Over the past four years, Allison Janney has earned herself a place in TV’s Motherhood Hall of Fame for playing street-smart Bonnie Plunkett on the hit CBS sitcom Mom. However, the 58-year-old actress might just be kicked out for her latest on-screen escapades.
Janney is an awards season standout for her turn as Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona Golden, in the darkly comedic I, Tonya, which recounts the life of the infamous figure skater (played by Margot Robbie). “Her mothering techniques are not to be emulated,” warns Janney.
Steven Rogers, the film’s screenwriter and a longtime friend of Janney’s, crafted the scene-stealing part with her in mind. “Steven has written a lot of roles for me, but they’ve always gone to another actress,” says Janney. “It’s been our joke: The part written for Allison Janney will be played by Insert Another Actress’ Name.”
Janney is no stranger to the ice. The Boston-born, Ohio-raised actress pursued full-time figure skating herself before launching a formidable on-screen career. “I had dreams of going to the Olympics,” she says. Instead, she was destined for a different kind of gold. Janney won seven Emmys for her appearances in The West Wing, Masters of Sex and Mom. How would she feel about adding an Oscar?
“Oh, I don’t have time to think about that,” she says. “I’m still working on Mom. That’s all I can think about now.”