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“Glee” creator Ryan Murphy says Sue Sylvester character was not in original script of hit Fox show

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Last week, I posted my interview with Glee creator Ryan Murphy and also his reaction to the coming out of one of the stars of the show, Chris Colfer. These interview occurred at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society luncheon but I confess, I’ve held back a little bit from you.

There are some tidbits from a panel discussion that I want to share with you now – including something I was very surprised to learn: Sue Sylvester, the delicious character portrayed with such, well, glee, by Jane Lynch, was not in the original script when Ryan pitched the show to Fox.

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Fox President “Kevin Reilly read the first script and said, ‘I think we need a villain, these kids are too nice,’” Murphy recalled.  “And I was, ‘You came to the right guy!’ In my head, I always thought Jane Lynch but I knew that getting Jane Lynch would be tricky so I said, ‘What can I do to get Jane Lynch’s attention?’ So in the character description, in the second paragraph I wrote: “Sue Sylvester, probably on horse estrogen. I was hoping Jane would be intrigued by that.”

She was.

“I really think that casting her made that pilot,” he said.

After six years of his FX drama Nip/Tuck, Murphy said he was ready for something lighter: “I wanted something that was happier – Barbra Streisand songs – something that was different.”

“It’s the most fun I’ve ever had,” he added. “The cast is young and they’re not jaded and for the most part this is all their first big break.”

We found out at the HRTS lunch that Murphy wasn’t always planning on a career behind the camera – he had wanted to be front and center.

“When I was a kid, when I was growing up, I initially wanted to be an actor, I kind of had the lead in all the musicals,” he said. “I kind of got to college and I started writing musicals and I was, I think, too self-conscious as a performer. But I desperately loved performing but more than that, I remember being that age and thinking that how much potential there was, anybody could be a star. I wanted to tap into that [with Glee] because I love that feeling.that anything is possible.”

FILE UNDER: Television

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2 Remarks

  1. Wow. As much as I appreciate the “Glee” emsemble, it’s impossible to imagive the show without Sue Sylvester. It just goes to show that, sometimes at least, the network’s notes are useful.

    (Sigh.) I’m already going into “Glee” withdrawal. April can’t come soon enough.

  2. The lynch pins ( no pun intended) are Sue and Rachel. Or I should say Jane and Lea. Someone else could do the other roles. I’m not so sure about replacing those two.

    Rachel is all about glee and Sue is all about destroying glee.

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