Allison Janney Taps Into That Other Hollywood Stereotype: The Shrew

Sure, there are enough hooker, victim, and doormat roles around Hollywood to keep Lindsay Lohan in Louboutins, but those aren't the only stereotypical female characters swimming in the brains of underpaid screenwriters. There's another cliché almost every actress over 30 has played: The Shrew. So, in honor of the revival of Kristen Johnston's career (and the popularity of shrews in the newest announcements of castings) we are declaring "Shrew" a new category to our Hookers, Doormats, & Victims feature! After the jump: Allison Janney and Kristen Johnston square-off to see who's baddest bitch in new comedies; Sigourney Weaver teams up with James Cameron again; and a remake of Friday the 13th promises to hack all of the popular girls to pieces.



Kristen Johnston, Bride Wars: Johnston will play a self-absorbed, opportunist friend of Ann Hathaway's character. The film revolves around the shenanigans that occur when two BFFs (Hathaway and Kate Hudson) have their weddings on the same day and at the same place. Verdict: Ah, the annoying friend character, almost always a Shrew.

Allison Janney, This Must Be The Place and A Thousand Words: In This Must Be The Place, Janney will play a loud and brassy woman who has "a few screws loose." In A Thousand Words, she will play Eddie Murphy's money-grubbing literary agent. Verdict: Wow! Two Shrews in two separate movies! Now that Janney is getting "old" by Hollywood standards she'll probably see a lot more abrasive female characters coming her way.

Danielle Panabaker, Friday the 13th: Panabaker (who plays James Woods' daughter in Shark) will co-star in this remake of the horror classic. She will be playing an "adventurous, athletic type" who is dating a rich boy. Verdict: A young girl in a Hollywood horror movie? She is definitely a Victim.

Uma Thurman, Motherhood: Thurman will star as a mother of two who faces "a myriad of urban challenges" as she tries to plan her daughter's sixth birthday party. Not sure if this is supposed to be a comedy or a drama. Verdict: While the details are skimpy, a "harried mother" role is usually an emotional Victim of some kind. But we will wait until the movie comes out to impose a real verdict.

Jessica Chastain, Tree of Life: Chastain has been cast to play Brad Pitt's wife in the upcoming Terrence Malick flick about the loss of innocence, as seen by the son of Pitt and Chastain's characters as different individuals race to find the mythical "tree of life." Verdict: There isn't much information about the characters in the film so we will hold off on judgment for now.

Sigourney Weaver, Avatar: Weaver will play a character in a new James Cameron film that was originally supposed to be a man. The plot is about a band of humans colonizing and warring with a distant planet's indigenous population. Weaver describes the character as being "driven, idealistic, perfectionist, but with great heart underneath" and a "great woman character."Verdict: While our intuition tells us that "driven" female characters in Hollywood are almost always portrayed as evil, we will trust ex-Yalie Weaver on this one.

3rd Rock Veteran Joins Fray In Wars [THR via Reuters]
Allison Janney Set For Two Comedies [THR]
Danielle Panabaker Adds "Friday The 13th" To Calendar [THR via Yahoo!]
Trio Preps For 'Motherhood' [Variety]
Chastian To Star Opposite Pitt In 'Tree' [Variety]
Weaver, Cameron Reunite For 'Avatar' [UPI]