Allison Janney Q&A: ‘Mom’ and ‘Masters of Sex’
Allison Janney has a strong chance of winning two acting Emmy Awards in the same year. She leads our Gold Derby odds for both Best Comedy Supporting Actress for "Mom" and Best Drama Guest Actress for "Masters of Sex." As she revealed in our recent webcam chat (watch below), "I am very thankful that they are so completely different. It would be impossible if the characters were close in characteristics."
Janney is already an Emmy favorite, having earned four trophies out of six nominations for her role as C.J. Cregg on the NBC awards darling "The West Wing." She prevailed as Best Drama Supporting Actress in 2000 and 2001. She then changed over to Best Drama Actress and won that category in 2002 and 2004.
Her co-star Stockard Channing was the last woman to pick up two acting Emmys in the same cycle. She won for her supporting work on "The West Wing" and for the telefilm "The Matthew Shepard Story" on the same evening in 2002.
If Janney wins twice this August, she moves up to an entirely new level in Emmy history. Cloris Leachman has won eight acting Emmys. Edward Asner and Mary Tyler Moore each have seven acting Emmys. Janney would tie for third place with six performance Emmys alongside Art Carney, Tim Conway, Tyne Daly, and Carl Reiner.
On the CBS comedy series "Mom," Janney plays Bonnie, a recovering addict trying to reconnect with her adult daughter Christy (Anna Faris). Her episode submission to Emmy judges is "Estrogen and a Hearty Breakfast," in which she is dealing with menopause and defending her pregnant granddaughter. In the Best Comedy Supporting Actress category, her competition is Mayim Bialik ("The Big Bang Theory"), Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Anna Chlumsky ("Veep"), Kate McKinnon ("Saturday Night Live"), and Kate Mulgrew ("Orange is the New Black").
Of that role, she admits, "Bonnie is a lot of fun to play because I'm shocked at the things I get to say and do. It's just fun to play somebody who doesn't care what anybody thinks about them. It's very liberating."
She also had a recurring role on the new Showtime series "Masters of Sex" this past season. She played Margaret Scully, the sexually repressed wife of a university provost (Beau Bridges). Her episode selection as Best Drama Guest Actress is "Brave New World." Her category competitors are Kate Burton ("Scandal"), Jane Fonda ("The Newsroom"), Kate Mara ("House of Cards"), Margo Martindale ("The Americans"), and Diana Rigg ("Game of Thrones").
It is not outlandish to think a double victory is possible — she already prevailed for both of these same roles at the Critics Choice TV Awards in June.