Jane Lynch and Lea Michele‘s characters may have constantly been at odds on Glee, but according to Lynch, that’s where the drama stops. In a Wednesday (Aug. 9) interview with Playbill, the 62-year-old actress was adamant that her recent choice to leave the cast of Broadway’s Funny Girl earlier than previously announced definitely isn’t due to her former costar’s joining the cast — even if Michele is coming aboard almost immediately after Lynch is set to leave.
When asked point blank if her quick exit from Funny Girl was influenced by Michele, Lynch was quick to repeat what she stated earlier in the press release in which she announced she’d be leaving the production Aug. 14, rather than her previously announced Sept. 1 departure date. “I have a vacation Aug. 14th, and then I had just like five shows after that, and it’s a six-hour flight, so I thought, ‘let’s end it now,'” she explained.
“It has nothing to do with not wanting to see Lea,” the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star added. “I text with Lea. She and I are fine. I’m thrilled for her.”
The news of Lynch’s moved-up farewell from Funny Girl is just the latest addition to a lengthy saga of scheduling changes surrounding the Broadway show, a revival of the original 1960s Barbra Streisand-led production. Beanie Feldstein originally played the show’s lead role of Fanny Brice in the revival, but received unfavorable reviews — particularly on her vocal abilities — and it was announced in June that she would be leaving the show in September.
Then Feldstein shared on Instagram that she’d actually be leaving at the end of July, with her reasoning being that “the production decided to take the show in a different direction.” After that, Funny Girl‘s production team revealed that Michele would be taking over as Fanny Sept. 6, with Feldstein’s understudy Julie Benko performing full time as the lead character until then.
“I love working with Julie,” Lynch, whose role of Mrs. Brice will be taken over by Tovah Feldshuh Sept. 6, added in the new interview. “I loved working with Beanie. There’s no drama here. None.”
The Weakest Link host also shared how the Funny Girl cast has been dealing with the drama and public speculation that’s emerged from the show’s casting changes. “Well, that’s the thing about being in a play — you leave all of that behind as soon as you step through the stage door, and when you’re in the theater, it’s all about putting on a play,” she said. “That’s my favorite thing about live theater, that you’re a part of a group and you kind of forget your own individual identity and work for this group on putting on the show.”
“It’s a sacred space,” she continued. “We just keep it positive. Nobody talks about that stuff. If anybody’s reading it, they keep it to themselves. We’re there for each other. And that’s why I love it so much.”