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"I think I'm done. I don't know where I'll go or what I'll do. Maybe I'll just go somewhere and teach theater."
This isn't how one expects Jane Lynch -- the Emmy Award-winning
actress who plays Sue Sylvester, the aggressive cheerleading coach in "Glee," and who can now be heard voicing the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun in Walt Disney Animation Studios' latest production, "Wreck-It Ralph" -- to sound. But it wasn't all that long ago that Lynch had really had her fill of Hollywood.
Jane Lynch dressed as Sergeant Calhoun, the character she voices inWalt Disney Animation Studios' "Wreck-It Ralph" when she appearedon "Ellen" earlier this week for the Halloween edition of this populardaytime talk show. Copyright Warner Bros. All rights reserved
"I must have been 37 or 38 at the time," this 52-year-old recalled
during a recent interview. "Don't get me wrong. I had a pretty nice
career going. I was making a good living doing a lot of voiceover work
for radio. A guest spot here and there on television. But I just wasn't
able to break through to the next level."
Which is why -- during a hike through the Hollywood Hills -- Jane
confided to a friend that she was thinking about chucking it all.
Getting out of the business.
"And she said 'Don't you dare. You just keep doing this,' " Lynch
continued. "So by the time we got to the bottom of Fryman Canyon, I was
back in the game. And I'd gotten a good workout too."
Jane Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge in "Best in Show." Copyright Warner Bros. All rights reserved
And it's a good thing that Jane decided to hang in there. Because the
project that finally really put her on the map in Hollywood --
Christopher Guest's 2000 mockumentary, "Best in Show" -- along just a few years later.
"That's the thing that kind of blew the doors open for my career,"
Lynch reflected. "But to get handed the brass ring at 40, at a time in
my life when I actually knew who I was and what I wanted to do, that was
like some preposterous fancy coming true."
Which brings us to where Jane is today. Back to work on a
super-popular TV series ("We've just finished shooting our eighth
episode for this season") as well as enjoying the whole "Wreck-It Ralph" experience.
Photo by Patrick Ecclestine. Copyright Fox. All rights reserved
" I grew up on Disney films. And to now be a part of one, to know that someday Wreck-It Ralph is going to be on a shelf next to 'Jungle Book' and 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella,' that's a pretty amazing thing," Lynch said.
Mind you, Jane wasn't entirely sure what she'd gotten herself into
when she'd initially agreed to take part in this new WDAS project.
"Like I said, I'd done some voiceover work earlier in my career. I'd
worked at ICM with some truly talented people like Lorenzo Music &
Tony Jay recording radio commercials. So I knew my way around a
microphone and a set of headphones," Lynch stated. "But when you're
asked to do a reading for someone like John Lasseter -- who I'm a huge
fan of, by the way -- that's a really, really big deal."
(L to R) John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, John Lasseter, Jan Lynch and Jack McBrayerat Monday night's "Wreck-It Ralph" premiere in Hollywood. Photo by ChristopherPolk / Getty Images North America. All rights reserved
That was one of the more intriguing aspects of being recruited to work on "Wreck-It Ralph." That
-- before WDAS would actually commit to making this new animated
feature -- they staged a reading of the first draft of this film's
screenplay up at the Pixar campus in Emeryville, Calif.
If you want to learn more about Jane's trip to Pixar Animation Studios and/or read the rest of my profile of Ms. Lynch,
you're either going to have to click on the headline above or go straight to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-hill/jane-lynch-wreck-it-ralph_b_2059789.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment.