With all the scandals and straight-up aggravation of this current election season, it can be comforting to turn to a more hopeful look at the American government system. We’re talking about Aaron Sorkin’s phenomenal success The West Wing, a glorious drama from the early 2000s that won nearly every award available and the hearts of millions.
Allison Janney played White House press secretary C.J. Cregg. A fan favorite, the confident woman had enough depth in the seven seasons to play with loss, stress, and love, but still gave her the humanity to be goofy and the capability to kick assorted press members’ behinds during the course of her job. Variety recently spoke with Janney about her favorite moments from the series, and the respected actress was unsurprisingly mature about looking back at her time on The West Wing:
“I think I’m at a place where I’m going to enjoy watching the show and will not have any problem looking at anything I did,” she said, after she revealed that she hadn’t had the time to watch the show while it was still airing.
Janney also goes on to explain her favorite Cregg moments, highlighting the brief physical comedy that she expertly brought to the character:
“There are some funny moments I love. There’s a Thanksgiving episode that has a scene where CJ’s in her office with two turkeys trying to figure out which one is going to get pardoned. I just love that I go to do something like going into the Oval Office. Then convincing the president that he needed to pardon two turkeys is even more hilarious.”
Janney certainly did help alleviate the political tension from the show, citing two other favorite instances where she “falls in the pool” during a origin episode, and another where C.J. and Charlie (Dule Hill) engage in a prank war.
But by the end of the interview Janney has mused enough about her character to really strike home why C.J. Cregg was so important to the show. Tying it back to a favorite moment, Janney remarks:
“One of my favorites is where C.J. gets to dress down a four-star general. She stands up to him after he calls her ‘kitten’ and tries to belittle her. I love when she stands up with all her power and all her smarts, and watching it, I get chills. I think, ‘That is a woman I wish I were like.’ She inspires me to be a better person.”