Allison Janney Almost Chickened Out Of Her Iconic Oscars Speech

Photo: Courtesy of ABC
Allison Janney changed the course of Oscars history earlier this year when she delivered what had to be one of the best acceptance speeches ever after winning the award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in I, Tonya. Dressed in a stunning Reem Acra gown, Janney took the stage and proclaimed, "I did it all by myself." Like a true comedian, she followed the somewhat awkward statement with an even more uncomfortable pause before admitting there was "nothing further from the truth."
Though she looked confident as hell up on that stage, Janney admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she couldn't have felt more anxious — and almost didn't deliver the line at all!
"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. I don't know,'" she told Ellen DeGeneres. "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. I wondered, 'Am I going to do it, am I going to do it?'"
Janney added that she looked around the room, saw how serious everyone (especially True Detective Season 3 actor Mahershala Ali) seemed, and decided that, yes, she was going to do it.
"It was so great," DeGeneres said. "I can see where you'd go, like, 'Eh, are they going to laugh at this,' but it's clearly a joke because, you know, there's no way you could have done this by yourself." Judging from the laughter in the room, DeGeneres' quip landed just as well as Janney's did before millions on March 4.
Janney revealed that while she doesn't regret delivering the biting line, she does regret not thanking more people, DeGeneres included, during her 45-second speech.
"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," she said. "And Howard Stern, also. The two of you really started my career, and I feel remiss that I didn't [include you]."
If there were an award for sweetest friendship, it'd surely go to Janney and DeGeneres.

More from News

R29 Original Series