As Glee prepares to return from a month-long hiatus following the show’s farewell episode to Cory Monteith in October, moods are brightening up again when it comes to Fox’s musical hit. Music faves Adam Lambert and Demi Lovato are on board this season, and the show is already delivering crowdpleasing tunes like Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” (both of which appear in tomorrow’s episode).
As the new principal of McKinley High, Jane Lynch’s now-iconic queen of mean Sue Sylvester has finally taken control—and she’s loving life on top. Lynch stopped by EW to chat about what’s coming down the pipeline for Sue and whether the former Cheerios coach will ever find her way to New York.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s in store for Sue this season?
JANE LYNCH: Sue’s the principal now, so she’s for the Glee club when it suits her principal needs in making the school look better, and then if that’s not the case, then she’s going after them. She kind of randomly just goes after the Glee club. But she really does seem to be taking her job as principal seriously.
How about another song for Sue?
Matt [Morrison and I do a] Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire number. That was a lot of fun. That’s the point of it — to do everything backwards and in high heels. That’s ostensibly what it is through camera magic, but Matt carries the number. That was really fun to do.
The Cheerios welcomed a new villain this season, Erinn Westbrook’s Bree. What’s she like?
Oh she’s wonderful — she’s my new Dianna Agron or Becca Tobin. She’s causing mayhem, and she’s a mean one. She also delivers longer monologues than me. They get meaner and meaner. I wanted to do a scene so badly with Becca last year where I say, “You are dark!” She’s even darker than me, but this Bree is ruthless.
What’s the vibe on set been like these days?
Well, we’re at a new normal, to quote the name of Ryan’s other show. We’re in a new normal and it’s without Cory, who was such a big part of it. It’s like how anyone deals with grief. You weave that into the fabric of your life, and you weave it into your experience, and so he will always be there. We have his beautiful face on a plaque in the choir room, so we look at him every day. The sun rises and sets, doesn’t it? It continues.
Over the summer, you made your Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie. Now that you’ve done Broadway, did anything feel different going back to Glee?
When I did Broadway, I reconnected with why I wanted to do this. I love doing theater—that’s what I was drawn to first. When this opportunity to do Annie came along, it felt so right. I loved the one-on-one with the audience, and I loved doing it over and over again. So I’ve got a broadened perspective on what I want to do post-Glee, and it’ll include theater. Todd Ellis and I have been talking and we might do a little traveling show over the summer. I’d come back in a nano-second to do another play [on Broadway].
Ryan Murphy has announced that Glee will end after season six. Do you think it’s time to go? How would you like to see Sue’s story wrapped up?
I have great equanimity about it going on for another year or not. It’s been a great experience and if we get two more seasons out of it, that’s really great. And I don’t know what he wants to do yet but I’m on board with whatever Ryan Murphy wants me to do. Anytime he invites me to do something, my answer is yes.
What happy ending do you wish for Sue?
I really wanted to see her be principal, and I didn’t even pitch that to Ryan. I thought her stepping up to being principal would be a new life for her, and it has become one. When she was the Cheerios coach, she was always trying to win and be number one, and now she can relax because she actually is in a place of authority. There’s a restfulness to her that wasn’t there before.
There’s a rumor about the show moving the action to New York, and one rumor about a full-on spin-off for Lea Michele. Thoughts?
Sounds like a brilliant idea. I think it’s great. I don’t know if she wants to play this character for the rest of her life, but she’s a powerhouse and she’s so good. I’d build a show around her too if I could!
Would Sue ever pop up in New York?
Someone actually said to me today, wouldn’t it be interesting if Sue went to New York and did a one-person show, and got financiers and the whole thing, and it was shite? Or maybe it’s fantastic. But anyway that’s my little imagination. Nothing I think of is anywhere as good as what Ryan, Brad and Ian do.
What are you geeking out over these days?
I geek out over Orange Is the New Black—I finished it a couple weeks ago and I’m in mourning over it being over. I loved House of Cards. I’m not a science head, but I’m fascinated with quantum physics. I’m kind of a new-agey, crunchy, granola, spiritual type person. I love to read my spiritual books, and quantum physics dovetails right into that. It’s like the merging of science and spirit. There’s this book called The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden that I started listening to as an audio book when I was in Annie, and I’ve probably listened to it five or six times. I’m totally geeking out over it.
Glee returns Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.