Jane Lynch: Acting is like playing pretend

We caught up with Jane Lynch to find out about her new role as Amy in CBS Entertainment’s new show, Angel from Hell

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Known for her her role as Sylvester in the hit TV series “Glee,” Emmy Award winning actress has a new project up her sleeves.

Angel from Hell is a comedy about Amy, a colorful woman who loves to “drink alcohol, eat sugar and have plenty of sex” according to Lynch. She then plants herself into the life of an organized and seemingly perfect young woman, Allison, claiming to be her “guardian angel.”

As Allison tries to push Amy away, Amy makes her final pitch: her sole mission is to provide Allison with helpful guidance that nudges her in the right direction in life – and it’s her final chance to prove herself as an angel. With that, Allison agrees to this unlikely relationship because maybe a weird friend is exactly what she needs.

We had the chance to ask Jane Lynch more about her new role, found out out if she prefers playing Sue or Amy and if she believes in Guardian Angels.

"Family Business" -- Pictured: Maggie Lawson (Allison) and Jane Lynch (Amy). When Marv balks at allowing Allison to make some changes to their joint dermatology practice, Amy creates a temporary position for herself in order to help them work things out, on ANGEL FROM HELL, Thursday, Jan. 28 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hi Jane, what drew you to the project when it was first offered to you?

I loved the script and I especially loved the character Amy. When you feel something right, you get excited about it and I immediately started to imagine myself doing it and imagining what this person would be like and it tickled me to death. That’s why I signed on. In fact, after reading it once, I called my agent and said, ‘Let’s get cracking on this and get me this part.’

What is the most satisfying thing about acting for you?

You know, that whole thing I was saying about keeping the balloon up in the air with actors? That. The teamwork and the fun. Basically we’re playing and pretending all day long and it’s play, and it’s fun. I’m working with three people who get that, so we show up to play and anything that’s challenging, or when it’s a long day, or doing it out in the cold and having to pretend it’s summer. Some of that stuff, you just accept it. Some days are very long and hard and slow. But we just keep playing. We have a great crew too that’s easy to play with as well. We all know how lucky and fortunate we are. And I think that comes through as well.

Do you have any personal input in the show?

Yes I do. Tad Quill, our writer and showrunner, he’s forever asking me what I think, which what do I want to change. Amy’s very open. I’m not a writer and I’m not in the writing room coming up with ideas, but he lets me have input on that and he’s been wonderful.

"Soulmates" -- Pictured: Jane Lynch (Amy). Amy's plan to get Allison to stop caring about "looking stupid" backfires when Allison makes a spontaneous decision that leads her to meet her soulmate before she's supposed to, on ANGEL FROM HELL, Thursday, Feb. 4 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Brett Gelman ("Eagleheart," "Jobs") guest stars as Lee, another guardian angel. Constance Marie ("George Lopez," "Selena") guest stars as Linda, Marv's new love interest. Photo: Trae Patton/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Why  do you think Amy is an Angel From Hell?

I think it’s a play on the dichotomy of what people think of as angels. Angels are these pure, heaven-sent being and Amy is messy, sloppy, loves being in a body and on earth. You think of angels as celestial, with choirs of angels behind them, with wings that fly and they’re usually dressed in white. Amy’s very, very earthbound and I think that’s where the dichotomy comes in for Angel From Hell.

How is Amy different from Sue?

Amy’s heart is open and her love is completely available, whereas Sue Sylvester had a suit of armour around her heart. Amy is not afraid of being vulnerable, she’s not afraid of looking silly. In fact, she relishes it and it cracks it her. Sue Sylvester was very controlled and wanted people to be afraid of her. I think the quirks about Amy that I love so much is her love of life. She doesn’t care what people think about her. She loves everybody and everything but she especially loves Allison. When it comes to anybody threatening Allison or being on Allison’s bad side, she, like Sue Sylvester, will do her best to obliterate them.

Playing mean characters like Sue as opposed to Amy. Which do you prefer more?

I like it all. One of the things I try to do, and this comes with good writing and me using my head, is all the characters have sweet characteristics and also there are dark sides to them. If Amy has a dark side, it would probably be that she will do whatever she has to do, whether it means being violent or just deceptive in order to protect Allison. She’s not a perfect angel. In fact, she’s probably on what we call ‘Angel Probation’ because she’s gone too far in protecting the people that she’s a guardian over, and she needs to learn to temper that part of her personality.

Do you think you’re more like Amy or more like Sue?

That’s a really good question. I think I am both of them. I aspire more to Amy – that is for sure. I think Amy represents the best of who I am. I am a pretty protective person over people whom I love and I think the goal in this life, I think for Amy in particular, is that everybody is deserving of love. The part of me that has that knee-jerk kind of anger that Amy also has is something that should be obliterated.

"Soulmates" -- Pictured: Jane Lynch (Amy). Amy's plan to get Allison to stop caring about "looking stupid" backfires when Allison makes a spontaneous decision that leads her to meet her soulmate before she's supposed to, on ANGEL FROM HELL, Thursday, Feb. 4 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Brett Gelman ("Eagleheart," "Jobs") guest stars as Lee, another guardian angel. Constance Marie ("George Lopez," "Selena") guest stars as Linda, Marv's new love interest. Photo: Trae Patton/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Would you consider yourself as an angel in real life?

Oh, that’s a very nice thing to say, if you think that I am. I think we all are. I was bringing this up the other day. Jamie Foxx, the actor, pulled a man from a burning car the other day. Although I don’t know that Jamie Foxx would think of himself as an angel, he sure was in that moment. I think the best of us comes out sometimes in spite of our own negativity sometimes and we do wonderful miraculous things. I think that all of us could be angels.

Do you believe in guardian angels?

I do. You know, I can’t actually say I’ve seen a guardian angel, I don’t have any five-sense proof, but I do feel subtle energies sometimes that feel very loving and like something that isn’t within the confines of my body.  So, definitely, I’ve had experiences that way and I think there’s a lot of love out there if we’re just open to it.

If Amy had to give advice to people around, what do you think she would say?

It’s all about fun, and it’s all about love. If you’re not having either of those things, you’ve got to find it. It’s probably right in front of you. But if you’re not doing something you love or with people you love, then make a change. Don’t think about money, don’t think about how hard it will be.  Just make your dedication to finding the love and the heart and the funny.

by Nicole-Marie Ng

Angel From Hell premieres Friday, Feb 5, at 9pm on RTL CBS Entertainment HD.

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