Dalila Ali Rajah
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The A-List Interview: Allison Janney

The A-List Interview: Allison Janney

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Meryl Streep and Janney in The Hours


When you spoke to The Advocate in 2001, you said that people think you’re a lesbian because you’re tall and unmarried. Is that still popular opinion?
Maybe. If people think I’m gay, I’m fine with it. I’ll probably never get married, and I don’t think I really want to be. I’ve never had a lesbian experience, but I’m beginning to wish I were gay. I think I’d be a lot happier!

How did you approach Sally, the girlfriend of Meryl Streep’s character, in The Hours?
I never wanted to do a caricature of a lesbian. It’s nice to know she’s gay, but it didn’t inform my acting. Really, I just had to love Meryl Streep, and I obviously had no problem portraying that. I’d done an Alan Ball play in New York called Five Women Wearing the Same Dress where I played a lesbian, and I also played a lesbian in an Eve Ensler play, Ladies. I remember people appreciating that I just played them as women.

How does your kiss with Meryl rank among your other onscreen kisses?
I was pretty epic. I mean, how many actresses can say they kissed Meryl Streep in a movie?

Speaking of smooches, last year on Conan you said that you’ll only make out for fun with gay men and straight women. You broke a lot of lesbian hearts that day.
[Laughs] Only because I don’t want to get anyone into trouble! I didn’t mean to hurt any feelings. In my crazy way, that was me saying that I don’t want to cause problems in any relationships. You know, I’ve never really, truly made out with a woman before. I’d like to do that before I die.

Do you anticipate any LGBT storylines on the upcoming third season of Mom?
Oh, I’ll definitely put a bug in [series creator] Chuck Lorre’s ear and mention it to the writers. My character, Bonnie, needs a gay best friend. She actually needs to fall in love with a gay man and then marry him anyway for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned.


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