Variety Streaming Room: Television FYC
Iconic television hosts Padma Lakshmi and Jane Lynch joined Variety deputy TV editor Michael Schneider in NBC Universal’s Virtual FYC House to discuss the challenges of filming “Top Chef”…
Iconic television hosts Padma Lakshmi and Jane Lynch joined Variety deputy TV editor Michael Schneider in NBC Universal’s Virtual FYC House to discuss the challenges of filming “Top Chef” and “The Weakest Link” during the pandemic, all while cooking a delicious vegan dish.
As Lakshmi guided Lynch step-by-step in making a sauce for their black lentil dish, Lynch admitted that she rarely cooks.
“I don’t have the patience, because when I’m hungry, I’m hungry, and I want to eat now,” Lynch said. “But since I’ve been doing the vegan thing, I’m much more aware of what I eat… I’ve become a much more conscious eater, and I’m enjoying my food more.”
Talking about her experience wrapping up her 17th year on “Top Chef” — a commitment longer than her marriage — Lakshmi said she truly loves the show.
“I really have the perfect job,” Lakshmi said. “And I came from a family where we are talking about what to make for dinner as we’re cleaning up lunch.”
Speaking on how the reboot of “The Weakest Link” is similar to the original game show, which first aired in 2001, Lynch said they aren’t trying to “reinvent the ‘Weakest Link’ wheel.”
“It’s basically going to be more of the same,” Lynch said. “I’m going to have the contestants dress up a little more. I thought everybody was a little too cargo panty last season.”
Leading a show that filmed its first season during the pandemic, Lynch said the difficult circumstances of COVID-19 set some precedents for the series.
“We had it where you couldn’t walk down the hall at the same time with somebody, so it was so well-trafficked,” Lynch said. “They were so safe and everybody was getting tested, and I felt like it was a more special, cooperative time.”
While this season was far from Lakshmi’s first rodeo with “Top Chef,” it posed new challenges that forced the show to pivot in unique ways.
“All of those things that we had to deal with creatively because of the pandemic just made the show better,” Lakshmi said. “The feedback that I’ve gotten from the audience has been really moving and wonderful. So I’m really proud of the fact that my crew and I managed to still put this show on.”
Watch the full conversation above. Register now for a VIP pass to explore the full Variety and NBCUniversal Virtual FYC House now through June 28: Variety.com/NBCFYCHouse