Newly-minted Oscar winner Allison Janney talks her character in this exclusive PEOPLE clip

By Ale Russian
March 07, 2018 10:47 AM

Allison Janney is a newly minted Oscar winner thanks to a role she describes as “one of the cruelest people I’ve ever played.”

In an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from the Blu-Ray/DVD release of the film, the actress admits she was shocked to be playing Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona, given how different she is from her other characters.

“Why did he think Allison Janney for this part?” she laughs. “LaVona Harding is one of the cruelest people I’ve ever played. They weren’t living in the high life by any stretch and I think she saw her daughter as a way out of her life. She saw endorsement deals, she saw escape. And she had a lot riding in this relationship with her daughter and she wanted her daughter to take her out of the trailer park.”

Allison Janney as LaVona Harding
| Credit: Clubhouse Pictures/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

The movie follows Tonya Harding‘s story before, during and after the 1994 attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan carried out by hitman hired by Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly. Margot Robbie plays the infamous skater while Sebastian Stan takes on Gillooly.

“As soon as I read it I was like, ‘I think that’s the best script I’ve ever read in my entire life.’ It’s so funny,” Robbie says in the featurette.

Harding herself approved of Janney’s performance as her tough mother. The actress told PEOPLE that the former figure skater reached out to her after her Oscar nomination.

“I got a lovely text from her this morning congratulating me saying, ‘You’re going to the big top, girl!’ Which was very sweet of her,” Janney recalled.

The Blu-Ray/DVD of I, Tonya comes out March 13.