Don’t hate Janet Montgomery because she’s beautiful. Hate her because in the span of a little over a year, the talented young British actress has gone from shooting student films with friends to a string of high profile roles that include stints on ENTOURAGE, HUMAN TARGET and the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film Black Swan. Just how did she do it? We recently had the opportunity to find out from Ms. Montgomery herself while on location with the HUMAN TARGET team in Vancouver British Columbia.
Your big break came on a second season episode of SKINS that saw you play a mysterious young girl showing Tony around University. How did that role come about?
Janet Montgomery: That was my first job and you know what I was incredibly lucky. I was doing a student movie and I already had the part sort of doing a favor for a friend and he said, “Will you come read with some of the guys we’re auditioning.” I was like, “all right,” so I go down there and they happen to be casting SKINS in the same building. Now I didn’t have any representation at the time, just literally got to London, but I knew that Harry Enfield was directing, who was a big comedy directory. He was outside having a cigarette, so I just went up to him thinking I may as well do it and I was like, “Is there a part for me?” And he said, “You know what there might be, come read.” And I got the part. I was so cocky, took a chance and it paid off. And if it didn’t, what was the worst that could have happened? You make a tawt out of yourself for five minutes, just go home, get in a bath and wash it off.
With so many incredible TV shows shooting in England, what do you think is the pull for UK actors to continue coming to America?
I guess Los Angeles is like the mecca for movies and television all over the world. Not that that much shoots there anymore, but it’s where all the studios are. So last spring, I went over there for a few weeks just to kind of see it and not really expecting anything. But I ended up getting an agent, a manager and just working straight away. That just happened to be my path, but I’d love to work in the UK, and all over the world really.
What can fans expect in terms of the relationship between Ames and Winston?
He’s a cop, she’s straight out of “juvie”, so you do the math. In terms of what kind of past they have, she’s cocky, funny and she’s a very interesting character for me to play because she becomes so many different characters. She’s always on the ball, smart and not like super feminine, but brings with her this feminine energy and you get to see this young element she brings, and how the guys react, and sort of take her under her wing.
What has been the “guys” reaction [Co-stars Mark valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley], has the injection of two female energy into the show changed their dynamic?
From what they’ve been saying, it still feels like the same show and watching those three together gives me a good idea for their chemistry and how I can slot into that. And while I know the fans — from doing my research have qualms about bringing a woman on and not wanting the show to change — I think they’re going to be pleasantly surprised with how it works. I know the guys are happy with the dynamic and the way things are progressing, which is important because it’s their show.
Having spent the better part of the past year jumping from incredible part to incredible part, do you welcome the opportunity to stick with one character?
Usually I would say no, as one thing I love about my career is all the different parts I get to play. But what makes Ames so attractive is she is such a chameleon where I really do get to play different parts and bring something different to her every day. I get to wear wigs, have different accents, so in that sense she’s an awesome character to play over and over again and I don’t feel like I’m at the point where it will get stale with her. She’s like this obscure shape with so many different sides for me to explore and I’m just having fun right now.
HUMAN TARGET airs Wednesday night at 8PM on FOX (CTV in Canada)