Allison Janney, the protagonist of the film Lou: childless and proud of her singleness at 62

For Janney, Anna Foerster’s film is her first leading role in a commercial feature film and reaches 62 years old (REUTERS / Monica Almeida)

Lou’s soundtrack leaves no room for doubt, Bon Jovi sings Wanted Dead or Alive and allison janney he’s a cowboy With the marked wrinkles and shaggy gray hair that the character of Lou Adell imposes, he has just hunted the bleeding deer in the bed of his truck and drives with the calm of Clint Eastwood, when a woman and her little daughter cross paths with him. road. The action thriller that breaks viewing records on Netflix is ​​a modern female western that critics are already comparing to Thelma and Louise.

For Janney, Anna Foerster’s film is her first leading role in a commercial feature film and it comes at the age of 62, after more than thirty years of career and a lifetime of proving her talent and versatility as a supporting actress in films such as Primary Colors (1998), American Beauty (1999) and The Perfect Storm (2000)and rising to fame and becoming a feminist icon with her CC Gregg, the President’s Press Secretary and Chief of Staff on The West Wing (1999-2006).

Allison Janney, multi-awarded

She was an eternal winner for her secondary roles in that show, which earned her four Emmys, as well as for Mom (2013-2021), for which he won two, in addition to another for his special participation in Masters of Sex in 2014. He even won an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe for his performance in the biopic I,Tonya. But only now her name sounds strong enough to be nominated for Best Actress.

In real life, she has made it clear several times that she was always the lead in her life. If in Mom she was an addicted and dysfunctional grandmother, and in Tallulah (2016), with Elliot Page, somewhat naive, understanding and maternal; there is something much deeper in her than that Lou who declares “Not all of us are cut out to be mothers.”

In an interview for The Drew Barrymore Show last year, Janney candidly recounted how I had never really felt the desire to have children. “I think if I had found the right man (and he wanted children) at the right time, I probably would have,” she said. She did not speak with bitterness or from her guilt for the irreversible, but with the gratitude of someone who knows that for her it was better to play at being a mother in fiction than the full-time experience. “I’d rather regret not having children than regret having them,” she told Barrymore with conviction.

“I’m at peace with that,” he insisted. Really, Only at this point in my life am I learning who I am and what I want. And I would love to find someone to share the days with, but if that doesn’t happen, I think I’ll be fine just the same”. She had said something similar in 2016 in an interview with The New York Times: “I know what it feels like to love and care for others, but I never had something like the maternal instinct. I have a friend who when she graduated from high school she said, ‘I can’t wait to have babies.’ At that age I only thought: ‘I can’t wait to have a dog’. I am very very comfortable with my decision not to be a mother, ”said she, who today shares her house in Los Angeles with three Australian shepherds.

Janney’s romances

Janney had many public courtships, and was engaged to actor Richard Jenik (The game of their lives, 2005); They met in 2002, when he was 35 and she was 43, and they separated in 2006. About that breakup, she confided to Women’s Health magazine that, as the wedding date approached, she began to have nightmares about being the woman of someone: “I had a recurring dream that we were getting married, and after the ceremony, it turned into someone totally different. She married me to Arnold Schwarzenegger and then turned into Danny DeVito, but no one but me could tell the difference. I guess I was a little scared about the wedding theme.”

Actor Allison Janney arrives at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, US, September 19, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Actor Allison Janney arrives at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, US, September 19, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

It wasn’t too different from what had driven her away from her first significant partner, programmer Dennis Gagomiros, with whom he was from 1982 to 2001, when the marriage could not be postponed. Her runaway bride stigma stuck with her throughout all of her relationships, until, as she explained to Barrymore, she began to understand what she wanted.

To her last boyfriend, the producer Philip Joncas, twenty years her junior, met him in 2012 on the set of The way way back. Janney made it clear from the beginning that he did not dream of being her husband. “I just don’t believe in the institution,” she told E! at the time.

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to understand – and still too many explanations for the rest to understand – but for the performer born in Boston on November 19, 1959 and raised in Dayton, Ohio, her career and her independence always came first. Daughter of an actress who gave up her dreams to be a housewife and take care of herself and her brothers Jay and Hal, and of a real estate developer who would have liked to be a jazz musician, if she did understand something from a very young age, it was that, despite what many slogans said, it was impossible to have it all.

He bet on his studies at the Miami Valley School of Dayton, then enrolled at Kenyon College, the same school from which Paul Newman graduated. After graduating, he moved to New York to study drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse and honed at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. All this training has always made her shine in her participation in film and television, and also in theater, where she stood out even in minor roles, and she was nominated more than once for the Tony Awards.

In 2016, Allison Janney got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
In 2016, Allison Janney got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

“I always felt ugly”

But his was a late career, with a lot of preparation and hundreds of auditions before his first role in front of a camera, when he was over 30 and even though he began to appear at castings at 23. In part he suffered the trap of Hollywood pre # MeToo, where it was difficult to achieve weight roles – or even be seen – for an atypical beauty like hers. “I was never very feminine, nor did I want to be. I always felt ugly and listened to that inner voice that embarrasses you and makes you hate yourself, “he told the British medium The Gentle Woman.

Perhaps that influenced so that, despite the fact that she says she feels more comfortable passing the letter of a character than making compromising statements, she was one of the voices of the Women’s March 2018 in Los Angeles. The same activism for which she sought to bring the empowerment of Hollywood women to the red carpet at that edition of the SAGs, where she won an award for her performance in I, Tonya. That afternoon, in a steel paillette dress with maxi shoulder pads by designer Yanina Couture, she said: “I feel like I’m wearing armor. That I am strong. I don’t know if I’m Oprah, but I’m a warrior. I am Khaleesi.” In Lou, wearing jeans, muddy boots, a bulletproof vest, a rifle slung over her shoulder and a cowboy hat, this warrior eats up the screen as if everything she learned about herself had finally found its way.

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Allison Janney, the protagonist of the film Lou: childless and proud of her singleness at 62