On the series "The West Wing," Allison Janney was the very picture of cool, calm and collected.
The same can be said for the lovely actress in real life.
Catch up with her on a cool fall morning and our talk about her new WIGS series "Celia" debuting Friday (more on it in a moment) veers in all sorts of directions.
First, we tackle the age-old issue of aging in Hollywood.
I ask her my favorite: What do you know now that you didn't know when you were younger?
"I wish I hadn't cared so much about what other people thought of me," says the star of movies including "The Help" and "Hairspray." "Instead of caring that others, I should have spent that time developing myself instead of trying to fit in.
"What else do I know?" she poses. "I know pasta really isn't your friend. I ate pasta all the time in my 20s. I can't believe how carb addicted I was in those days!
You wanted a life lesson?
Allison Janney had made me put down my noodle strainer for good.
ALLISON JANNEY BEAUTY TIPS
She hasn't aged a bit since playing CG Cregg on "The West Wing."
At age 52, Janney says there are a few tips that she can share.
She keeps her thin frame thanks to an exercise that I love to do, too.
"I love Pilates," she says.
"I also changed my diet big time when I hit 50," she says. "I did cut down on the carbs. I'm over 50 now and things don't happen in your body the way that they used to happen.
"These days I'm also eating a lot of veggies and proteins," she says.
She says staying active also keeps her feeling good. "I have dogs," she says. "I like to hike a lot."
"At this point, I have to make life choices and not diet choices," she says. "Diets are gone for me now. I need to eat to live instead of living to eat."
GREAT SKIN CARE STARTS TODAY
Janney has gorgeous skin thanks to a little TLC.
"I love my skin care products and I also go to a good dermatologist. So, I put a lot of lotions and potions on my face," she says.
I ask her what product lines she likes the most and she says, "I literally have five or six product lines in my bathroom."
"I use SK and Dr. Lancer who is a dermatologist in Beverly Hills," she says. "The other day, my friend told me about this crazy site in Brooklyn called Between You and the Moon with all these oil and things I'm trying."
She has this advice for women of all ages: "Start your skin care now. And don't push it when it comes to going out in the sun," she says. "Enjoy how your skin looks right now."
A NEW PROJECT CELIA
Janney stars in an exciting new WIGS series called "Celia" premiering Friday. WIGS has amazingly interesting stories on YouTube.
"Celia" focuses on the debate over abortion and women's reproductive choices. It was written by WIGS co-creator Rodrigo Garcia.
"Everyone has a million thoughts about this issue," Janney says.
"This is about a moment in time between a young girl played by Dakota Fanning and her doctor. It's complicated by the fact that the doctor knows the mother of this girl."
"This girl has her rights. The doctor wonders if what happens will compromise her friendship with her mother.
"It was such an interesting dilemma," she says.
"It's the kind of show that makes you ask: What would I do?'" she says.
HER THOUGHTS ON AGING
"It's interesting when you're single in LA at this age. I think I maybe need to move now," Janney says with a good-natured laugh. "I'd love to find someone to share my life with and it's very tricky out here.
"It's hard to find someone your own age who wants to be with someone their own age," she says.
"It's not easy getting older," she laughs.