Jane Lynch is best known as the tracksuit-wearing tyrant, Coach Sue Sylvester, on the TV show, Glee. She’s also taken comedic turns in The The 40 Year Old Virgin, the cult comedy Party Down and Christopher Guest films like Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. But her latest role has her flexing her on-stage muscles, as she portrays the orphan-wrangling Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie.
"It was kind of a jump off a creative cliff," she tells Soundcheck host John Schaefer. "But when this came up, I realized that all of the excuses that I was coming up with were pure, unadulterated fear."
It’s Lynch’s first time on Broadway, but her voice was ready; she's honed her skills singing on Glee and has been a fan of musical theater since childhood. Now, she's smitten by the stage and hopes for another Broadway turn after her short guest run in Annie. "I love it," Lynch explains. "I got the bug. I got it bad!"
On what appeals to Lynch about the role of Annie's Miss Hannigan:
This is somebody who hates where she's at, and thinks she deserves better things. I love playing people who are put in situations where they have no business. Like Miss Hannigan has absolutely no business being around children. Like Sue Sylvester too. I'm kind of getting those roles lately!
On learning how to rap Nicki Minaj’s "Super Bass" for Glee:
When I started out, it was terrible. Just awful. It was so hard to get past, “It’s awful, you have no business doing this, but in two to three days you’re going to be so much better and you’re going to actually enjoy this.” And indeed, I got much better. I can do it right now. I love it."
On the career goals she set herself when she started out:
I didn’t set out to do anything. I just wanted to work. There was a part of me that thought I should work at being a repertory actor, where I could do a variety of roles. I never saw myself as the star. As I started to work a little, I saw that I’m good at comedy. My goals for myself were nowhere near as grand as they ended up being.
Hear Jane Lynch sing in three videos below.
Annie is currently running at the Palace Theater. Jane Lynch will appear as Miss Hannigan through July 14.