Jane Lynch on Her New Web Series, Soap Operas and Ryan Murphy’s Dark Side (Exclusive)
Jane Lynch is about to star in a brand-new web series that is all about soap operas and the crazy antics that go on backstage. Dropping the Soap begins streaming today on Dekkoo, a subscription-based streaming service aimed at gay men that claims to have even more gay content than Netflix and Amazon.
Created by Mandy Fabian, Paul Witten and Kate Mines, Dropping the Soap goes behind-the-scenes of the long-running soap-opera “Collided Lives.” As the program struggles to stay afloat, a new Executive Producer named Olivia Vanderstein (Lynch) shows up to shake things up.
We had the opportunity to chat with the three-time Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress about the new series. She also dished about the other work that’s been keeping her busy, her relationship with fellow Glee alumni and why she’s so proud of Dropping the Soap.
Tell our readers about Dropping the Soap.
Paul Witten is a wonderful actor and a writer. He and his friends were working on this for a few years. It’s a web series about a soap opera and the shenanigans that go on behind-the-scenes. As you know, soap operas are circling the drain in terms of popularity in this country where they use to be very, very popular when I was growing up. My mom use to watch them but no one is watching them anymore. But we all love them and that is why Paul, Mandy and Kate convinced me to do this idea with them.
The web series is what happens backstage. These actors are fighting for their lives to keep their soap on the air. I play the network executive that comes in to shake… things… up. They are all happy to still have their jobs but they are scared to death of me.
What are you most of proud of when it comes to this project?
I must say, I am so proud of how it looks. It is extremely professional. Mandy Fabian, Paul Witten and Kate Mines are at the top of their game. They got terrific guests actors to come in including John Michael Higgins and Missi Pyles. Someone pops up every couple scenes and people are like, “Oh my god! It’s her and it’s him!” Everybody did it for like $100 bucks a day. We did it fast and we did it furious. Ellie Kanner directed it and she is amazing. Those four minds are the power center of this effort — everything has to do with their great writing and their great producing. Being such an attractive project, everybody wanted to do it.
Mandy Fabian wrote everything. People ask me, “Is there improve?” There really wasn’t. This girl knows how to write in people’s voices. I have never met anybody like her. She is pretty sensational. The scripts are fantastic. Every line I got to say it’s like she went inside my head and found these genius moments and took them out and put them on paper. I feel like I wrote it on my best day.
Were you a big soap opera fan?
When I was a kid in high school, I remember laying out in the sun and watching All My Children and General Hospital on a little TV that you could plug-in outside. It was black and white. They were the big shows back in the day. My mother watched them all the time, too. Days of Our lives was one of her favorites. “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives…”
Also, she watched a show called The Edge of Night, which was her favorite when I was a kid. We were soap opera people. Everybody watched them back then. When VCRS came out, people taped their soaps.
What else have you been working on?
I just did an episode of The Good Fight with Christine Baranski — a spin off of The Good Wife. I love that show and I would see the billboards and say to myself, “I got to be on that show!” And then last weekend I got an email from my agent asking me to go to New York to be a part in it. And then I did three episodes of Criminals Minds which was a lot of fun. And then I just played Janet Reno in Discovery Channel’s first scripted series about the Unabomber called Manifesto and that is with Paul Bettany and Chris Noth. That was a really wonderful project to work on and the script was so damn good.
So a lot of serious roles it sounds like!
Yeah. Absolutely. I am also singing with the St. Louis Symphony on June 9. I am working my butt-off with my musical director Brad Ellis who is a wonderful orchestrator. He and I are putting together a show for myself. Matthew Morrison has been doing it for years and he has been telling me how much fun it is. So I have gotten myself my first gig and we are putting together the show.
Post Glee, what is your relationship like today with the cast and crew?
I ran into Ryan [Murphy] just recently and we said, “Let’s do something dark together next time.” So hopefully I will get to work with him again. Chris Colfer lives up the street from me. Becca Tobin lives across the street from me. I was just texting last night with Chord Overstreet. Matthew Morrison and I have stayed in touch and worked together since. I see them all. It’s like it never stopped. We don’t work together necessarily but I see them. I love them and they are my family.
How can people find Dropping the Soap? It’s on Dekkoo, correct?
Yes, but it’s not just on Dekkoo. They were the first people to sign up with us. God bless them. They are a gay content streaming service. We hooked up with them early. we are also on Amazon. You can watch it there if you are a member. We are on iTunes and on Google Play as well. We start streaming on all of those platforms March 7. So exciting.
Tell us more about your relationship with Paul Witten.
We met in a beauty supply store! I was buying shampoo and we got to talking about shampoo and I was like, “Oh my god, I love this guy.” And then from there we just folded each other into each other’s lives. He is one of my best friends. He comes home with me for Christmas every year. He is invited every year so we go to Chicago. We are best friends. He is the sweetest, smartest, funniest guy I know.
Is he gay? Is he queer?
Yeah, he is a queer! Absolutely!
That is really beautiful because sometimes holidays can be a tough time for gay people. I know they have been for me.
They can, yeah. They really can. My family is his family. Let’s put it that way.