Oscar Speeches: Janney, Allison–Supporting Actress, I Tonya

Allison Janney visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show and reflected on her experience at the Oscars. The actress won her first Oscar for her supporting role as LaVona Harding in I, Tonya.

Her inspiration for stating “I did it all by myself” during her acceptance speech: “Nick Bakay, who’s one of our writers at Mom, gave me that line and I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I should say it,’” she said. “And I thought, ‘I guess if I win I’ll get up there and decide in the moment.’ And that’s what I was thinking all the way up the stairs.”

DeGeneres applauded Janney for the line and assured her that it came off as a joke: “There’s no way you could have done this by yourself.”

DeGeneres believed Janney would win an Oscar for the role before awards season started. So the host cheekily asked, “Do you regret not thanking me?”

“I have a speech together of all the people I didn’t thank and you were at the top of the list because you really started everything for me,” shared Janney. “And Howard Stern also. The two of you really started my career.”

The actress then took the opportunity to add to her acceptance speech. After thanking the Academy, she stated, “I also would be remiss if I didn’t thank Ellen DeGeneres and Betty DeGeneres, really, who started my career,” she said. DeGeneres then began to play the kind of music featured on award shows to rush the winners off stage. “I’m not done. Oh my God,” Janney said before sitting down and ending her speech.

“I’m so glad I didn’t get played off. I was so nervous about that,” shared Janney about her real acceptance speech. She explained that Oscar nominees are told that they are only given 45 seconds to make their acceptance speech. Janney added that she thought if the person in the control room sensed her confidence, she wouldn’t be rushed off stage. “I figure if you look like you know what you’re doing, then they kind of relax,” she said.

The actress won many awards leading up to her Oscar win, but with each prize her anxiety about the Oscars grew. “It made me more nervous,” she said. “The more things I won, the more I was sure the next time I wasn’t going to.”

DeGeneres noted that Janney did not get to have a proper celebration following her Oscars win because she had a table read for Mom the next morning.

But the cast and crew of the sitcom were very supportive after her big win. “After you go through something like that people say there’s a big letdown, a big crash you go through,” she said. “But I didn’t. I have work. I get to go to Mom and be with them, who I love.”

“I felt bad that you didn’t get to celebrate, so I wanted to give you a celebration ‘cause I think you deserve it,” said DeGeneres. Three shirtless men then walked onstage and began dancing with Janney to “Pony” by Ginuwine.

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