Up until the Fox network hit it big with its high school dramedy, Glee, Jane Lynch was a recognizable, if not immediately identifiable, face in comedy. After a breakout role in Best in Show, Christopher Guest’s largely improvised mockumentary about the world of dog breeding and competition, Lynch went on to star in several films that helped to showcase her sharp wit and impeccable comic timing, like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models, and For Your Consideration, another Christopher Guest film. At the same time, Lynch increased her presence on television with recurring roles on shows like Showtime’s The L Word, CBS’s Two and a Half Men, and a slew of other popular programs before finding herself quite a comfortable home as Sue Sylvester on Glee. Just last week, Glee returned for its second season, and with the second episode set to air tonight, we thought it appropriate to share Jane Lynch’s Five Favorite Films, which she was kind enough to take time out of her schedule to talk to us about. Read on for the full list!
This is in no particular order, but Private Benjamin. That, I think, is a perfectly made comedy. I usually stop watching when she gets together with Armand Assante, not that I have anything against it, but for me, the movie’s over. [laughs] I thought Goldie Hawn was great, and the people who play her parents, those secondary characters whose names escape me now, do some incredible work. Albert Brooks – I just saw Private Benjamin again for the first time in four or five years a couple of months ago – he is amazing, he is so good. He’s only in the first couple of scenes, and he plays her husband and he has a heart attack on the night of their wedding reception. But it’s a great comic performance by Goldie Hawn.
Zoolander. Yeah, I mean, I love Ben Stiller, he’s just a brilliant guy. And I love Will Ferrell in it, too. His character, to me, is just insane and he made such huge choices, and he’s such a weirdo! [laughs] And I love Owen Wilson; I think it’s the best work he’s ever done. And they were both so gorgeous at that time. I know they were making fun of themselves, too, but they both look fantastic. So hilarious.
The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges – I almost put Starman down, too, but I really think I kind of don’t remember the movie so much because I haven’t seen it in so many years – but I love Jeff Bridges, and I love the movie he just did. What was it called? Crazy Heart, he’s great in that. But, I mean, there’s something about The Big Lebowski and that combination with the Coen brothers sensibility, which, he nailed that down. I don’t know exactly what you’d even call that, but brilliant. I loved his performance in that, and I loved John Goodman, and I loved Steve Buscemi. And you know who else was great in that, was Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was really good in that movie, too. Yeah, great, great, great fan of that movie.
And Ninotchka. You know Ninotchka? I recommend it. It’s kind of a mess, too. It was before, you know, we got slick editing tools, so it kind of chops along. You can tell that they shot one thing one day, and then when her hair was a little longer, they shot it again. [laughs] It’s Ernst Lubitsch, wonderful director, not too many comedies, and I think that’s kind of the reason for the not-so-fluid flow of this film. But it’s Greta Garbo being funny – I’m a huge Greta Garbo fan – and it shows she has a sense of humor about herself, behind all that Swedish draw; she had a great sense of humor about herself. And I just love Melvyn Douglas; he’s wonderful in it.
The Crossing Guard. Not a comedy. [laughs] The Sean Penn film, with Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston. I just remember that taking my guts out of my stomach and pulling them. I remember being doubled over – I went to see a matinee – and I was doubled over, and I was just… The loss of the innocence of this little girl. And I forget the name of the actor who plays the drunk who hits this little girl, but he wakes up, he comes to in the jail, and he realizes that he’s hit this little girl and he killed her, and he bangs his head into the bars, and he has this indent in his head for the rest of the movie. Probably more background than you wanted!
You can catch the current season of Glee every Tuesday on your local Fox station at 8pm/7pm Central.