"I don't think we exonerate her completely but I don't think she is as guilty as we all remember her to have been", she said. And I think people come away with a lot more compassion for her'. And that was before her ex-boyfriend, Jeff Gillooly, hired an associate to bash in Nancy Kerrigan's knee in an attempt to prevent Kerrigan from competing in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
Figure skating was Janney's childhood passion and although she doesn't perform any double axels in "I, Tonya", her role is expected to bring the former "West Wing" actress her first Oscar nomination next month. Harding went on to win the USA championship, but finished eighth at the Olympics in Lillehammer, while Kerrigan recovered from a bruised knee to win the silver medal behind Oksana Baiul.
He details Harding's underdog rise to the top of the figure skating world, the infamous Nancy Kerrigan incident, and her subsequent fall from grace -ultimately dubbing her "America's sweetheart with a dark twist".
Gillooly, Stant and Eckhardt all served prison time for the attack, while Harding was given three years probation.
Kerrigan was clubbed in the thigh in an attack orchestrated by Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, that led to Harding being banned for life from the US Figure Skating Association.
Though Kerrigan, 48, has yet to see I, Tonya, it has already received the stamp of approval from Harding. "I'm sure it's hard to be objective when looking at one's own life, but I am told she is happy with it". "She watched the film", director Craig Gillespie exclusively told Us Weekly in November.
While Robbie and screenwriter Steven Rogers met with Harding and Gillooly, Janney had little to go on to play LaVona except for a 1980s student documentary.
"I, Tonya" announces up front that it's based on "irony free, wildly contradictory" interviews with the participants, yielding a darkly satiric comedy with the tenor of a Coen brothers movie.