‘Lou’ star Allison Janney becomes an action hero at age 62

‘Lou’ star Allison Janney becomes an action hero at age 62

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Allison Janney has noticed that depending on the person and the location, people want to talk to her about different projects.

“Sometimes someone comes up to me and I’m sure they’re a ‘West Wing’ person, but they say ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ is their favorite movie,” says the 62-year-old actress. Or I think they’re talking about ‘Mom’ and they saw me in ‘A View from the Bridge’ on Broadway. It’s really nice to let people know all these different things.”

But after so many iconic roles, Janney is still discovering that she can do new things on screen. In her latest movie, “Lou,” which is now available to stream on Netflix, she plays an action hero. Not only that, she’s the protagonist of the film – something she didn’t realize until an interview with Variety.

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“That’s funny, I hadn’t thought about that,” she muses. “But to be honest, I always think about working on things together as a group team effort anyway, so even if I was number one on the list, it’s an ensemble thing — all the acting is. “

Janney plays the titular “Lou”, a mysterious loner who prefers her dog’s company over people and lives a quiet life in the woods. When a storm rages one night, her tenant and neighbor Hannah (Jurnee Smollett) comes to her after her daughter (Ridley Bateman) is kidnapped by the girl’s father (Logan Marshall-Green). learn more about Lou’s past – and exactly what she’s capable of.

It’s an action-packed adventure from director Anna Foerster that never gives up on surprises. Janney was more than happy to jump into the physical role.

“I just really want people to be entertained by it and have fun and watch these women kick,” she says. “And to star in a movie at age 62 and an action hero? Come on.”

When they first sent you the script, did they tell you what kind of movie it was, or did you read it and realize you had to be an action hero?

When I read it, I thought, this is exactly what I wanted to do – something completely different and with action. I like the character. I love how she is a woman with few words and a lot of action. It’s pragmatic and enigmatic, and to me it’s something completely different. And then I met Anna who said, “Are you ready to get dirty with me?” And I was. After I got the pear, there was a time when I thought, “How do I get out of here?” But I was glad I didn’t.

It came from Bad Robot, JJ Abrams’ company. I love JJ and have always wanted to do something with his company. And it was such a cool departure for me. Learning those fight sequences was like learning a dance. In some ways I felt more comfortable doing them because they were so practiced. It was great fun.

How did you prepare physically for the role? Do they send you to a spy school and teach you how to shoot and fight?

My grandfather shot clay pigeons, so I’ve held guns before. And I was an athlete. What I did learn for this film was to fight hand-to-hand. Our fight trainer was Daniel Bernhardt, who had just worked with Bob Odenkirk on “Nobody.” I did it three hours a day and I love it. I’m ready to do more.

I’m happy because I’d love to see you as a Marvel hero or the next James Bond.

I like the way you think! I would like to be an action hero. How awesome would it be to see a woman in her 60s as a superhero? That’s what I loved about this movie – it shows that someone that age is also just incredibly capable and strong and fierce. And that’s the story I want to tell more about – more women who can throw up and take care of themselves.

She also knows how to respond to people’s expectations – there is a great scene where she pretends to be weak and vulnerable.

You can definitely tell that this woman has had to play many roles in her life. It was nice to capture that scene and nice to know how to defend yourself in such a scene. I was like, “God, no one can fuck me now! I know how to do things!”

There is an old saying: never work with animals or children. But you did both in this and they’re both great.

That’s true. And I loved them both so much – I felt proud to share the screen with them both. The dog was the most beautiful dog ever and he hit his target more often than I did. He should have a huge career after this.

Honestly everyone was great to work with. I watched “Lovecraft Country” and I knew Jurnee was no stranger to getting wet and muddy and throwing herself into things. She and Ridley both loved everything – I couldn’t have had better partners to run the swamp with.

You are so good at giving speeches – all the Emmy speeches and of course your Oscar speech for “I, Tonya” is iconic. What is the key to a good speech?

Having great friends who are smarter than you, who give you great lines. My friend Nick Bakay gave me that phrase to say at the Oscars, “I did it all by myself.” I wasn’t sure if I should do it, I decided to wait until I got there and I’d know right away if I could get it done. I’m not very sure of my writing skills. I hate writing. I can’t even write an email. I’m the person who likes to use all emojis because I can’t think of words. I am a big fan of the face palm emoji.

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