Allison Janney Once Dreamed of Being a Figure Skater (Yes, Really)

Exclusive! The I, Tonya star opened up about her life's first passion on the red carpet at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards

By Billy Nilles Jan 22, 2018 12:12 AMTags
Watch: Allison Janney Wanted to Be a Real-Life Figure Skater

Allison Janney almost had a very different career.

When the I, Tonya actress stopped by for a chat with E! News' Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards, she opened up about her surprising first passion, revealing that she has more in common with the controversial subject of her film than anyone might've guessed. 

"That was my first dream," she admitted to Giuliana. "To be a figure skater." Say what?!

Obviously, she left that passion behind to become the award-winning actress we know and love, but what was it that caused the change of heart?

2018 SAG Awards Red Carpet Fashion

"Um, I wasn't very good," she said, laughing. "Also, I was actually very graceful, but it's really an acrobatic sport. I'm six feet tall. I maybe could've been an ice dancer, but to hurl yourself around in the air, I could do maybe two double jumps, but that's it. You have to be compact and small. Sort of a gymnast, almost. It wasn't my thing, that's the short answer."

Luckily for us it wasn't, or we wouldn't have gotten such incredible performances like her Golden Globe-winning turn as Tonya Harding's prickly mother LaVona Golden. Janney, who's nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role tonight, admitted that she was nervous about portraying a real-life person, rather than someone's creation, but that doesn't mean she's ruling out playing more real people in the future. In fact, she might even have one such person in mind.

"Fortunately, when I was working on this role, we couldn't find the real mother, Tonya's mother. She didn't know where she was. In some ways, that let me off the hook because I feel nervous to play a real-life character," she said. "Someone who is living and that you would have to do an imitation of because you have to make it your own. I felt like the onus was off of me and I could create who I wanted her to be and who she was to me. But that being said, I just started reading a book about Bunny Mellon. That might be a fun story to tell. I don't know."

For those not in the know, Mellon was a famed horticulturalist who planted the White House Garden in 1961 at the request of President John F. Kennedy. And in Janney's very capable hands, she'd probably the role that just screams Oscar winner!

Be sure to tune in and see if she can add SAG Award winner to her resume when the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

For complete coverage of the 2018 SAG Awards, watch E! News Monday, Jan. 22, at 7 and 11 p.m.!