With an impressive film and TV resume, over 20 years of sobriety and a newly-penned memoir, “Glee” star Jane Lynch is riding high on Hollywood’s hot list.
However, the 51-year-old actress – who hosted the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday – admits she wasn’t always such a joy to work with. In fact, Jane says she used to behave more like her tracksuit-loving onscreen alter ego.
“You’re such a happy bright person, but it wasn’t always that way. You write about being very difficult to work with,” Billy Bush told Jane on Wednesday’s Access Hollywood Live, while discussing her new book, “Happy Accidents.”
“I was terrible,” Jane explained. “It was so Psychology 101 — I felt terrible inside and I projected it on everybody else. I made everybody bad, wrong.
“I was kind of shaming and humiliating, not unlike Sue Sylvester, so I had a lot to draw on,” she continued, referencing her menacing “Glee” character. “I wasn’t a nice person to have around. And I can say today, I’m kind of a nice person to have around!”
Now, Jane is happy to leave the negativity to Ms. Sylvester and her hell-raising McKinley High ways, but enjoys letting her past unhappiness inform her performance as the angry Cheerios coach.
“I’m having a great time. It’s fun to play the person who I used to be!” she told Billy and Kit.
As for Jane’s personal life, the actress is openly gay and married to Lara Embry. However, prior to coming out, Jane had a childhood crush on actor/director Ron Howard, which she describes as normal for “any good, closeted young lesbian of the 70s” in her book.
“Common — very common occurrence. Very safe guy,” she joked with Billy and Kit of her crush on Ron.
“Richie wasn’t gonna dive into the decolletage… right?” Billy asked, referencing Ron’s all-American role as Richie Cunningham on “Happy Days.”
“And we don’t want him diving into the decolletage,” Jane said. “You know, [Ron was] one of those boys that is just a really nice boy.
“He’s not at all sexual, so, you don’t have to deal with that. No body hair,” she continued. “Like, if you look at Donnie Osmond and Davy Jones – they’re kind of like Ken dolls.”
For more with Jane, pick up a copy of “Happy Accidents” – available in stores now.