Jane Lynch affectionately recollected her previous Glee co-star Naya Rivera today as “a force” whose ability was under-recognized.
Lynch talked about Rivera during the fourth hour of the Today show on Wednesday, talking with Jenna Bush Hager.
The 33-year-old Rivera passed on a month ago from drowning in a California lake.
“She was a force of nature, and it’s just gut-wrenching and heartbreaking that she’s gone,” Lynch said of Rivera, who played secondary school cheerleader Santana Lopez for six seasons on the Fox arrangement. Lynch played William McKinley High School cheerleading mentor Sue Sylvester.
“I think that one of the things that kind of got lost when we were doing the show was what a force she was because there were so many talented people,” Lynch said. “She was one of those people. She wasn’t in every scene, but when she was … she just blew everybody away.
“I had three-page monologues, so did she. It took me a week to get mine – she would do them right off the bat. She’d be changing them and she had no problem with it.”
Lynch likewise noticed Rivera’s impact on youthful LGBTQ individuals through her work on the show. Rivera depicted Lopez’s relationship with Brittany S. Penetrate, a character played by Heather Morris.
“She was a great advocate and loved the fact that she and Heather Morris had the lesbian relationship on the show and how much that meant to so many young people,” Lynch said.