November 7, 2012

"Glee's" Jane Lynch is Sgt. Calhoun in "Wreck-It Ralph"

Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Jane Lynch (“Glee”) lends her voice to Sergeant Tamora Calhoun, the woman who runs the platoon of soldiers in the popular game Hero’s Duty, in Walt Disney Animation Studios' 3D adventure comedy “Wreck-It Ralph.”

In the sci-fi battle zone of Hero’s Duty, Sergeant Calhoun is more than just a pretty face—she is the tough-as-nails, take-charge leader who fights for humanity’s freedom. When she’s not offering in-game intel, she’s training her troops for the next attack wave. This unrelenting commander is driven by a personal vendetta and will stop at nothing to protect the player and the arcade from a virulent Cy-Bug invasion.

“She’s definitely tough and in charge, but she has a heart—she has a soft side,” says Lynch of Calhoun. “But she’s almost unreachable because she’s suffered a huge heartache thanks to the horrible Cy-Bugs that have become her great nemesis.”

Lynch talks more about “Wreck-It Ralph” and her character in the following interview:

Q: What does it mean to you to voice a character in a Disney film? Jane Lynch: To be a part of an animated Disney film is a dream come true. It was a preposterous fantasy. They have a rich history of wonderful films, starting with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which was the first one I ever saw. It was like a fantasy, the animation was so beautiful and the Snow White was beautiful. But the evil queen was so mean and it really affected me. “Lady and the Tramp” and “Jungle Book” were huge animated films when I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s. I loved the music in “Lady and the Tramp,” its love story and that iconic Italian meal they shared. Disney films tell great stories that touch your heart. Our film “Wreck-It Ralph” is in that tradition and I think people are going to really love it.

Q: Who is Wreck-It Ralph? Lynch: Wreck-It Ralph was programmed to be destructive. He decides after 30 years of being the bad guy in his game that he wants to be the hero—the person who saves the day. So he leaves his vintage 1980s Fix-It Felix Jr. game for Hero’s Duty, a modern, first-person shooter game.

Q: Do you think Calhoun is a good role model for girls? Lynch: I think it’s great for little girls to see a woman in a leadership position—especially in the military. Sergeant Calhoun’s authority is unquestioned—she’s definitely in charge. She also has a heart. She has a soft side, tenderness and vulnerability, which shows that you don’t have to shut that part off if you are a woman in a leadership position. It’s inspirational for girls to see that women can attain these positions of authority.

Q: Are you a fan of video games? Lynch: I played “Asteroids” and “PAC-MAN” when they were brand new so they were really exciting. Games have become so sophisticated with characters who have desires and needs, proclivities and flaws—the person playing the game actually gets to step into the shoes of these characters. And the situations are nuanced and exciting, which just increases the draw of video games for kids and adults. There’s actually a rich history of video games—a 30- or 40-year history—and this movie gets to show all of that.

Q: How important was it to you to record with your cast mates? Lynch: Working on an animated film can be very lonely when you sit in a booth by yourself. But working together changes everything. There’s actually give and take—you can feel the chemistry and that’s always fun. It brings the film to life in a way that’s tough to get when you’re by yourself in the booth. We played a lot. We’d do a scene as it was written, but [director] Rich [Moore] was great about letting us try it a different way. John [C. Reilly] was always thinking. Jack [McBrayer] was always thinking. I’d like to think that I was always thinking, too, so we’d come up with lines or moments we could add and Rich was completely open to them.

(Now playing across the Philippines in Disney Digital 3D and regular theaters, “Wreck-It Ralph” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.)

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