Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Sharona

Of all the soft spots in my ’90s heart, one of the softest, warmest and most sarcastic is reserved for Janeane Garofalo. She was always the girl in the room most likely to make you laugh, feel dumb and drop your jaw with her unparalleled honesty. The woman will say what’s on her mind, period. She has never said anything simply to make herself popular. Back before George W. Bush bashing was cool (or even safe), she bashed with the biggest stick she could find. But the thing is, history has a way of being unkind to women with big opinions.

So since her days of biting reality, the comic has felt reality bite back and her work history has been up and down. She made a splash (though an almost unrecognizable one, thanks to her French accent) voicing Colette in “Ratatouille” in 2007. And then she spent a season on “24,”fighting fictional evildoers along with Jack “But Torture is my Middle Name” Bauer. Oh, and she voiced the fuzzy, orange hunger monster for those Weight Watchers ads. Counter-intuitive? Perhaps. Pragmatic? Entirely. A gal’s got to, well, eat.

And so here is Janeane, talking to NY magazine about her career at age 45. And once again the funny, smart, sarcastic pragmatist is in full effect.

On why she is in Nora and Delia Ephron’s play, “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”:

Uh, they asked me. Which I was shocked by, and thrilled, and I wanted to do a play, and also, I wanted a job. Because, uh, as a lot of people know, unemployment is depressing.

On being in a play about clothing:

I am not a person that is particularly tethered to fashion, which I think is obvious to anyone who’s seen me. I don’t have a love of shoes. I don’t care about labels….The only thing I actually do have a tethering to is Spanx. I’m committed to them, I love them, and I wear them every goddamn day. Summer, winter, fall. I’ve got them on now

On finding work in your 40s:

It’s been hard in entertainment as a 45-year-old woman to find jobs. They get fewer and far between if you’re older, unless you’re one of the few lucky ones who work constantly, like Meryl Streep. Now, having said that, I’m not comparing myself to Meryl Streep. She’s a national treasure. But, I think most women as they age would tell you that it’s harder and harder to find work.

On Botox:

You know, I’ve had Botox…. Yeah, I’ve had Botox here [between eyebrows], smoker’s wrinkles. It didn’t work on the crow’s feet. It just didn’t take….I do it twice a year. So I’m not going to be one of those people that’s like, “Oh, isn’t it awful. You see no movement.” Yes, I do do that and, you know, whatevs. I do it and, I don’t know, sometimes it’s looked awful. Sometimes it looks finee….But I will continue to do it, and if there’s ever a process that somebody invents where there’s a laser-resurfacing in an office visit with no downtime, I’ll fucking do it. I will, I will do it. Pardon my swearing.

On weight loss:

No, I didn’t say actresses don’t need to lose weight. Obviously, they shouldn’t have to. I still stand behind that. They shouldn’t have to, but I sold out. Total sellout, lost weight. Quitting drinking does contribute to that because apparently I was drinking about 22 pounds of vodka. But yeah, I fucking sold out. That is absolutely a fact. I was heavier and it really gets you almost nowhere, you realize quickly. I mean, I got very lucky in the nineties. Very lucky. But I was usually cast as a person wherein they’re so unattractive, that it defines them. And you get sick of it after a while, and then you realize that it’s just easier. And you don’t even have to be really heavy to be characterized as an overweight actor. So yeah, I sold out, lost weight.

On doing “24”:

And in regards to me being liberal: Yeah, I’m a proud liberal, but “24” is a show where I’m not playing myself. If I was in a movie where I played an assassin, it would not mean that I was an assassin or advocating assassination. There were almost no right-wingers on “24” except for the show’s creator [Joel Surnow]. But nobody’s playing themselves, you know? And the show wasn’t about right-wingers, it just had a right-wing tilt.

On what she would love to do next:

I’d love to be on “30 Rock.” I’d be willing to be craft service on “30 Rock.” I’d love to do a Wes Anderson film. I would love to be in a Noah Baumbach film [or a] Kathryn Bigelow film. Anything. I don’t know. It sounds so cloying and begging, but anything good. It doesn’t matter who it’s by, or whatever it is, it’s just nice to have (a) a job, and (b) a part you feel really creatively fulfilled by. Oh, I also love the show “Medium.” And then there are a ton of British shows I love. I love BBC and IFC. My dream would be to be on a show that shoots in New York, because I live here, and then I could walk to work.

Oh my God, Tina Fey: CALL JANEANE!

So does it make me sad that Janeane gets Botox? Not really. I’m by no means a fan of paralyzing parts of one’s face with botulism. But we all do what we have to work and feel happy in our own skin. And that’s something else I learned in the ’90s. Idealism and angst are great, but they sure don’t put supper on the table. Now, seriously, Tina, get on the phone.


;) babs said...

I wish she would still look like she did in the nineties...

when I watched 24, I didn't recognize her for a few minutes!
but its good to see/read that she is still very cool and refreshingly honest, despite her weight loss/sell out.

pickpocket said...

I don't fully understand what drives people to want to be a part of the entertainment industry, but still, my list of crushes is full of too-smart-for-that-bullsh*t women who Shoulda Been Big Stars -- JG, Tracy Ullman, Anna Deavere Smith.

Lyn said...

I've always had a thing for her. It's been a sad screen without her on it. I hope she gets a really good movie offer. Or even better, she should be on Better Off Ted!

yolanda said...

oh janeane. i adored her with that little bit of extra weight and unruly eyebrows. she looked like something nice to come home too..maybe share glasses?

Anonymous said...

She's fabulous!

I don't get why she got labeled as "fat" which she wasn't and then why it was a topic of conversation. Just like Kate Winslet. It's utter stupidity.

She's working! You see more of her than of many folks. She was also on the West Wing (I think).

Fiona said...

What a great start to my day! ;)

Norma Desmond said...

Weird. I was just wondering what happened to her the other day.

Anonymous said...

i dont know. that whole thing just made me sad. maybe it was awesomer when she actually said it.

Laura said...

and wasn't she great in "dogma"?? I always wished she had a bigger part in that... though, with that attitude I think she should be on Big Bang Theory. As Leslie Winkles Mum or something. Or hot older Sister

Morgan said...

I LOVE her.

Grumpy Yet Amusing said...

I would lobby for her to be the next Dr Who "assistant'.

Anonymous said...

I never heard of her until about two months ago, guess I was too busy in the nineties...I've just finished watching most of her movies, youtube videos, read all the interviews and find her fascinating. She's let nothing stand in her way in pursuit of her career goals...b00bs too big? "just cut em off doc" wrinkles? shoot 'em up with botox, need a Jewish surname to compete in Hollywood? marry a Cohen. She didn't like the nice ending in The Truth about Cats and Dogs, so she did Sweet Hearts, a movie that will rip your emotions a new one. Normally I'd assume a woman with tattoos, dirty hair, chipped black nail polish and a pack of smokes belonged in a biker gang, but...for some reason on her it all works... I like