She may be best known for terrorizing teens on the hit Fox series "Glee," but the real Jane Lynch is considerably more humble and introspective than her bitterly hilarious television counterpart.
Though she's only recently become a household name as ruthless cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, the 51-year-old Lynch is hardly a Hollywood newcomer. The Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning comedian and actress, who is married to psychologist Lara Embry, also garnered raves for her supporting turns in "A Mighty Wind," "Julie & Julia" and the Judd Apatow smash "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."
For the first installment in our "Late Bloomers" series, the Huff/Post50 team caught up with Lynch, who is currently in the midst of a promotional tour for her new memoir "Happy Accidents," in which she speaks candidly about the highs and lows of her movie and TV career as well as personal struggles with alcoholism and sexuality.
What's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?
I know now that whatever is right in front of me is exactly where I am supposed be. I was always afraid that the parade was passing me by -- so much so that I would miss out on what was great about the moment I was in.
Now that you're over 50, what's the one rule you feel you can break with impunity?
I don't have to answer every email or return every call.
What is the riskiest thing you've done in your life since you've turned 50?
I allowed the cost of my home renovation to double.
What ignites your creativity?
Funny friends and the questioning of social mores.
What social or political cause are you most passionate about?
I get excited when I can see the difference being made by dollars or time spent, and when I am helping someone who can't help themselves. Right now I am focused on helping schools afford the arts and sports, and helping animal rescue centers. I have a soft spot for kids and furry creatures.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Don't create suffering for yourself.
What is your biggest regret?
I regret having hurt people's feelings and wasting time suffering over myself. That being said, everything I've done and everywhere I've been prior to now got me here and I couldn't be happier to be here.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
I never let fear stop me. I walk toward it, and really look at what I am afraid of -- most of the time, it amounts to nothing.
If you could say one thing to the next generation, what would it be?
Fix this mess. Kidding -- sort of. Really though, don't over-consume and take care of the planet.
If you could reincarnate as anyone or anything, what or who would it be?
I'd come back as myself and own it from the very start.
Take a look at some of Lynch's best looks from the past 2 years below:
On the Paramount Studios set of "Glee" in 2009.
Lynch attends the 27th Annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival at the Director's Guild of America on July 18, 2009.
Lynch attends the 69th Annual Peabody Awards in 2010.
Arriving for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2010.
Arriving at the "Glee" PaleyFest panel discussion in Beverly Hills in 2010.
Lynch arrives on the red carpet at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Lynch performs onstage during the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which she hosted in September.
Lynch looks radiant in magenta as she speaks onstage during the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in September.
Lynch promotes her new book 'Happy Accidents' at Bookends Bookstore on Sept. 21 in Ridgewood, New Jersey
Lynch and wife Lara Embry in Los Angeles in September.
Check out Lynch's new autobiography, "Happy Accidents," on sale now.