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October 31, 2014

'I Do & I Don't': Jane Lynch on Marriage, Singing and Life with 'Glee'

by Anna Dimond, posted Aug 11th 2010 6:00PM
These days, Jane Lynch may be synonymous with Sue Sylvester, 'Glee''s resident tough-talking cheerleading coach (and soon also with 'Saturday Night Live'), but before the Emmy-nominated actress donned her track suit, she starred in 'I Do & I Don't', an indie comedy about the the meaning of marriage.

As the DVD of 'I Do & I Don't' arrives on DVD, Lynch spoke with TV Squad about the film, it's message, and life since 'Glee' -- not to mention what might be ahead for Sue this fall.

While 'I Do & I Don't' deals with one of life's more serious milestones, it's antics are far from heavy. The movie features the story of a young couple on the cusp of getting married when they learn that the bridegroom must attend Catholic pre-marital classes (aka "pre-Cana") before his fiancee's church will marry them. But with time running out, their only choice is counseling by another couple.

Lynch plays Nora Stelmack, the wacky wife of Dick Stelmack (Matt Servitto); they are to guide the younger couple (Bob Callen, Alexie Gilmore) on their increasingly rocky road to matrimony. After several decades of marriage themselves -- including childbirth, hair loss and frequent consumption of cocktails -- Dick and Nora have a unique perspective to offer, and not all of it is through rose-colored glasses.


How did you get involved with the film?

It was [a couple of years ago], in '07. I got the script in the mail, and I loved it. ... so I said, "OK!" The dialogue was great, and I was thrilled to do it. ... I didn't know anybody [on the film]. It was the days when you just took a shot in the dark, and it turned out to be good.

You recently got married yourself, to Laura Embry, a clinical psychologist. How has that affected your view of the film?

Oh, I think my view is pretty clear about [marriage]. It would not be relevant to pre-Cana therapy, before going into the Catholic church, or a particular church telling you how to do your marriage.

While 'I Do & I Don't' is a comedy, do you think there's a relevant message about marriage?

I think so. You see how [my character] Nora and [Dick], it looks like they're just crazy, and they're mad at each other all the time. But they really have this bond that you see when they're out in the driveway and he comes home with his toupee in his hand. He's such a great actor, but you can see him understanding in this relationship. And Bryan and Alexie's characters need to get to that in their relationship. Right now, they're still having times like when they meet her parents, he's getting involved in a marriage that he's not even sure he wanted to be a part of. So they saw that they needed to do some work.

How would describe your character, Nora?

She's basically in her own world. She's kind of in an alcoholic delusion. [Laughs] It's almost like she's a cat with a mouse, she decided to have some fun with these people to spice up her life -- torture them a little bit, then let them come back, revive, and then torture them a little bit more.

Was there any flexibility for you to play with the lines?

We were very loosey-goosey and flexible, but their dialogue written was quite good.

Arguably, a much bigger audience has gotten to know you since you joined the cast of 'Glee.' How has the show impacted you and your career?

I get to do one job, I hang my hat somewhere. I'm so busy I really can't do anything else, but it's been fantastic. I get recognized on the street -- that didn't happen before. People really love the show, they love the music, and I'm the beneficiary of that, I get to hear that all day long.

Did you have musical training before you joined the show?

Not training, but I'm a big fan of music. I love music, I sing all the time, whether you want to hear me or not. [Laughs] I'm not a good singer, but there's always joy in my heart when I do.

What's the dynamic between you and the other cast members on 'Glee,' especially considering that there are a handful of newcomers to TV?

Well, it's interesting. To be an actor is a great equalizer in terms of age and experience. We're all doing the same thing, and the fact that I've been doing it for maybe 20 years longer than them doesn't make a difference. When it comes right down to it, we're in the scene and we're doing out best to tell the story.

What can we expect from Sue this season?

I don't know! I haven't even read a first script, or seen what's in store.

What have you been up to this summer, while 'Glee''s been on hiatus?

I got married, and [went on] the honeymoon. I moved out of my house because we're renovating, and I'm moving my life and kid out here, so I'm very busy -- in fact, I'm waiting for the movers with their stuff right now.

Finally, before the movers arrive: Can you tell us about your next project, 'Paul'?

I'm in one scene, so I wouldn't really say I'm 'in' it. but it's [a movie written by] Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, who are amazing -- I love them, I think they're so funny -- and they're searching for some alien, and this guy who has Seth Rogen's voice, so it should be very funny.

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