" The Independent Spirit Award may not have the international cachet of an Oscar or an Emmy, but Allison Janney still would like one to call her very own.
The actress, who has won a shelf-sagging four Emmy Awards for her work on NBC's "The West Wing," is a nominee as best supporting actress during this year's Spirit Award ceremonies, airing Saturday, March 4, on WE: Women's Entertainment, the Independent Film Channel and AMC.
Janney's film, the nostalgic drama "Our Very Own," has been well-received in its film festival screenings but still hasn't gone into general release, a frustrating situation the actress hopes the Spirit Award spotlight might change.
"This is my first recognition for a role in film, and it really means a lot to me, but it also means the world to our movie, because it's 'the little movie that could,' really," Janney says. "We're still trying to get distribution, so every bit of recognition helps, and our producer is so excited.
"There's just so much love and friendship and history that went into the making of this movie. Cameron Watson, who wrote and directed it, wrote this part for me. He's one of my best friends, and he basically wrote the story of his childhood growing up in Shelbyville, Tenn. It's just a love letter to those people, and this was one of those great experiences when a bunch of your friends get together and do something that really works."
Janney, whose Spirit Award competition includes Oscar nominees Michelle Williams ("Brokeback Mountain") and Amy Adams ("Junebug"), isn't clearing shelf space for a new award just yet, but she's happy she and her "Our Very Own" colleagues are invited to this party.
"I'm just so proud that they chose to recognize us, because we're up against some other movies that are, obviously, big commercial hits," she says. "We're kind of at the other end of that spectrum. If you looked up a definition of what a truly independent film is, we are that.""