Allison Janney Interview: ‘Bad Education,’ ‘Mom,’ ‘Kominsky Method,’ ‘Troop Zero’
“I’m a workaholic, I’m so happy when I’m working,” reflects Allison Janney. And after winning an Oscar for “I, Tonya” the actress has kept herself very busy on television. This past year alone she has continued her Emmy winning role on “Mom;” played a corrupt school administrator in “Bad Education;” a satirized version of herself in “The Kominsky Method;” and a troop leader stuck in her ways on “Troop Zero.” All roles will be eligible for the upcoming Emmy awards. Watch our complete interview with the actress above.
In the HBO television movie “Bad Education,” Janney stars opposite Hugh Jackman. It’s based on a true story where she plays Pam Gluckin, the Assistant Superintendent of Business for a school, who gets caught embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money. The actress will compete in the Movie/Limited Supporting Actress category at the Emmys for the film. She reveals, “I just found that fascinating. To think how could somebody who loved her job, started as a bus driver, worked all her way up to her position… and then made these decisions. On paper it doesn’t make sense.”
She continues, “It’s funny, I’ve gotten to play in the last couple of years a lot of real life characters and I have never gotten to meet any of them, to ask them why. In some ways you approach it like a fictional character. You fill it up with yourself. No matter how awful the deed, everybody is human. You have to find that side of them. The trick is to not judge what they did but figure out how they justify it to themselves. I find it really fun to delve into that.”
In her career Janney has won seven Emmy awards, so one more would tie her for the all-time lead among performers at eight each for Cloris Leachman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (counting their acting wins alone in prime-time). Her last two Emmy wins were for her performance as Bonnie on the CBS sitcom “Mom.” She stars opposite Anna Faris in the series that has now been running for seven years. The show explores the recovery process for alcoholics and this year an episode saw the girls head to a retreat. Janney will compete in the Comedy Actress category at the Emmys this year for the role. She explains, “’Mom’ has changed so much from the beginning. It’s become about these relationships with these women and their bond and their recovery. I love that these women all come from so many different walks of life and are all bonded by this recovery they are in. They talk about the things that a lot of other shows don’t delve into. We give a lot of hope to people struggling with addiction and want to keep doing it as long as we can.”
She reveals, “We call ourselves an indoor cat whenever we go outside and film on location because everything goes wrong. In the retreat episode we had to film outside and it’s just pouring with rain. And it never rains in LA. It was hysterical seeing people losing their shoes in the mud and swearing. We had a great time even through all of that and the craziness.”
“The Kominsky Method” is a Netflix comedy series starring Michael Douglas as aging acting coach, Sandy Kominsky. For the second season finale Allison Janney plays herself as a guest acting teacher. It gives the actress a great opportunity to satirize herself and the acting process, as well as leading to a memorable confrontation with Sandy. Janney will compete in the Comedy Guest Actress category at the Emmys this year for the role.
“Troop Zero” is an Amazon Prime film about a misfit group of Birdie Scouts. Janney plays Krystal Massey, the leader of a rival Birdie Scout Troop. She is a lot more conservative, prim and proper than the eclectic group she opposes. But the role gives Janney range as her character evolves and softens. She will also compete in the Movie/Limited Supporting Actress category at the Emmys for the film.