TODAY   |  June 28, 2013

Actress Allison Janney: Boozy neighbor role ‘exhausting’

The “West Wing” alumna talks about her role playing an obnoxious, boozy neighbor opposite Steve Carrell in “The Way, Way Back,” and tells KLG and Hoda how she was intimidated working with so many great improvisational actors on “Veep.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> i can't guarantee anyone's safety today. allison janney is on a tear. probably best known for her emmy winning role on "the west wing ." she's got a resume a mile long that includes big screen and broadway.

>> her newest film "the way, way back." she stars alongside steve carell in a role that i believe was modeled after us. take a look.

>> are you kidding me?

>> thank god! another night of drinking alone, i was going to kill myself.

>> hey.

>> i'm off the wagon again.

>> uh-huh.

>> accept it and move on. oh, my god, press my laundry.

>> how are you doing?

>> good.

>> i like this.

>> thanks.

>> love your ride.

>> this is exactly the car my dad used to drive us in.

>> old and crappy.

>> and that's just the beginning. that's brilliant. and she can't watch herself.

>> no, no, no. those white pants. i love ann ross , the best costume designer, but those white pants, what were we thinking?

>> i was thinking, look how great her hiny looks.

>> you are being so founder kind.

>> i'm usually not that way. you play this neighbor. this needy, crazy, obnoxious neighbor.

>> i did sort of model it off of you guys a little bit.

>> that's why i loved her.

>> this is an amalgamation of a lot of different women in my life and this woman but she was probably the most exhausting character i've ever played in my life.

>> well, she's so high energy .

>> oh, my god. she's -- yeah, idles at a very fast speed and reqred so much energy that after every take steve couldn't wait for them to say cut because i would go -- i would fall down. wait just a minute. i'm a slow lady. i'm lazy and --

>> when you read this script, you had to do it.

>> i did.

>> the writing is really, really good.

>> it's outstanding.

>> it's a coming of age story. this young little boy that you just feel so bad for.

>> comes back on vacation with his mom and new boyfriend. and he's not a very nice man. and she's kind of looking at him through rose colored glass. she's newly divorced. wants to be in love and he did sd not treat her son very well. he's very mean to him. calls him -- he says on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself. the boy says, i'm a 6 or -- he says, i think you're a 3.

>> that's the first scene.

>> yeah. but you cannot leave this movie and not feel good. everyone goes through a journey on this movie, even the adults are finding themselves. and my character is newly divorced. her husband leaves her and she finds a friendship with tony's character and everyone --

>> he leaves her but also leaves her for a man. it's like a double wammy.

>> she's self-medicating.

>> you are fun to watch this n this. i got stuck on veep recently. you are supposedly a friend of the veep and go after her. tell us about that experience.

>> i was very intimidated working with that group of actors. they are all -- they've been improving together for years now. and they are a well-oiled machine. and sometimes people think, when they are hiring me that they'll get c.j. but allison is not so good at improving on a political theme.

>> oh, really?

>> oh, no, no, no. i got very intimidated. government shutdown , just talk about the government shutdown . so i'd be like, so the government, it -- it shut down. so you want to talk about that? like i -- i couldn't do it. so i was very -- i felt bad.

>> you were so great. i loved that. we wish you the best of luck.

>> you are such a delightful human being .

>> cheers.

>> let's show them what we were about to sit down, what did you say to me?

>> where's my drink.

>> no it was meaner than that.

>> where's my drink!

>> cheers.

>> thanks for coming to see us.

>> the movie is the way, way back." it opens next friday. it is wonderful.