Oscar-nominated Allison Janney talks transforming into Tonya Harding's abusive mother

Kevin Mazur  WireImage
Allison Janney at the 2018 Academy Awards

Kevin Mazur WireImage Allison Janney at the 2018 Academy Awards

Allison Janney just snagged the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the 90th Academy Awards, and she had one very special woman to thank: Joanne Woodward. Janney played Tonya Harding's abusive mother LaVona, who bullies her relentlessly throughout the film, while still providing comedy relief.

It is Janney's first Oscar win. Famed for playing CJ Cregg on The West Wing and for movies like Juno and The Girl on the Train, Janney is now the darling of the awards season for her role in biopic I, Tonya.

"I did it all by myself", Allison hilariously quipped as she picked up her golden gong and naturally, the audience erupted into fits of laughter.

"Ok, nothing further from the truth", she said as she proceeded to thank her fellow nominees, her movie's team and her parents.

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"She's here. I already asked her".

"It literally collapsed on me", she gasps. She said, "This is for Hal". Though she has been in Oscar-winning movies such as "Juno" and "The Help", the attention for those films did not revolve around her. "I am going right back to work and I am so happy to have a job to go to, because this could go to your head", Janney said.

"I kind of didn't dare to have dreams like this, because I didn't want to be disappointed", Janney told reporters backstage while clutching her Oscar.

Thus the character in "I, Tonya" is based on an amalgamation of interviews, documentary footage from 1986 (in which LaVona conducts her interview with a bird on her shoulder), stories from Harding and Gillooly and some artistic license.

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Janney concluded, "To my mother and father, Jay, my family, my family of friends..."

Then she quickly put them back on to show everyone that "usually the dress looks like this". "You're always in my heart", she said. "I think I started working and was not able to go to those classes".

Janney beat out Mary J. Blige for "Mudbound", Lesley Manville for "Phantom Thread", Laurie Metcalf for "Lady Bird", and Octavia Spencer for "The Shape of Water".

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