Allison Janney, a seven-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, had dreams of becoming an Olympic figure skater. That dream ended when, at age 17, she ran through a sliding glass window. The injury was serious, and suddenly Allison's future goals shifted. She found herself at Kenyon College, and she became a theater major. While at Kenyon Allison was discovered by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who had come to the college to direct a play at their alma mater. They encouraged Janney to go to NYC and pursue a career in acting professionally. What happened after that is the subject of this funny and intimate conversation with host Ilana Levine, a dear friend of Allison's. The two met and became fast friends when Ilana was starring in the HBO series Tanner 88 with a mutual friend. Allison walks us through her audition for The West Wing and opens up about why the recent loss of her brother makes starring on the CBS hit show Mom all the more important for her during this emotional time.
The incredibly versatile Allison Janney has taken her place among a select group of actors who combine a leading lady’s profile with a character actor’s art of performance. Currently starring alongside Anna Faris in the CBS/Chuck Lorre sitcom Mom, Janney also received rave reviews for her turn as Margaret Scully on Showtime’s groundbreaking drama Masters of Sex. Janney won Emmys for both roles in the same year, a rare feat in Emmy history. She won a second Emmy for Mom the following year, bringing her total number of ATAS statues to seven. She was also recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In addition, Janney has continually taken on movie roles during her hiatus weeks from the sitcom. She’s completed filming I, Tonya with Margot Robbie for Miramax Films. Janney also appeared in two of the previous summer’s biggest box office titles: the adorably animated Minions and Spy with Melissa McCarthy. Prior feature work includes The Duff, Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words, the Dreamworks animated film Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and The Way, Way Back with Steve Carell and Toni Collette. Additionally she costarred in the much anticipated feature film The Help based on the best-selling novel of the same name, winning the Ensemble awards from the Screen Actors Guild, National Board of Review, and the Broadcast Film Critics.
For her role in Todd Solondz's film Life During Wartime she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the Spirit Awards. She received another Spirit Award nomination for her work in the independent feature Our Very Own and starred opposite Meryl Streep in The Hours, which received a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture.