'Off the Cuff' Podcast: Allison Janney Says It's "Cool to Be Current Again"

Allison Janney - P 2014
Kate Romero

Allison Janney - P 2014

The 'Mom' and 'Masters of Sex' actress tells us what it was like to win two Emmy's in one year (!) and why she owes her career to falling down stairs

Allison Janney has had quite the storybook year — and awards season hasn't even officially begun. The actress, who shot to fame as press secretary C.J. Cregg in Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing, spent many years after that show's historic run playing small but memorable roles in films like Juno, Away We Go and Liberal Arts (in which she portrays a professor at her real alma mater, Kenyon College.)

More recently Janney has reemerged as one of the most formidable actresses on the small screen with a pivotal recurring role in Showtime's Masters of Sex and as a lead in the CBS sitcom Mom, which is returning for its second season this month. Both roles won her an Emmy this year, about which she tells Off the Cuff, "I didn't think it was going to be possible, and then the closer I got, I thought, 'God, that would be so cool.'"

She also tells us why she tries never to read press about herself ("I'm pretty thin-skinned — embarrassingly so"), how Paul Newman mentored her when she was just a college student trying to pick a major and how she never knows who will — or won't — recognize her for being famous ("I always have those humbling moments. All the time.")

Plus, what unexpected praise did she once receive from her comedy idol Steve Martin?

"Your fall in Primary Colors is my favorite fall I've ever seen," he told her about a tumble her character takes in the Mike Nichols film. To which she adds proudly, "and that fall got me West Wing."

"It's been really cool to be current again," she admits. "I remember after West Wing ended I was like, 'I hate not being current!'

Listen to Janney's full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff and be sure to subscribe to #pretapodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.