We put that very question to Agron.
"Well, we play high schoolers," she answers, "so you don't want to be seen endorsing too many things."
By this point we are numb. Halfheartedly, we ask her to entertain us. She refuses, then says, "OK, roar like a tiger."
"Who, us?" She nods and we do, loudly, after which she sort of roars herself, softly. It's all very lame. We feel kind of snookered.
But the last straw is the story she tells about a date she recently went on.
"Fifteen minutes into dinner," she says, "he grabs my hand and goes, 'Let's go back to my place.' I think he's got to be kidding. I go, 'Excuse me?' And he goes, 'I bet I'm right about you, that you're very nice and very prim and proper right here at the table with your cute little dress on — and that you're a freak in bed. So, let's go.' His father is a huge actor, so maybe this works for him all the time. I say, 'Please tell me you're kidding.' He goes, 'No, why would I be kidding?' I go, 'Oh, OK, well, I'm gonna go now.' He doesn't get up, doesn't do anything. I walk away and that's it."
"So that line of inquiry doesn't work?"
"No, it does not work."
"Have you ever had a one-night stand?"
"No, actually, I have not. I've only had three boyfriends. And three cars."
A bit later, Agron graciously offers to drive us where we're going next. While some part of us deeply admires the way she says she is, another part of us can't help but believe that she's a total freak all right, just not the kind of freak her son-of-a-huge-name-actor date hoped she would be. She's an A-plus prissy pie. And that's fine too.
And that's pretty much the story of the Glee kids. Except for the really terrible part. It starts innocently enough, with a late-afternoon chat at the Chateau Marmont with Jane Lynch, the inestimable, crazily caustic Sue Sylvester in the flesh. Lynch, 49, has spent the past decade creating a comic persona of many strange shades, as an ultrabutch lesbian dog handler in Best in Show (which first lifted her out of the world of bit parts and voice-overs), as a porn-star-turned-folk-singer in A Mighty Wind, as a slightly insane former drug addict, now head of a mentoring program, in Role Models. Over a Caesar salad, she tells us a little bit about herself. She was raised in the suburbs south of Chicago, liked to drink and drive from a very young age ("It was a cultural thing! Everyone was doing it!"). She has always known she was different, which turned out to mean gay, and was given the nickname "Narc" in high school, because she didn't smoke dope. She was a theater major in her college and grad-school years, joined the Second City comedy troupe, and got her first big movie job, in The Fugitive, where Harrison Ford gave her advice she has lived by ever since: "No matter how smart you are, when your mouth is hanging open like that, you look stupid. Close your mouth." She also owns a Lhasa apso that has to wear diapers, and has of course had sex with a man and does find penises "one of the greatest things ever." Then she says, "I am not your monkey," when asked to do something entertaining. Yes, indeed, the kids have been talking out of school. How often she changes her underwear, how often she'd have sex in an ideal world, if she pees in the shower — all of that is "none of your business." We are miffed. This is high school, sort of, come on, play along. But she's having none of it. Then, toward the end, Lynch mentions that she has a terrible temper. We ask for a sample.
She obviously knows how some of the kids feel about us. She leans forward. "Why do you ask such stupid questions?" she hisses, deeply in character. "Do you get off on that? Do you go home and think about it and jack off?" We laugh, slap our thighs and ask for more. But truly we are stung. That was a total misreading of our intentions. That was not nice.
Shortly thereafter, she's up on her feet and gone. We look at her go. We can't help but like her. She is so totally Sue Sylvester. We admire that in a woman.
We see her once more, on the Paramount lot where Glee is shot, while strolling along with Chris Colfer, the 19-year-old gay kid who plays the gay kid Kurt on the show. She stops Colfer and says, "You don't have to answer anything you don't want to." For his part, Colfer merely looks confused. Maybe he hasn't been brought into the loop — probably because we didn't think about talking to him at all until just a few hours ago, when it occurred to us that Kurt is the real heart and soul of the show. What Kurt seems to be is half Murphy, who had a great high school experience despite being gay, and half Colfer, who at a high school in Clovis, California, had exactly the opposite experience. Alone among all of the character arcs so far, his journey from jock-punching-bag reject to little out-of-the-closet football-kicking hero is meaningful. It's a story line that has resonated with the public, and because of that, in the coming season, Colfer's role will be greatly expanded.
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