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Right now, being back in Los Angeles seems like stepping into foreign territory for Allison Janney.
“I’m trying to multitask here. I’m in my car and the [GPS] is telling me to do something. I don’t know why. I’m trying to get her voice to be quiet,” she quips on the phone to The Hollywood Reporter.
She added: “I’m just going to get on the 405, fuck it! I haven’t been on the 405 in a while so this is going to be an adventure for us.” And this adventure is on top of heading into this year’s Emmys in September with her 13th nomination. She’s previously won two times for her role as Bonnie in Mom, four other times for playing C.J. on The West Wing and once for her guest appearance on Masters of Sex. Now back from New York after appearing in the Broadway production Six Degrees of Separation, the actress is back in L.A. to celebrate the latest nod as she jumps back into production for the CBS comedy alongside Anna Faris.
Congratulations on your 13th Emmy nomination.
Thank you so much! It never gets unexciting. I am very grateful that I’ve had a lot of opportunities and reasons to got to the Emmys. (Laughs.) It’s always quite an honor to be a part of television history.
What has surprised you the most about how Bonnie has been received over the years?
I get surprised every time I get a script. I’m like, “Am I really allowed to say this?” She’s nothing if she’s not completely honest, and it’s endearing how unapologetic she is about what she wants and needs. Sometimes it’s the most selfish and awful things that come out of her mouth. When she says something like, “I’ve never enjoyed taking care of anybody as much as I’ve enjoyed taking care of you,” and Adam [played by William Fichtner] says, “What about your daughter?” and Bonnie says, “What about her?” (Laughs.)
She’s not aware of the depth of the things she says. It’s really fun to play someone that gets away with saying all of these awful things. People like to laugh at her because they know she has a big heart. It makes it a lot of fun to play her darker side. She’s a survivor, she’s scrappy and she’s done everything to make a buck, sometimes illegal things. There’s nothing she won’t stop at.
You’re back in production. Where do you want to see Bonnie go next season?
I love that Bill is still on the show as Adam. I love their relationship. There has to be more funny drama. I want to see that relationship develop more. I’d love to give my daughter away in a lovely wedding ceremony. I want to get Christy [played by Faris] married off. That would be great to have a storyline getting her hooked up. Christy deserves some love too. There are some rules about television though to never see the characters happy because then why would you tune in? It’s more fun to see them struggle, fail and keep getting back up. These women are survivors. I don’t know what they have in store for us.
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