Actress Allison Janney reprises press secretary role in White House visit

By Eric DuVall
Actress Allison Janney reprises press secretary role in White House visit
Actress Allison Janney, who played press secretary C.J. Cregg on "The West Wing" made a guest appearance Friday at the White House press briefing to bring attention to the opioid drug epidemic. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- In a bit of life imitating art, actress Allison Janney, famous for her role as White House press secretary C.J. Cregg on the NBC drama The West Wing actually spoke from the press room podium Friday, highlighting the Obama administration's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

Janney had some fun at the expense of the actual White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, entering the briefing room from the back and announcing he had a root canal and was unable to speak.


"Let's be honest, I'm better at this than he is, just between us," she joked to the actual White House press corps.

Fans of the show recall Cregg's uncanny rendition of a cult classic song, which Janney referenced as a bit of inside-the-Beltway humor: "It is Friday, that means at half-past-five I'll be performing 'The Jackal' in my office, for anyone who is interested, or remembers, or cares."

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At that point, Earnest walked into the briefing room and joked: "Allison? This is not your show anymore."

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. I was in town and just wanted to take a moment ..."


Janney was at the White House along with Chuck Lorre, the executive producer of her new sitcom, Mom, on which she plays the title character, a recovering alcoholic and addict.

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Janney lauded the Obama administration's honorees at an event scheduled Friday, where 10 individuals will be recognized for their work helping stem the opioid and heroin epidemics in the country.

"This is a disease that can touch anybody," Janney said, returning to her serious role as an advocate for better drug treatment programs.

A member of the press corps asked Janney to reprise her West Wing role for a question: "C.J., who is President Bartlet supporting in the Democratic primary?"

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Demure as C.J. ever was, Janney responded: "I think you know the answer to that question."

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