When audiences saw Jane Lynch on the big screen this summer she was dispensing stern guidance from under a mountain of black fabric in her role as Mother Superior in “The Three Stooges, ” which filmed in Atlanta.
No cumbersome costumes were needed for her role in “Wreck-It Ralph, ” in theaters now. The clever and charming movie about the off-screen lives of arcade game characters is a Walt Disney Animation Studios project, directed by Emmy-winning Rich Moore.
“All I had to do was show up and talk into the microphone, ” Lynch said. “I was very thrilled with how I looked. It was fabulous. I know it was not entirely how I look.”
“Wreck-It Ralph” is told from the perspective of video-game bad guy Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), who breaks stuff for a living. Fed up with his lonely life in a garbage heap while his on-screen nemesis Fix-It Felix Jr. (voiced by Jack McBrayer) basks in constant accolades, Ralph sets out to win a heroic medal. To do so, he must barge into another video game, a daring freelance mission during which he encounters Lynch’s character, the tough-talking Sgt. Calhoun.
“My stuff was written so well, ” Lynch said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Along the way Ralph meets up with the mischievous Vanellope, voiced with wit and impeccable comic timing by Sarah Silverman. Lynch revealed that Reilly and Silverman ad-libbed quite a bit with the blessing of Moore, whose directing credits include episodes of “The Simpsons” and “Futurama.”
“I know that Sarah and John strayed” from the script, Lynch said. “They just go with it.”
Lynch said she identifies with the movie’s message.
“It’s about people being stuck in their circumstances and afraid to make a change, ” she said. “I am a people pleaser. I want people to know how much effort I put in. I have to do it for the sake of job well done.”
Not that her efforts have gone unnoticed; she won the 2011 Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her “Glee” role as Sue Sylvester. Coincidentally, her competitors for the trophy included “Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara, who starred along with Lynch in “The Three Stooges.”
Right about the time “Stooges” was released in April, Lynch was back in Atlanta filming “A.C.O.D., ” which comes out next year.
“I love it there. You guys have made it so attractive to work there, ” she said, referring to Georgia’s tax incentives for television and movie projects. “I like eating. I went to several places that I loved.”
While in town she dined at South City Kitchen in Midtown and spent a good deal of time at No. 246 in Decatur, where “A.C.O.D.” filmed for a week.
She’s also become friends with one of Atlanta’s most successful break-out reality stars, NeNe Leakes, a “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member who appeared on a season of “Celebrity Apprentice” before landing a role on “The New Normal.” Leakes also filmed a guest role on “Glee.”
Getting back to “Wreck-it Ralph, ” Lynch said she wasn’t much of a video gamer as a kid, although she did enjoy a game of Asteroids back in the day.
Her favorite cartoon?
“I was a Flintstones person, ” she said, adding that working on her upcoming film and watching it have both been fun. “The ability to suspend your imagination is greater with an animated film. It makes you feel like there’s no limit.”