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Jane Lynch Nails It As Janet Reno In New Unabomber Miniseries

"I was fascinated with her. I admired her."

Out actress Jane Lynch is a master at transforming herself into a variety of roles, and tonight, she takes a turn as Janet Reno on Discovery’s Manhunt: Unabomber.

Lynch plays the late Attorney General in the preview clip below, which sees Reno meeting with FBI Agent Don Ackerman (Chris Noth) to discuss the still-unidentified Ted Kaczynski’s controversial request: He will agree to stop bombing if a reputable periodical publishes his manifesto in full.

Manhunt: Unabomber/Discovery

While Reno was still smarting from the disastrous 1993 siege on Waco, her decision to let The New York Times and Washington Post run “Industrial Society and Its Future” led to Kaczynski’s capture seven months later, after family members were then able to identify his beliefs and writing style.

 

 

“She was one of those people who was just doggedly into the facts and fairness and justice and uncompromising in that,” Lynch said of Reno at the Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour. “I was not only alive and well during the ’90s, but an adult where I actually knew a lot about her. I was fascinated with her. I admired her. I was charmed by her.”

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Discovery

Lynch also shared that she talked to Reno’s assistant of many years, who gave her great insights into the role.

“She had a huge heart, she loved to laugh. But she was also extremely sensitive, and she made some mistakes—especially with Waco. She lived with the remorse of that. To her dying day, she even said that… I had that line in the show.”

Manhunt: Unabomber airs Tuesday at 10/9c on Discovery.

Trish Bendix is a Los Angeles-based writer.
@trishbendix