November 24th, 2009
08:54 AM ET
Just writing this is difficult. But in re-telling this story, it brings me closer to purging it from my memory banks.
When Jane Lynch walked onto the stage for our interview, I didn't expect her to be taller than 6 feet. She is.
She was friendly and soft-spoken, nothing like the acerbic coach Sue Sylvester she wickedly embodies in primetime's musical joyride "Glee." She granted us an interview prior to her performance in Nora and Delia "Ephron's Love Loss And What I Wore," an off Broadway show she is starring in here in New York.
We didn't have the luxury of time since the theater doors would be opening shortly. So getting through the interview quickly but not rushing was the goal. As my cameraman adjusted his shot we asked Miss Lynch to say a few words so that we could check her microphone level. She smiled and readied herself for my first question.
She uttered the words "This Is CNN." My cameraman said "Speed," letting me know he was rolling. That was my cue to begin the interview.
All was going well - I started off with a few questions about the production. She told me about being in New York for the duration of her run. Then I began to ask her about the massive success of "Glee" and why the American public just seemed ready for a program like it. I was nearing the end of what I thought was a good interview with coach Sue Sylvester, uh Jane Lynch, when suddenly I heard my cameraman say something.
He didn't gently tap me on the shoulder, he didn't whisper something in my ear - he spoke in a tone intended to stop the interview. And it sounded vaguely like: "You're gonna kill me."
I think on some level I must have been in denial because I continued to ask my next question when another outburst arose. "Wait, hold on." he said to me. Now I stepped back and took a look at him. He was not having trouble with the camera battery or the audio. No, this is far worse. And to my horror I quickly realize what has happened.
"What's the matter? We weren't rolling?" I ask.
"You're kidding me?" I ask.
Jane Lynch with a hint of Sue Sylvester says, "You’re kidding?"
Cameraman, whose identity has been withheld to protect his anonymity says, "No, I'm not kidding."
Me, "OH MY GOD."
Jane Lynch, with what I imagine to be increasing amounts of Sue Sylvester coursing through her veins, looks annoyed and in disbelief. Incredulous.
Me: Did you double click?
Cameraman who shall not be named: Yeah, I double clicked.
He starts to get dramatic and sulky in mere seconds, so I try to salvage what remaining time we might have and say, "Well, why don't we just start now and just ask a couple of questions?"
I am so sorry, I say to Jane Lynch, who is looking more like Sue Sylvester by the second.
Sue Sylvester, sighs. "You've got to be kidding."
So sorry is all I've got. I'm mortified.
Sue, looking more like Jane Lynch, “What are you going to do?"
Me: So sorry, get a couple and tell me about being part of the show. (Obviously I was becoming incoherent due to the heavy dose of embarrassment that had filled the space between us.)
Jane: Ok, that's alright. Oh God, I'd like to take it from a different point.
Me: It's ok... we could start with "Glee" and work our way back.
I try to flip my line of questioning and re-start what had been a good interview. She continues, the consummate professional. "When I was doing 'Julie & Julia,' Nora was telling me.."
And the interview began again. And Jane Lynch was as gracious as anyone could be considering the double click. And yes, I forgave my cameraman because after all, it's not the end of the world. And these things sometimes happen in television. See the resulting video package here
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