‘Mascots’ Premiere: Jane Lynch on Harnessing ‘Herculean Strength’ to Not Break Character

“Every time it’s like a reunion, it’s like a family reunion,” said producer Karen Murphy on her long-standing relationship with writer-director Christopher Guest and many of the actors starring in Netflix’s “Mascots,” such as past “Waiting for Guffman” and “Best in Show” stars Parker PoseyEd Begley Jr. and Michael Hitchcock. The actors convened in the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood Wednesday night to celebrate the comedy, which spotlights the commonly overlooked underbelly of the competitive sports mascot subculture.

Although many of the performers were quite familiar with each other, Jane Lynch revealed that improvising on set left room for many surprises.

“Ed Begley Jr. was doing his whole spiel about the Tom Thumb society and it almost killed me,” she shared. “It took a Herculean effort not to laugh.”

Hitchcock added, “Christopher keeps the agents, the managers, they’re not allowed on set so there’s more creative range to not feel pressure [when improvising]. A lot of the crew members we’ve worked with before so they’re familiar faces. [Guest] makes it as comfortable as possible.”

Celebrity spectators at the event included Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Nealon, who proudly supported wife and star Susan Yeagley by snapping photos of her being interviewed on the carpet (by Variety). “That’s just my husband taking pictures; don’t mind him,” she chuckled.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, gave the obligatory thanks ahead of the screening to the cast and additional staffers in the audience, which included Zach Woods, Sarah BakerChristopher Moynihan and Fred Willard.

Mascots” streams Oct. 13 on Netflix.

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