As LaVona Golden, Tonya Harding’s abusive, abrasive mother in the acclaimed biopic, Janney drops F bombs with reckless abandon. Viewers and critics are eating up Janney’s blistering portrayal: The actress, best known for her run on The West Wing, has earned SAG Award and Golden Globe nominations, with her first Oscar nod virtually a lock.
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment (watch above), Janney said that while most of LaVona’s swearing was scripted, she also got in the spirit and tossed in a few improvised foul lines along the way.
“When the camera was on [Margot Robbie, who plays Harding] and [Sebastian Stan, as husband Jeff Gillooly] and I was off camera, I started saying terrible things to them, just to get their reaction,” Janney explained. “There was one in particular, an F bomb I threw and [director] Craig Gillespie was like, ‘Well, we got to turn around and get that on you.’ … Because it was such a shocking, awful thing.
“I’ve never played a character that so freely swore like this… profane. It was kind of fun.”
It was so much fun that Janney occasionally went method in between takes. “Because of the look that I had, it definitely informed the way I carried myself on set. And I did [have] a bit of a truck-driver mouth on set, just to stay in character. It was pretty liberating getting to sport a look like that. … I just felt so far away from myself.”
I, Tonya is now playing in select theaters.
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