by Zach Johnson | Mon., Jan. 8, 2018 4:30 AM
The 2018 Golden Globes were good to Allison Janney. After winning Best Supporting Actress in Motion Picture for her role as Tonya Harding's mother, LaVona Golden, in Neon's I, Tonya, she confessed to E! News' Jason Kennedy she was—unsurprisingly—"thrilled" with the outcome. "This is the first one and it's a very sweet one, indeed," she said. "I am very, very proud of this."
Janney went up against Mudbound's Mary J. Blige, Downsizing's Hong Chau, Lady Bird's Laurie Metcalf and The Shape of Water's Octavia Spencer in the highly competitive category. Anxious to celebrate her win, the actress admitted, "I am totally ready to dance! I'm going to meet my niece and nephew at the parties and just celebrate. I'm really, really proud of this one, and proud of this win, and proud of my friend Steven Rogers, who wrote this movie and wrote this part for me. God! What a lot of great movies, though! Lord! It's a great season to be in the mix."
In his review of I, Tonya, The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan said Janney "steals every scene she's in," starring as a "witchlike harridan whose noodging goes well beyond tough love." Both before and after she took role, Janney said, "I just felt so much compassion for [Harding]."
"It's strange. A lot of people have come up to me and said, 'That's exactly who my mother was to me.' And I'm realizing how many children grew up with mothers like her. It made me sad. I just hugged her and I said, 'I'm so sorry.' The mother-daughter relationship is so complicated—all of them are complicated—but that one? That was a woman who was pretty bitter and angry at the world and saw an opportunity for her daughter and herself to get out and have a better life," Janney said, "and she wasn't going to let anything get in her way—not even her daughter."
Janney hadn't spent much time with Harding until the Golden Globes. "What I learned about her during this movie is that her story is not as simple as we first thought it was—what we were told to believe in the headlines about her. I think she was up against a lot, and I think she did accomplish an incredible feat as an athlete. I think she had some questionable people in her life. I don't know if she...I don't think we exonerate her exactly, but you just have compassion for her," she said. "I, as an actress, have compassion for everybody, especially this woman, LaVona, that I play. I had to have compassion for her. I had to find humanity in her to play her. You have to as an actor. You can't judge the people that you play. You have to embody them and believe in them. It was an incredible journey, working on this movie—and a quick one! Eight days! We shot it in eight days. I was doing Mom and I was rehearsing for Six Degrees of Separation that I did on Broadway, and in between was flying to Atlanta and shooting for days."
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