Jane Lynch Teases GLEE Super Bowl Episode

Jane Lynch

GLEE comes roaring back after an almost two month hiatus with a special post-Super Bowl episode this Sunday featuring Katie Couric, a performance of Michael Jackson’s thriller, and a Sue Sylvester (the sublime Jane Lynch) who’s wreaking even more havoc than usual.

Daemon’s TV was there when Jane Lynch talked about the two sides of Sue, some of her favorite Glee moments, and her upcoming memoir. She also teases the post-Super Bowl episode and what’s next for Sue.

On the post-Super Bowl episode

According to Jane, “Super Bowl Special” is “an episode of Glee that is on steroids.” There’s the big ‘Thriller’ production number, of course, but even Sue’s mean streak is magnified. “Sue Sylvester is a little bored with her routine even though she has kids riding around on BMX bikes and jumping through fire and one routine with Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls.’ She wants to top herself, so she finds out there’s a human cannon and she buys it and now she wants to shoot Brittany out of it.”

When Principal Figgins (shockingly) doesn’t go along with the human cannonball plan, things get ugly. Jane said, “Sue has two hissy fits where she just rips two rooms apart. This is Sue Sylvester on the warpath.”

On Sue joining New Directions

Things apparently take quite a turn for Sue. Jane said she doesn’t appear in the Valentine’s episode but that we’ll soon see that “Sue suffers a devastating loss after the Super Bowl episode and she becomes very, very depressed-kind of dangerously depressed where she’s more violent than usual. They get her to join the glee club to lift her spirits and they find that through raising her voice in song it kind of lifts her and she gets out of her depression. I’m actually in the glee club for a while.”

On the duality of Sue Sylvester

Sue has two very distinct sides: the scheming, rampaging Sue who would as soon destroy the New Directions gang as look at them and the gentler Sue who so cares for her sister. According to Jane, she keeps those sides authentic by remembering it all comes from the same place. “I can tie them all together. She’s a human being with all different colors to her, but as long as I keep it rooted in some truth, anything can work. I have to keep it as truthful as possible in any given moment whether I’m ranting or helping somebody out.”

Jane sees her ongoing contentious relationship with Will and New directions as Sue wanting “an enemy. She’s looking for the next fight and sometimes it’s that fight to get these people to stand up for themselves instead of being so weak and other times it’s to destroy them because they threaten her spotlight in Cheerios that she worked so hard for. She’s always looking for a formidable enemy and I think she also has a fondness for Will and for who he is and how he’s just a good person. In moments she hates him for it and in other moments she has great admiration for him.”

Jane loves playing both Sue’s evil side and her softer side, but she likes it best when the two get equal time. “I like Sue Sylvester to be firing on all cylinders. I don’t like to stick to just one thing too long and the writers make sure of that, which is great.”

On Sue’s ambition

Sue is never quite satisfied with her accomplishments, even as she brags about them, but she also doesn’t seem to want to look beyond William McKinley High to satisfy her ambitions. According to Jane that’s because Sue wants to be the big fish in the small pond. “In the last episode of the first season, Olivia newton-John and Josh Groban are judges with me and they say ‘We’re flying back to LA tonight first-class. Where are you going?’ the thing is that Sue will never be flying first-class and she’ll never be going to LA. I think that she has grand ambitions but I think she knows that she’ll never be anything bigger than a Lima, Ohio coach and a terror at this high school.”

While Jane knows that Sue’s ambitions won’t come be realized, she hopes that teen girls get a different message. She said she wants them to take away the idea that “You don’t have to be anything anyone tells you that you have to be.”

On guest stars

Besides Katie Couric in the Super Bowl episode, other guest stars in the second half of the season will include Anne Hathaway, the returning Kristin Chenoweth, and another repeater: Gwyneth Paltrow, whom Jane gushed over. “She’s going to do a couple of episodes and she’s just the best. She’s great and she’s here because she wants to dance and sing and put a good message out to the kids.”

On how far-out Glee goes

Jane loves how far the writers take the show. “Every single script I read, I think, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ And that’s why I’m glad I’m not writing the show. It always goes too far; it’s always ridiculous. Some of the things that I do–how mean I get and how everyone lets me get away with it–it’s all ridiculous and I love it.”

When asked which Sue-related developments had most surprised her, Jane said, “Having a sister with Down’s syndrome took me completely by surprise. Carol Burnett coming on as my Nazi hunter mother took me by surprise and I was also very surprised that when I said my mother was a Nazi hunter, it turned out to be true.”

A few of Jane’s favorite Glee things

Jane said her favorite character (besides Sue, of course) is “Coach Beiste. I love how big her heart is and how selfless she is and how heroic.”

According to Jane, her favorite of Sue’s schemes is “Getting Figgins sick so I could become the principal” and her favorite lines are “Loving musical theater doesn’t make you gay. It just makes you awful” and the monologue where she talks about the 1968 convention when Mayor Daley punches his wife in the face.

On Jane’s memoir

Jane’s memoir, ‘Happy Accidents,’ is coming out in September and she said it grew out of speeches she’s been giving at “gay banquets-and not just gay, just people wanting to know more about me. I started writing things down and I told a friend of mine-a writer-about it and she said, ‘There’s a book in there.'”

In writing ‘Happy Accidents,” Jane said she sat down with her scrapbooks and a tape recorder and she spoke all of her stories. “I learned it was a little more interesting than I thought it was,” She laughed. “I also learned how I made things much harder on myself than I needed to.”

When asked what to expect in the book, Jane explained she wants to get across the point that suffering through your life is a choice because the same things are going to happen to you regardless. She said, “I feel that basically everything was handed to me. Not my career-I worked for that, but I had a really good family. I was brought up with a lot of love but still, I chose time after time after time to suffer over so much and that mental component of suffering is the thing in looking back on my life I’ve learned is a choice. To this day I still will choose to make angst over something I really don’t have to. It’s true what I’ve come up with that you just really need to trust that you’re on your own path and as long as you’re true to it and show up-and showing up is 90% of it-but basically that’s what I’m saying.”

Glee airs on Fox Tuesdays at 8pm eastern/7pm central. Don’t miss the “Super Bowl Special” episode Sunday, February 6 immediately following the Super Bowl
(approximately 10:30pm eastern/9:30pm central).

You can read all our Glee coverage here.

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