15 Years Later: Allison Janney On 10 Things, Drop Dead Gorgeous + The West Wing

“I haven’t thought about this movie in a long time,” Allison Janney says of 10 Things I Hate About You. The actress, who currently stars on CBS’s Mom has had several memorable roles in her acting career that now spans over 15 years. Not only did she play Ms. Perky, the guidance school counselor more focused on writing her erotic fiction than helping the students played by Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, but she also was in Drop Dead Gorgeous, starred on The West Wing and even had cryptically, memorable guest starring role on Lost. With 10 Things, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and The West Wing all turning 15 this year, Allison Janney revisits her iconic roles.

On Heath Ledger, who played Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You

I was so impressed him –not only with how tall and handsome he was but what a gentleman he was. He was very sweet and gracious … I remember thinking he’s so handsome and tall, how could he not be a movie star.

I was very sad I never got to work with Heath again or connect with him about 10 Things About You. I never got to have that moment with him, which I’m sad about.

On whether or not Ms. Perky finished the erotic novel she was working on:

Oh yeah! I think she ended up making that her primary source of income.

And her favorite line from the film:

My favorite line was “Judith, what’s another word for engorged?” For some reason that line sticks with me the most.

On when she realized Amy Adams was one of the many young stars in Drop Dead Gorgeous

She did a guest star on The West Wing. We were filming in Pittsburgh and we went out to dinner together and she was like, “Do you remember I was in [Drop Dead Gorgeous]?”

On those famous ’walk and talks’ scenes on NBC’s long-running series, The West Wing:

Oh I would love to do a ‘walk and talk.’ That’s my favorite. I love it! It was exciting to be a part of that. When you had to join a ‘walk and talk’ midstream. If you messed up you had to go back to the beginning. It was a real game, a challenge in itself.

I think I still have my memorizing chip intact in my brain. I hope! I’d leap at the chance for another ‘walk and talk.’

On her guest starring role as Mother in the final season of ABC’s Lost:

I really, honestly had not watched it before they asked me to be part of that … I was just as confused about what was really going as I was doing that part. There weren’t any answers. Even the writers were like, “just go with it.” I don’t understand what I did but someday I’m going to sit down and watch that whole series.

On working with the Veep cast, which is notorious for making each other break on set: 

There’s nobody better than that group of actors … It was hard for me not to laugh. I felt so in over my head with their quality and caliber of improv skills. They were geniuses.

And if she’s returning: 

They had wanted me to but my schedule didn’t permit me to because of Mom. I’m hoping that they’ll come back with another episode because I just couldn’t have enjoyed myself more working with that cast.

Let’s hope she does make a return to the the HBO series. Until then fans can watch her on Mom, which airs Mondays on CBS, and in encore viewing sessions of 10 Things and Drop Dead Gorgeous. For more on 10 Things, check out 10 things you didn’t know about the film as told by Janney and David Krumholtz.

[Photo: Getty]