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A Mother’s Day chat with Allison Janney

A Mother’s Day Chat with Allison Janney

Q. Can you describe the mother you portray on “Mom” and her mothering style?

A: Bonnie does not adhere to traditional mothering styles. She broke the mold in bad choices for raising her daughter. She is trying to make up for it now, but there is nothing conventional about Bonnie Plunket. But underneath her tough exterior, she has a large heart and loves her daughter immensely.

Q. What were the challenges of the role and how did you tackle them?

A: The challenges for me were reading some of the things that would come out of Bonnie’s mouth and hoping people would feel empathy for Bonnie. I realized striking that balance might be difficult.

Q. What has been one of your favorite episodes on the show and why?

A: I loved when we did the flash forward episode — Bonnie was old and Christie was fat. For me, it was exciting to go through the prosthetic makeup process and in general a lot of fun to play old Bonnie. It made me appreciate the way I look now!

Q. Have you heard from real-life moms who relate to Bonnie and her problems?

A: I love when people tell me they are really enjoying the show because they can relate to some wacky piece of it and it makes them laugh. A women told me she was 4 years sober, has a daughter and they are both in AA together. They just sit and watch our show and laugh.

Q. Can you share some anecdotes about growing up and your own mom? What kind of mother was she? What were her strengths as a mom?

A: My mom managed to cook every meal for us. She’d get up, make breakfast, pack lunches. If I needed to go ice skating at 5 a.m., she would get up at 4 a.m. and make sure I got the rink on time.

She was always there doing whatever needed to be done for us and I am so grateful for that. My favorite times were family dinners. My mother loved to cook and she always outdid herself with gorgeous meals.

Q. What important life lessons did you learn from your own mom?

A: I was lucky enough to have a mother that instilled the importance of good manners, punctuality and social graces. These days, sometimes I feel like proper etiquette is a lost art form.

Q. What do you and your mother enjoy doing together these days?

A: Unfortunately my mother and I live on opposite sides of the country. I love our chats on the phone and vacation time that we spend together. When we are together now, we love to cook and go shopping. I love to help her with the crossword puzzle and watch movies together.

Q. What are you working on at the moment?

A: We’re excited that “Mom” got a second season pick up. I’ve also been filming the second season of “Masters of Sex” and am about to go to Europe to shoot another film with Melissa McCarthy. I did “Tammy” with her and that’s coming out July 2.

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