Jane Lynch Lets Down Her Guard

The Glee star on becoming a stepmother, sobering up and more.

Interview by Margy Rochlin
Photograph: Photo by Martin Schoeller

Jane Lynch, who won an Emmy this year for her performance as the unapologetically fearsome cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Glee, has more than professional success to be happy about these days: She’s also a newlywed. Lynch met her wife, Lara Embry, last year at a lesbian rights fundraiser. A week after meeting her, Lynch flew to Sarasota, Florida, where Embry lived. Just before takeoff, Lynch tells MORE, she called Embry and said, “We need to acknowledge how courageous both of us are that I’m coming into town and you really don’t know me. And I’m hopping on a plane to visit someone I really don’t know. So for a moment, let’s give ourselves a little pat on the back.”

After six months of dating, Embry proposed to Lynch. On May 31, the two women exchanged matching wedding rings in a small ceremony. “I shouldn’t say this, but I’d never dated anyone that I wanted to marry,” Lynch told writer Margy Rochlin, who interviewed the actress for MORE. “I didn’t think it was going to be out there for me. But the minute we were married, I felt the difference: I felt like I am no longer alone.” Lynch says she loves being able to realize two wishes many mothers have for their daughters: “I got married—and I married a doctor!”
Lynch also talked with Rochlin about deciding to become sober in 1991. She says that at 31 years old, she realized she was getting drunk every night. “I was hungover all the time.” One evening she told a friend, “I’m pouring out this glass of wine and never drinking again.” She kept her promise. “Relatively speaking, my personal bottom was rather benign.” Lynch says she used to stand up at 12-step meetings and apologetically say, “Had I known I’d be telling my story over and over again, I would have made it a lot better.” 
Lynch is currently renovating her home to make room for Embry and her eight-year-old daughter. Until they move in together, the actress is confronting what she feels is a holdover from single life—her obsession with tidiness. “I’m a little OCD,” admits Lynch who says she stares longingly at the dozen or so boxes of Embry’s belongings that have been shipped and fantasizes about paring down. “I don’t want to start going through them and saying, ‘Well, we can get rid of this, and that!’ But it’s hard.” As for her new role as Stepmom? She’s getting into the swing of things: “I took her to school. I picked her up. I went to lunch with her. So I kind of had a test run. We’re pretty darn good together.”

And of turning 50, she says, "I like the equanimity that comes with my age. I don’t have big highs, and I don’t have big lows. Even if this job goes away tomorrow, the nonstop ambition is a thing of the past for me. I’ve mellowed."
For more from Lynch, pick up the November issue of MORE, on newsstands October 26. And click here for 5 surprising facts about the actress. 

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