Glee actress Jane Lynch spoke with NBC Out about her new character in the NBC pilot Relatively Happy that defies gender roles.
Her new character, Bobbi Martin, is a divorce attorney and the part was originally written for a man.
“Max Mutchnick wrote it for a guy: a womanizing, Scotch-drinking guy,” Lynch said of her character. “And then he cast me instead, and we decided to make her kind of a Marlene Dietrich in drag. She’s very come-hither with both men and women. She loves to drink, she loves to smoke cigars, and she wears men’s suits – but she’s also very sexy in a feminine way.”
Lynch describes her as an “equal opportunity seducer,” as she objectifies both men and women.
According to Lynch, many of the roles she has taken on have been written for men, including her first role in her high school play as the king in Princess and the Pea.
“I think people write authoritarian parts, sort of knee-jerk, as male,” she said. “You know, he’s the boss, he’s this and that. And if you ask if it can be a woman, it’s thinking outside the box. It’s off the beaten path. But you see women in authority roles now more than when I started in the 90’s, when a research scientist would be a guy.”
Lynch said she’s internally trying to let go of all labels.
“…I understand the need, especially for say, the transgender community, to stand up and say, ‘I am a transgender person, and I will be counted. I exist, and I will be respected,’ But then hopefully we can move on…I think we’ve gone backwards, a little. But never in Hollywood. Entertainment is very inclusive,” Lynch said. “Whoever does the best job gets hired. And there’s a lot of gays and lesbians in every level, every job – from crew to writing to acting.”
Lynch also said she was never in the closet because of pioneers like Ellen DeGeneres who “took one for the team when they cancelled her show” after she came out in 1998.
“I would lay in bed as a young person thinking, ‘What if I become famous? Do I hide this thing?’ But I never had to,” Lynch said. “I never had to make that decision because of the people who came before me like Ellen and Melissa [Etheridge] and K.D. [Lang]. I was never in the closet. It wasn’t an act of courage – I just didn’t have to be.”
When asked if her Glee character is secretly a lesbian, Lynch seemed to be surprised that people thought she may be.
“No, she’s not,” Lynch said. “She’s not one way or the other. She had boyfriends. Another neutral kind of person who, wherever the power was, whatever she had to do she went that way. But she never expressed and affection for a woman, she never had a relationship with a woman. She had plenty of boyfriends. I don’t think she was in the closet. I don’t think that was an issue.”
As far as Lynch’s personal life, she claims she’s the most famous woman she has ever slept with. And right behind that is Hilary Rosen.
“I just gave you a scoop. You’re welcome,” Lynch said. “Oh, and Hilary, you’re welcome too.”
She also said that “the shop is closed.”
“It’s a very short list, actually,” Lynch said of the famous women she has slept with. “And it’s done. The stop is closed. It’s over. The ship has sailed. It’s not sad, it’s a f—ing relief.”
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