Dinah Headliner Jennifer Coolidge on MILF vs. Cougar, Kissing Jane Lynch and More...

Jennifer Coolidge has locked lips with everyone's favorite cheerleading coach — out actress Jane Lynch --From roles as Stiffler's mom in the raunchy American Pie series, a clueless-but-loveable manicurist opposite Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde to playing gay as Sherri Ann Cabot in Christopher Guest's Best in Show, Coolidge is busy preparing for what could be considered her most important role to date: Hosting Human Rights Campaign benefit as part of Girl Bar's Dinah Shore activities with thousands of lesbians.
By: lesley goldberg
March 17 2010 10:18 AM

Jennifer Coolidge has had some crazy roles in her 15-year career. In addition to locking lips with everyone's favorite cheerleading coach — out actress Jane Lynch — Coolidge has mastered the art of subtlety while still being off-the-charts funny. From roles as Stiffler's mom in the raunchy American Pie series, a clueless-but-loveable manicurist opposite Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde to playing gay as Sherri Ann Cabot in Christopher Guest's Best in Show, Coolidge is busy preparing for what could be considered her most important role to date: Hosting Human Rights Campaign benefit as part of Girl Bar's Dinah Shore Week activities.

SheWired.com recently caught up with Coolidge to discuss all things Dinah, what the difference between a MILF and a cougar is and how Lynch rates on her list of on-screen love interests.

SheWired.com: How did you first get involved with Girl Bar and Dinah Shore Weekend?

Jennifer Coolidge: I don't know if you ever get the right scoop with when you get a gig — you never really know how you get it sometimes. I was told this woman had contacted my agent and said that I had spoken to her at a restaurant but the thing was I haven't been in that restaurant in five years. Maybe she thought I was someone else. (Laughs.) Maybe they think they're hiring Jane Lynch, but they're really getting me.

SW: The event that you're headlining at Dinah is a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign. What does it mean to you to headline an event for such a good cause?

JC: It goes beyond my expectations and also my talent. (Laughs.) I'd have to say that this is one of the highlights of my career. It's an incredible compliment. I hope they're not expecting someone else! (Laughs)

SW: What would you do if you showed up and they thought they were getting Jane Lynch?

JC: Well, then I would just ask one of my hairdresser friends to give me a quick haircut and throw on some heels and pull it off somehow. (Laughs.) I don't know! What would I do?! I guess I would say, "Well, too late! You're stuck with me!"

SW: Will you be checking out any other Dinah events while you're in Palm Springs?

JC: I feel like I'm going to be able to do the whole weekend. I'll be hanging out, yeah. I'm going to be in Palm Springs for like three days and hopefully I'm going to cover the whole gamut and catch everything.

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SW: So we'll see you hanging out at the pool parties?

JC: Yes! I mean, I probably won't be in a bikini; I'll probably be in a caftan somewhere, I don't know. (Laughs.) I'll certainly be at the party by the pool but I've never been that person who likes to lay out. I don't know what it is about laying out in the sun that people find so interesting. Unless it's like volleyball or something, I can't do it. I need an activity or something. I can't just lay out. I just love that Palm Springs is so fun and it has that amazing coffee place. Every time I go to Palm Springs I have as many double espressos from that one place — Koffi — as I can. That place is amazing.

SW: How do you go about selecting your roles?

JC: It's so weird. I've been so lucky. I met the Weitz brothers and they gave me American Pie and then I got to meet Christopher Guest and he gave me so many good roles in his movies. Those things just feel like incredible luck sometimes. With Guest, I was on the Groundlings stage on a weekend that he happened to be at the show and it was a coincidence I could get something out of that. With Legally Blonde, that was a fluke. I don't know how I got that, either. Those things were gifts.

SW: How did you prepare for your role as Jane Lynch's girlfriend in Guest's Best in Show?

JC: It was so great because Jane Lynch and I hung out and went to dog shows together. Jane Lynch, not only is she really, really funny, but she's incredibly bright and fun to hang out with. She's so entertaining, I was so glad to be paired up with her. She made that shoot so fun. It sort of did feel like we were lovers when we got to the kissing scene because we were hanging out all the time. We had this great night in Vancouver where we went to this restaurant and a taxi dropped us off and it was in the middle of this rainstorm and we couldn’t get a taxi to get back. Jane and I had — literally it was like a monsoon — and we had to walk back over this scary bridge and I feel like we really bonded in that moment trying to make it over this bridge with lightning bolts coming at us left and right. It did feel like she was my lover.

SW: Has Jane Lynch been your greatest on-screen love interest to date?

JC: Probably, yeah! I've never thought about that before. I'd have to say that Jane probably wins!

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SW: Was it strange for to be turned into a cougar-ish symbol as Stiffler's mom in American Pie?

JC: No. You have to remember a lot of the time I play a lot of odd people. I thought Stiffler's mom was the most well adjusted person I'd ever played. I'm not kidding! Even though she's a horny mother, I like the whole thing about how she was a MILF. You know, a MILF is a mother I'd like to f***. I feel like that's very different than what a cougar is, because a mother I'd like to f*** is a kid's idea. And the cougar is more of a predatory woman that drives around looking for anything she can snag. I like that Stiffler's mom character. I felt that she was a woman who wasn't doing well with the husband she chose and was sort of separated from her husband and then this young kid is really game to have some fun. I have to say, being single, when a young guy really pursues you hard — and they're really attractive — it's really hard to turn them down. It can wear you down.

SW: Do you prefer to play characters similar to your personality or different?

JC: My favorite characters to play are people that cause other people a lot of grief.

SW: Any chance we'll get to see you reunite with Jane and series creator Ryan Murphy on Glee?

JC: Those guys gave me such an incredible role on Nip/Tuck — probably that was one of my most fun TV jobs that I've had was doing that black hip-hop video where I was Coco — so if Ryan calls me up and says, "I want you to come in and hook up with Jane," I would be thrilled. Maybe he thinks Glee is a whole new show and Coco is a thing of the past. But I would love to come on as Jane's love interest.

SW: Any other dream projects or new gigs coming up?

JC: I'm dying to play a serial killer, but I never get that call. I'm dying to play someone with a machine gun running — she'd be wearing a bra, of course — but a badass woman with a machine gun. Maybe she's the woman who teaches all the other young girls how to fight off the zombies or the aliens or even just the bad guys in a creepy town, but I'd love to do a movie like that where I'm blowing things up. (Laughs.)

See Coolidge at Girl Bar's Dinah Shore Week HRC fundraiser on Saturday, April 3 at the Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs. Tickets: www.dinahshoreweek.com 

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