Emmy winner Allison Janney bids farewell to an acclaimed comedy

It’s a bit ironic (or perhaps just fitting) that CBS chose the week of Mother’s Day to usher Mom off the air. The Chuck Lorre-produced series—ostensibly a comedy, but also acclaimed for its poignant look at living with addiction—caps an eight-season run this Thursday. With original lead Anna Faris having departed before the start of this final year, it’s co-star Allison Janney who turns out the lights on the working-class sitcom, in an episode penned by Chuck Lorre himself.

“[The character has] been really fun for someone like me, who always gets a thrill out of getting to be any character who’s not me,” Janney says of recovering addict/problematic mother Bonnie, a role that’s earned the veteran actress two of her six Primetime Emmy wins. “She’s narcissistic and unapologetic, and it’s just a great excuse to be somebody completely different. And to be celebrated for it.”

MomCitytvNaturally, as the end approaches, Janney also finds herself reflecting on Faris, who was her companion for so much of this life-changing journey. “It became about the two of us and our relationships with the women they knew in recovery,” she explains. “I loved the way the writers were willing to have the show tell them what it was about, and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to do.”

That said, Janney is clear about her feelings on Mom ending now: “I hate it! I’ve cried about it, and that’s still going to come up a lot. We’ve showed living life in recovery, and that was the gift that meant so much to so many fans. The letters I’ve gotten from so many of them . . . and the people that come up to me in the street and say they’ve gotten sober with Mom. One young lady was worried her sobriety would end with the end of the show, and I said, ‘Lord, no! We must carry on.’ ”

Given the wide syndication Mom repeats enjoy, the show is destined to remain visible. Still, Janney maintains, “I wish the writers had been given a whole year to set up the finale, instead of a few episodes.”

After taking some time to recharge, the actress, who in recent years also scored an Oscar win for I, Tonya, will return to the big screen in the adventure movie Lou.

She says the Mom staff “always worked with me” whenever she wanted to do an outside project, recalling that “when I filmed I, Tonya, that was a huge thing. I was also rehearsing for Six Degrees of Separation, which I was going to do on Broadway, and I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is going to work, guys.’ But all of the producers got together and worked it out for me. I’m happiest when I’m working with people on a project. It’s like a community.”

Mom airs its series finale on Thursday, May 13th at 9:01 p.m. on City & CBS