With countless commercials and animated movies (including 2012’s sublime Wreck-It Ralph) to her credit, Jane Lynch’s voice has been gracing the airwaves for more than two decades. Now she’s lending those perfect pipes to a new Nook book called Elfbot, which finally reveals how Santa Claus is able to produce so many presents a year!
Lynch not only got to work with her best friend on the project, but also her stepdaughter Haden, who makes her voice-over debut with the children’s book. Entertainment Tonight caught up with the Emmy winning actress to talk about this family affair, the significant change her Glee character has undergone and why voice over acting will always have her heart.
ETonline: What appealed to you about working on Elfbot?
Jane Lynch: The first thing that appealed to me is that my very best friend in the world, Jeannie Elias, directed it. This brings together all of my friends from the ICM voice department, who I hung out with for 20 years, sitting in that [recording booth]. We never worked together, so when they asked me to be a part of this, I said yes.
ETonline: Once Elias told you about the story, what did you think?
Lynch: The story is so sweet. What I love about it, and think kids will love about it, is you always wonder how Santa makes toys for everybody because the population is so huge. Now, we find out he’s created Elfbots – and we have one Elfbot, who is voiced by Kenny G, who wants to become more than an Elfbot. It’s like a Pinocchio story. I think it could become one of those Christmas stories you tell over and over again.
ETonline: And you got to work with your stepdaughter on this!
Lynch: I know! It’s her first acting job. She went into the studio and just knocked it out of the park. She has a natural acting vibe. I met her when she was 7, and even before I met her, she was doing plays and in an improve group from the time she was five years old. We always say, Lara [Embry, Lynch’s wife] gave birth to her, but she’s really my daughter.
ETonline: Are you and Lara in favor of her pursing an acting career?
Lynch: I have a funny thing about it. I started from nothing and faced adversity, so…It will become clear if she really, really wants to do this and I won’t stop her if it’s something she feels strongly about. We’re not going to take her out of school or anything – she does plays at school and this is her first voice over thing, so we’ll see.
ETonline: You also supplied the voice of Sergeant Calhoun in Wreck-It Ralph. What did you think of your animated incarnation?
Lynch: Oh my God, she was like the hottest version of me you could come up with. It’s what I might have looked like in days gone by if I had a good haircut … and a trainer.
ETonline: You’ve been doing voiceover work for years — what is it about that artform you love?
Lynch: When I was doing voiceovers and radio commercials and TV narration, I was so happy. I love sitting in a booth and making something out of just your voice. I look at it as an opportunity to kick back and relax and create because it’s one of the most low-stress, purely creative thing you can do … and it’s great to roll in wearing sweatpants [laughs]. I could have done it forever and ever, but I’m glad my acting career took off.
ETonline: The last four years have been particularly busy for you between the insanity of Glee and getting married. Has it been a whirlwind?
Lynch: So much has changed, and some of it’s been heady and exciting, but I definitely think it helped that I was close to 50 when this all happened. And creating a homebase for my family was a real priority for us at that time, so all of that was going on while hosting The Emmys and doing this great television show. It was insane, but I love to be busy, I love to be active, I don’t like sitting around, so the last four years have kept me very, very happy.
ETonline: There have also been a lot of changes at Glee this year — what do you like about Sue’s interactions with the new characters?
Lynch: These kids are fresh meat for Sue Sylvester, but you see how she’s softening a bit in the fact she can’t come up with a mean nickname for Marley. I really like that Sue’s redemptions have actually stuck. I’m not just randomly mean like I was before. I had a nice arc that made her more comfortable in where she is, so Sue’s not using her powers for evil as much any more.
To purchase your copy of Elfbot, click here!