August 22, 2012 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Dot-Marie Jones Previews 'Exes' Turn, Casts Kristen Johnson, Betty White on 'Glee'
Glee's Dot-Marie Jones has come a long way from McKinley High.
The actress best known for playing the sweet and sensitive Coach Shannon Beiste on Fox's musical dramedy will pop in to play a character she describes as the polar opposite of her alter-ego on TV Land's The Exes.
Jones cameos in Wednesday's episode as a lesbian who takes a particular liking to Kristen Johnson's Holly after she stumbles into a gay bar on the series about three lovelorn guys (Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, David Alan Basche) and their divorce lawyer.
Jones, a former arm wrestling champion, says filming the scene was a blast as it allowed the 6-foot-2 actress to go toe-to-toe with Johnson, who at 6 feet tall also made for a prime partner.
"It's a silly scene and while I wasn't there for the live audience taping, Kristen said everybody loved it," Jones tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that she tried to "change up" every scene opposite the former 3rd Rock From the Sun star.
"Every time I came up to her, I'd try to make her laugh and she loved it, it was a win-win situation," she says. "I'd go up to ask her to dance and do silly things to try and get her to break character. I never made her break, but I certainly tried to."
Jones' character, she says, is totally out whereas Coach Beiste is not as outgoing. "This character is not shy," Jones previews.
While she didn't challenge Johnson to an arm-wrestling match, she threw down the gauntlet and noted it wouldn't be much of a battle. "You know I'd take her!" she exclaimed, adding that Johnson is a "tall girl but she's little; she's got a big personality."
As for Glee, the Emmy nominee confirms that she'll return in the fifth episode of the upcoming fourth season and hopes she can bring her new TV Land pal along for the ride.
"It'd be great if Kristen came in and played my sister Denise, who I mentioned last season," Jones says, referring to her on-screen sister whose house she fled to after a domestic incident with husband Cooter.
As for other TV Land stars that Jones could envision on Glee, Jones would love to see a certain someone from Hot in Cleveland pop up as Beiste family member.
"I met Betty White at the Emmys last year and that was a dream. She's always so cute, if she played my mom on Glee that would be amazing!" Jones says with a laugh. Let's make her mean and tough and Shannon is really afraid of her. I think she'd go for it!"
The Exes airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on TV Land.