Allison Janney Joins Cast of 'Liberal Arts' (Exclusive)

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Allison Janney

Josh Radnor's follow-up to “HappyThankYouMorePlease” -- which also stars Elizabeth Olsen -- centers on a 35-year-old yearning for a college lifestyle.

Allison Janney is heading back to school.

The actress, best known for her work on The West Wing, has joined the cast of Liberal Arts, Josh Radnor’s follow-up to HappyThankYouMorePlease. Radnor is starring in the pic with Elizabeth Olsen.

The movie has been casting up ahead of its summer start in Ohio with Richard Jenkins and Elizabeth Reaser among those already on board.

Janney will play a cold English professor in the film, which centers on a 35 year-old (Radnor) still yearning for the life of a college student but who must come to terms with his age and responsibilities.

In a nice bit of homecoming, the scenes on campus will be filmed at Allison’s alma mater, Kenyon College, which Radnor attended as well. Janey got her acting start at Kenyon when as a freshman she auditioned for a play Paul Newman was directing and got the part. At the suggestion of Newman and his wife Joann Woodward, she studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and went on to make her Broadway debut in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter. Her performance earned her the Outer Critics Circle Award and Clarence Derwent Award.

Janey, repped by WME and Thruline, next appears in DreamWorks’ The Help.