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How Allison Janney Got Ripped To Play Netflix's Lou

If there is one type of movie that has certainly gained a lot of traction over the last decade, it's the movies that involve an older character with a hidden past being recruited to aid the downtrodden. This is probably best highlighted by Liam Neeson's "Taken" franchise, as well as Denzel Washington's "The Equalizer." Not wanting to be left behind, Netflix has crafted their own movie called "Lou," which stars Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett. The "Lou" trailer over on YouTube starts off with Lou (Janney) driving down a remote road when suddenly a child runs in front of the car. Narrowly escaping a tragic accident, Lou admonishes the mother, Hannah (Smollett), and tells her to teach her child to be warier of the world.

Unfortunately, Hannah's child Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman) is later kidnapped during a storm, and in a panic, Hannah reluctantly turns to Lou for help. Luckily for Hannah, Lou has a skill set that makes her significantly more dangerous than she appears to be, as Lou displays elite tracking and combat skills. This is a far cry from the normal roles Janney has appeared in, as IMDb notes that she is famous for movies like "Primary Colors," "Juno," and "Hairspray." So how did the seasoned actor prepare for her role in "Lou" and get in such great shape? 

Janney worked out every single day

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Allison Janney was asked how she got into the physical condition for her mysterious and butt-kicking role in "Lou." At first, she said that she wasn't really working out when approached to play the part, and said the biggest issue with the start of her training regiment was getting her stamina up to par. She then said that she had a specific set of exercises, but struggled to show them to the interviewer, and added, "But these low twisty things, my thighs got like steel from doing them. [Fight choreographer Daniel Bernhardt would] make me do 150 or 200, 300 a day of these twist things that it was brutal. And I'd work out with a trainer, too."

She continued, "So it was hard, but I also loved it and I knew it was a job and I was getting paid to do it. There's something that's nice about working out when you get paid to do it. I felt like, 'it's my job,' and I'm going to do this and I wish I could find someone to pay me to work out just in my regular life." These exercises must have been intense, because Janney appears totally transformed in "Lou." Of course, as she mentions, considering yourself being paid to work out probably acts as a great motivator, and it really is a shame that doesn't generally happen for the rest of us. Still, the character of Lou represents an interesting notch in Janney's career, and one that will not soon be forgotten by longtime fans.