The 61-year-old scene-stealer and gay icon is back! She talks about her triumph over sexism, shame and self-doubt
Not so long ago, Jane Lynch was walking her dog, happy as could be, and she paused and said out loud to herself: “God, I love being Jane Lynch.” She laughs at herself. “As if ‘she’ were something outside of me.” But things do seem pretty good: she recently finished her run of cabaret dates with her friend, the actor Kate Flannery. There’s a reboot of the underrated sitcom Party Down coming, and a fourth series of the Amazon show The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is about to start. Lynch won an Emmy for her role as Sophie Lennon, a bawdy superstar comic housewife from Queens (in reality, an upper-class Manhattanite, slumming it for financial gain and self-expression). This year, Lynch takes to Broadway, to be in Funny Girl, the fulfilment, at the age of 61, of a childhood dream. Last year, she got married for the second time. “I live in this really cute house in a little beach town,” she says. “I’ve got a beautiful dog, a fantastic wife.” She seems to marvel at it – she doesn’t sound remotely boastful, just grateful.
Things haven’t always been so good. Lynch has been through divorce and alcoholism – giving up alcohol for the second time only fairly recently, after slipping back into addiction. As a teenager, she carried deep shame about her sexuality. Well into her 30s, she felt lonely and alienated, and it wasn’t until her 40s that her career took off. Lynch might be the perfect embodiment of the idea that It Will Get Better.