Allison Janney on How Tonya Harding Reacted to 'I, Tonya'

The actress sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to reflect on the biggest role of her film career, LaVona Golden, in ‘I, Tonya.’

Allison Janney has been capturing audiences with her work for decades, but her role as LaVona Golden in the Tonya Harding film I, Tonya is among her most critically acclaimed yet, and earned her a best supporting actress Oscar nomination. For Janney, it still feels like a “pinch me” moment.

“It’s pretty extraordinary to hear that phrase in front of my name: ‘Oscar nominee.’ I’m having a special moment right now. It feels pretty exciting,” she said.

The actress explained that while she never got the chance to speak with the real LaVona Golden before filming, she found ways to connect with the character and make her a “well-rounded” human being.

“I think I was a little terrified that I would have to meet this woman and somehow do an imitation of her or something,” Janney said. “But I think not having that, I created her on my own, from [screenwriter] [Steven Rogers'] beautiful creation of her, and me doing my work as an actor by filling her up with her past life and whatever made me connect to her.”

Janney has received praise for her performance, even from Tonya Harding herself. “She did come up to me after seeing the movie and said, ‘You nailed it. That’s my mother to a T,’ and I just hugged her. I didn’t know what else to do. I can’t imagine growing up in that kind of environment,” she said.