Allison Janney enjoys transforming into villain in new movie 'I, Tonya'

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017
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Actress Allison Janney is almost unrecognizable in her role as skater Tonya Harding's hardened mother in "I, Tonya."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The ice-skating drama "I, Tonya" continues to do well at the box office in its limited release. One of its stars, Allison Janney, has earned nominations for a Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, and SAG award.

Janney plays Tonya Harding's mother, a tough cookie who is rarely without a cigarette. That part of the character is a big departure from the real Janney.

"Are you kidding me? I will never smoke, as God as my witness!" said Janney.

The Emmy award winner loves the fact that she is virtually unrecognizable in this role.

"That's the best part when my acting doesn't have to involve any vanity at all," said Janney. "When I saw that look with the older age make-up, I felt free. It was thrilling to play a character like this. I always wanted to play a villain and she is a villain, I would say."

The movie follows Tonya from childhood to her golden days on the ice, to the Winter Olympics and the scandal involving the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan.

"I think our movie shows all the different players in Tonya's life: where she came from, her mother, her unbelievably un-nurtured, you know, childhood, and the abuse that she came from," said Janney. "It makes you have a lot more appreciation and understanding of what she was, and you have a lot more empathy for her."

"I, Tonya" is rated R.