Allison Janney talks about marriage and motherhood and what if she didn’t have to though?
In a recent interview with Drew Barrymore, the Oscar and Emmy-winning actress Allison Janney was asked to talk about why she never got married or had kids and maybe let’s normalize not asking women questions like this? Maybe?
This isn’t a dig at Drew Barrymore, by the way. This is an endemic problem in celebrity journalism (see: Jennifer Aniston’s entire career), and also, the interview touched on 61-year-old Janney’s career and her long-running role and work on her hit sitcom Mom before the conservation steered towards marriage and motherhood. However, when Barrymore asked Janney why she never got married or had kids, Barrymore even said, “May I ask?” and then made like, a cringe-face, because Barrymore knew it was weird to ask a woman why she doesn’t have kids. The subtext in Barrymore’s ask was kind of: “My producer told me to ask you this, but I don’t want to!”
However, Janney, as gracious as ever, did open up about her romantic and domestic life, saying, “I think if I would have found the right guy at the right time who wanted to have kids, I probably would have with the right partner, ’cause I wasn’t ever really confident that I wanted to have kids. I would rather regret not having kids than have kids and regret that.”
It is refreshing to hear stories from women who aren’t that interested in being moms when the driving narrative around motherhood is that women are born to do it and are somehow defective or bizarre if they aren’t that interested in fulfilling their supposed biological destiny.
But on the other hand, you don’t watch Janney’s tour de force performance in I, Tonya and then be like, “Hmm, I wonder what Allison does with her uterus?” you know what I mean? Like, Janney’s feelings about maternity are the least interesting thing about this extremely talented and multi-faceted woman.
allison janney is so great
— mansi (@man_see_) April 5, 2021
“I really am [at] this time in my life getting to know who I am and what I want. I’d love to find — eventually find — someone to share my life with, but if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be just fine. But it would be nice,” Janney added.
And again, Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t asked why he doesn’t have kids or a wife. Before George Clooney settled down with now-wife Amal, nobody inquired why he still didn’t have kids. If anything, people were thrilled with Clooney’s playboy lifestyle and conversations about marriage and fatherhood came all the way after the interviewer asked him about his acting career, his directing career, his producing career, his tequila company, his friendships with other celebs like Matt Damon and Sandra Bullock, oh, and his work in Darfur.
Allison Janney is my hero.
— james buchanan barnes (@OliviaKhiel) April 7, 2021
The point being… women are so much more than just wives and mothers. I’m sure there are 10,000 things to talk to any woman about before you get to, “so why aren’t you married or someone’s mom yet?”