Little do they know, the couple (Jane Lynch and Matt Servitto) they're assigned to turn out to be beyond dysfunctional and on the edge of divorce themselves.
We recently caught up with Jane Lynch to reminisce about the glory days of her career and what this new project means to her personally. Here is our conversation:
Can you tell us a little bit about the character you are playing in I Do & I Don't? She seems a little bit crazy...
Jane Lynch: Have you seen it? Yeah, she is crazy. She is an alcoholic, she's inappropriate, she's in her own world. She is trying to have some fun with this young couple. She is trying to add a little bit of spice into her life.
You always seem so busy. Every time I turn on the TV, or go to the movies, there you are. You are in all of them. Where do you find the time to appear in a film like I Do & I Don't?
Jane Lynch: This one was made about three years ago. That is why I am really thrilled that it is finally coming out.
Did Phase 4 pick it up because of your recent boom in popularity?
Jane Lynch: I don't know. I think there has been a steady line in trying to get someone interested in it. Now that it finally has gotten picked up, we're all really happy about that.
No matter what the project seems to be, you are always able to come in and up the ante, as far as the humor goes. You basically dominate the screen. At this point in your career, do you feel pressure to have to come in and pump up any particular project you join?
Jane Lynch: No, I don't. I love what I do. I don't ever put that kind of pressure on myself. The way I keep from putting pressure on myself is by starting small. I go with something psychological. As long as I stay small and real, something funny comes out of it. I always have great faith in that. In the human condition. If you stay truthful to the material, you will always find something funny to do.
When you were reading this script, what aspects of it appealed to you, and made you want to take on this project?
Jane Lynch: The dialogue was hilarious. I loved the character I was asked to play. At the time, I didn't know whom I was going to work with. But we all ended up having great chemistry, and a great time. I thought the script was really good.
The cast is really good here. What was that experience like for you? To come in and work with this ensemble?
Jane Lynch: None of us knew each other at all. It just started out with a bang. We became very good friends, and we're still good friends. We all keep in touch. It was one of those happy accidents. We got to be really big, and it was all a lot of fun.
After three years, it has to be interesting to reconnect with all of these guys and go, "Hey, our movie is finally coming out!" Is that cause for celebration?
Jane Lynch: We're all thrilled. You know, I haven't seen the film yet. I don't know what version is going out there. I haven't seen any version of the film in about two years. But I do remember making it clear as yesterday. And how much fun that was. I hope the spirit in which we made it in finds its way into this film.
Can you describe that spirit a little bit?
Jane Lynch: Yes. It was very collaborative. We really supported each other. We made each other laugh. It was mainly just us four actors, and Steve Blair, our director. We shot in one house, for about a month. Maybe three weeks. It couldn't have been a nicer group of people. It was one of those rare experiences. This doesn't happen all of the time. We really did love each other.
You were locked in the same house, with the same people, for three weeks. What was that experience like?
Jane Lynch: Oh, it was great! It was a lot of fun. We would eat at the dinning room table. We would hang out in the back yard. It was a great place to work. We had a great, ballpark crew. This was the same crew from The Wire. It was fun for them not to be in gangland. They had a chance to laugh.
Do you like hanging out with the crew? In such tight surroundings, you wouldn't think there was that break down. Here are the actors...Here are the grips...
Jane Lynch: Exactly. On a project like this, you are all in it together. Absolutely. We had to fit our cameras into some really tiny, tight spaces. Its not like we could move walls. It was a very intimate process. We all had to work together. We had to be aware of all the cords, and sometimes an actor would even have to hold a flag for a light. We're the only ones that can fit in the room, so they're like, "Hold this!"
Did they put you on a lot of extra tasks?
Jane Lynch: No, not too much. I do remember this one day. They came in, and we shot it on film. We had shot an entire day's worth of work. It went through the X-ray machine at the airport, and we had to reshoot that whole day over again. I remember getting the news. We had to reshoot this entire day that we all felt so good about. We ended up doing very well. I think it may have come out even better. I remember that, during the rehearsal, we tried for even better takes.
There must have been some frustration. Out of that frustration, did you find a new angle or way to shape the scene in question?
Jane Lynch: I hated it at first. It was horrible. They told me we had to do it again, and I didn't think we'd ever find the spirit that we shared that first time. But then it ended up being better. You have to find that energy. You just have to.
This is a smaller movie than some of the stuff you've recently become known for. Is that weird for you at this point? Or do you actively seek out these smaller, independent projects?
Jane Lynch: Remember, this was three years ago when I was doing a bunch of little movies. It wasn't until three years after that, that I started to appear in bigger movies. This is where I was working at the time.
My friend mentioned that he turned on the TV the other day and saw you in The Fugitive. That sure wasn't a small movie to kick things off with.
Jane Lynch: That was in 1993. No one has mentioned to me that they've seen me in that. This is the first time I have heard that. That is a great movie. It will live forever. It was my first movie, and yes, it was a big movie. I love it. It will continue to live on forever.
That is all you need. Just one big movie if you want to live on in infamy. What do you have coming up next? I know you have the second season of Glee on the horizon, are you looking to join another, smaller project along with that?
Jane Lynch: No. I don't have the time. Even though I am on TV, and I don't work every day, I am spoken for every day. I really can't do anything else.
Have you started shooting yet?
Jane Lynch: No. The kids are rehearsing right now. And we start shooting sometime next week.
Are you going to sing again?
Jane Lynch: I don't know yet. I haven't been told yet.
What about Olivia? Is she going to come back?
Jane Lynch: I would love that. But I don't know. I think it would be fantastic.
You took a little break between filming. Were you able to shoot a film during that break? Or did you just take some time off?
Jane Lynch: I was so busy, I couldn't find time to shoot anything else. The time has just flown, and I haven't had time to do anything. I did a few little projects here and there. I did some commercials. I got married. I went on a honeymoon. I moved. And now I am moving my family out here. We have just been so busy.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Jane Lynch: It was a work honeymoon. We'll have to take a real one. We went to London and Monte Carlo. It was a week trip. We'll do a real honeymoon soon. It was nice to go to Europe. We were going to do it later, but we decided to tie it in with the wedding.
Its nice that someone could find the time to take a honeymoon in this day and age. Everyone always seems to be too busy. Weddings over, lets get to work...
Jane Lynch: I think it's a great thing.
Watch two clips from this DVD below.