Allison Janney on ‘The West Wing’ reboot, ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ revival

Allison Janney won four of her seven Emmys for “The West Wing” and would be open to appearing in a reboot of the show. But, as she explains, “Everyone wants to, but really, how could we do that? We’re all too old!” Instead, she suggests that the reboot “should be filled with young, idealistic, visionary people.”

Since “The West Wing” finished its seven-season run in 2006, Janney has bounced between film, TV and her first love, the stage. With season four of her CBS laffer “Mom” soon wrapping, the actress is in rehearsals for the first rialto revival of John Guare‘s “Six Degrees of Separation.” She is taking on role of society matron Ouisa Kittredge, which earned Stockard Channing, who played the President’s wife on “The West Wing,” both Tony and Oscar nominations.

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Janney told Variety that this play, written in 1990, is as relevant now as then. “So many themes and issues that it deals with are applicable to today’s world, in some ways much more profoundly,” she said. “One thing that stuck out to me enormously was when Ouisa says, ‘We must have truth.’

The actress is hoping that “Mom” returns for a fifth season. “It’s the most civilized job. It’s not the 18-hour days that I did at ‘West Wing.’” For her role as recovering addict Bonnie, she won consecutive Emmys for Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2014 and 2015,

And in January,  she reunited with her “West Wing” co-star Bradley Whitford on “Mom.” He played a friend of Adam (William Fichtner), the former stuntman and current boyfriend of Bonnie. Whitford’s character was a Hollywood director with a fondness for alcohol, which put him at odds with recovering addicts Bonnie and her daughter Christy (Anna Faris).

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Whitford’s role as Josh Lyman on “The West Wing” earned him an Emmy for Best Drama Supporting Actor in 2001, and he picked up additional noms in the same category in 2002 and 2003. He also reaped two consecutive Best Comedy Guest Actor bids for his work on Amazon’s “Transparent,” winning that category in 2015; “Mom” could bring Whitford back into this race later this year.

In addition to her two Emmys for “Mom,” Janney won Best Drama Guest Actress for “Masters of Sex” (2014) and four for “The West Wing”: two for Best Drama Supporting Actress (2000, 2001), and two for Best Drama Lead Actress (2002, 2004). That brings her career tally to seven Emmy wins for acting, putting Janney in a tie for second place — along with Edward Asner, Mary Tyler Moore and Julia Louis-Dreyfus — among all-time acting Emmy champs, just one win shy of Cloris Leachman’s record of eight Primetime Emmy victories.

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