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Tough Irish upbringing helped me, says Lynch

Glee actress Jane Lynch has revealed it was her Irish upbringing that made her capable of playing her breakout role in the new TV3 and E4 show.

Interestingly, Lynch, an Irish Catholic raised in a tough Chicago suburb, describes her main pastimes as being "beer, whiskey and storytelling."

She described her parents as social people who liked to have a drink and invite company around: "This is going to make my parents sound terrible, but all through high school, we were the drinking house. We'd sit around the kitchen table with my parents and drink beer."

Fans of Glee will recognise Lynch more as Sue Sylvester, the bitchy coach of a high school cheerleading squad.

The gay 40-year-old actress says she has been enjoying the perks of playing such a tough character for a change.

"Every once in a while I'll be walking down the hall making an exit, and I'll just grab one of the kids and put 'em in a headlock and throw 'em against the locker," she said.


Sylvester has been "delicious" to play so far and Lynch says her character "has no filter -- whatever heinous thought comes into her mind comes right out of her mouth".

"I've played arrogant people before, but the levels and lengths she goes to, it's so entertaining and fun."

Best known in recent years for her roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Talladega Nights, the actress reveals the comfort of having a TV gig.

"Being the work-a-day actor that I have been -- and will always be, if this goes away -- can be thankless. There's a part of us that wants recognition."

The openly gay actress also discussed the difficulty of growing up as a homosexual teen.

"I didn't know what 'gay' was in high school. We used the word 'queer' when someone was weird, when I finally heard what it really meant, my heart sank, and I thought, "Oh God, that's me," she said.