AceShowbiz - Janelle James won't reveal her age. Keeping much of her private life to herself, the "Abbott Elementary" actress explains that she will never disclose her age publicly because as she is already a mother, it could limit her career options because of how society views women.
"I'm grown. I have a 20-year-old son. I'm not ashamed of my age or anything like that. But for women - and everybody knows it and acts like they don't - it gives an idea of what you are in people's heads. That's not my jam," she told Variety.
"People have this idea of motherhood, the same way they have an idea of women as we reach a certain age. Each age group, people have an idea in your head of what it is. I don't want that to prevent me from doing anything, because I can do everything."
Meanwhile, Janelle went on to recall her first taste of career success when she "got a laugh" out of an audience during her time as a stand-up comedienne but was unable to move full-time to New York so stayed in a room above a shop for a few nights a week.
She said, "I remember the first laugh I got. In my head, I was like, 'Oh, this is it. This is what I'm doing now,' But I as a big fish in a small pond. There was an air mattress and a rat. I would wake up and get out before the store opened. I'd just walk around all day with my stuff until I did shows and then I'd go back to sleep."
Janelle's fortunes improved when she reached out to "Abbott Elementary" creator Quinta Brunson and explained that getting the role of Ava Coleman was "perfect" because there was no call for her to be "sexy," noting that the only job she would be willing to diet for would be a part in a Marvel movie, even though she did choose to lose 15 pounds between production of seasons one and two.
She added, "If I see it, I'm like, 'F***, I have to diet for this? I don't want to do that.' That turns me off. And I don't want to maintain that. I'll only diet for a Marvel movie. I will give up bacon and waffles to be Storm."
"Now I'm seeing all these people like, 'Oh, Janelle is hot!' So now I've gotta maintain that! I really do. I was like, I should have never lost this weight. Now that's what people expect from me. I just want to be funny and do things! Being hot is work - that's another job."