Allison Janney is one of the most celebrated actresses of all time at the Emmys, with seven wins under her belt from three different shows. She can also now call herself an Oscar winner, taking home her first trophy from the Academy earlier this year for her performance as monster mom LaVona Golden in “I, Tonya.” If the love continues, Janney could bring home another Emmy just a few months later for playing another iconic mother in “Mom,” especially with unstoppable contender Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) sitting out the race this year.
Janney collected two Emmys in the Best Comedy Supporting Actress category for the first two seasons of “Mom,” in which she plays recovering addict Bonnie Plunkett. She earned another nomination in this category for Season 3 before making the leap up to Best Comedy Actress last year. Janney earned that lead actress nomination but she was not able to overcome the unbeatable Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep,” who collected her sixth consecutive trophy. But the final season of “Veep” was delayed, which means the almighty JLD won’t be in contention for Best Comedy Actress this year. And thus, Janney could be the first new winner in this category since 2011.
Considering Janney has never missed for “Mom,” she is currently one of the leading contenders to get another nomination for Best Comedy Actress in the latest Gold Derby odds. The only actress ahead of her is Rachel Brosnahan for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” who many are predicting will take home the trophy. Yet, Brosnahan does have a few obstacles to overcome to win that Emmy. For one, it’s the first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” so there’s no way of knowing how the Emmys will embrace it. Additionally, though Brosnahan did earn a guest acting Emmy nomination for “House of Cards” in 2015, she certainly doesn’t have the same name recognition as Janney.
Coming off a highly successful Oscar campaign, Janney is now more popular than ever in Hollywood. “I, Tonya” leaned in to Janney’s talents, as the role allowed her to spew venom like the best of them and fully inhabit a thoroughly unlikable but strangely compelling person. She’s not quite so evil to the core in “Mom,” but those who delighted in her brash one-liners in “I, Tonya” will likely feel similarly about her performance as Bonnie Plunkett. In Season 5 of “Mom,” Bonnie was just as blunt and selfish as ever, but we did get to see vulnerable shadings to her character. Much of the season explored her evolving feelings on her engagement to Adam (William Fichtner), particularly in the episode “Ocular Fluid and Fighting Robots,” where she expressed frustration that he was not putting the same amount of effort into their relationship as before they were engaged.
Should Janney win an Emmy for this season of “Mom,” she would join an elite club of actresses like Liza Minnelli (1972), Helen Hunt (1997) and Helen Mirren (2006) to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year. However, there are many Oscar winners who were nominated for an Emmy the same year that did not win the latter award. This happened to Viola Davis just last year, winning an Oscar for “Fences” but losing the Emmy for the third season of “How to Get Away with Murder.” Be that as it may, Janney is an undisputed Emmy favorite, and if voters are feeling lost in the Comedy Actress race without Louis-Dreyfus to vote for, they may seek comfort in a familiar, motherly face.
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