Is she a victim of circumstance? Is Hollywood out to get her? Is this all her own doing? January Jones is a talented actress, make no mistake about that. She also has the looks to go along with her talent. But something is off and we (like many) just can’t put our finger on it. She continues to get work in Hollywood on television, but she hasn’t landed a movie since 2014 and when Mad Men ended she seemed destined to be a bigger star. Why isn’t she?
NOT A BAD START
January Jones began her career in 1999 when she starred in three projects. One was the movie All the Rage and then two TV pilots, Get Real and Sorority. Neither of those two TV pilots landed and it took Jones another two years before she would find her next project.
Most of January Jones’s early career centered around feature films or TV movies. She was seen in The Glass House, Bandits, Taboo, Full Frontal, and Anger Management. She was also seen in the TV movies North Hollywood and In My Life.
During the decade from 2000-2009, January Jones was a very busy actress. She continued her work in feature films getting roles in movies such as American Wedding, a small part in Love Actually, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Three Burials, and We are Marshall. In 2005, she tried her hand at another TV series when she guest-starred in Huff. But in 2007, she finally landed the role that would fit her best.
JANUARY JONES ON MAD MEN
As January Jones continued to work in Hollywood, she was beginning to get herself a bit of a reputation, and not a good one: An Ice Queen. Execs thought was not a very warm person and it was beginning to show.
So, when the role for Betty Francis in the hit series Mad Men came along, it was a perfect fit for her. Her character was described as blonde, beautiful, immature, and emotionally distant. She stepped into those shoes without any adjustment necessary.
In fact, according to Jones, there was no part of Betty Francis until she read for the part that Elizabeth Moss eventually got, Peggy Olson. As Jones told W via Gawker, “There was no Betty in the pilot when I auditioned. Matthew Weiner, the creator of the show, had no intention of showing Don Draper’s home life. I read for Peggy two times-it was between me and Elisabeth Moss, who eventually got the part. At the end of the scene, there was a casual mention that Don was married. Matt went home that night and wrote two scenes that featured Betty. I auditioned a couple of days later, and he made me a verbal promise that the character would grow. I took the part on faith-there was no script or fleshed-out character or Betty plotline.”
JANUARY JONES EARNS AN ICY REPUTATION
But January Jones’ reputation was firmly in place by now. She was reportedly not well-liked on set; she was not well-liked in person. The list of her detractors is long. Much of it comes from how she handles the media, but there are many instances of brushes with other movie stars that left a bad taste in their mouths.
From the media’s point of view, The New York Times wrote about her, “In person Ms. Jones did little to counter these impressions. She shook a reporter’s hand wanly. In conversation, she studiously averted her eyes. Nor would she dish about her off-screen romances. ‘I’m not trying to sell myself,’ Ms. Jones said matter-of-factly. ‘I wouldn’t know how.’”
January Jones was spotted at a restaurant with friends during the San Diego Comic-Con. “She was in a really foul mood and sat by herself, chain-smoking an e-cigarette while her friends danced. She was completely disinterested, and no one knew why she was there.” Even comedian Zach Galifianakis ripped Jones to EW upon his meeting her. “I was at a party — I’d never met her — and she was like, ‘Come sit down.’ So I sit at her table and talk for 10 minutes, and she goes, ‘I think it’s time for you to leave now.” So I say, ‘January, you are an actress in a show and everybody’s going to forget about you in a few years, so be nice.’”
These are just a few instances where January Jones’ reputation preceeded her.
JANUARY JONES NOW
Now 42-years-old, not much has changed when it comes to January Jones’ reputation. But she does continue to get work. While on Mad Men she earned roles in big budget movies like X-Men: First Class. However, After Mad Men ended in 2015 (she appeared in every episode of the series) her movie career dried up . The last time January Jones was in a feature film was in the 2014 movie Good Kill.
The end of Mad Men wasn’t the end of January Jones’ acting career, though. She simply had to shift to working on smaller projects. She immediately went to work on The Last Man on Earth, January Jones appeared in Animals and Return of the Mac. Most recently, Jones was seen in The Politician and Spinning Out.
With all the bad publicity, some wonder how January Jones continues to work in Hollywood at all. Her love life, at times, seems just as messy. She has been linked to many (Jon Hamm, Liam Hemsworth, Nick Viall, Ashton Kutcher, Bobby Flay, Matthew Vaughn, Noah Miller); she has a son but refuses to name the father. Perhaps it is no one’s business but when you are in the spotlight and your reputation is nowhere close to a good one, a little goodwill can go a long way.
January Jones doesn’t seem to care much about public perception. She continues to get projects in Hollywood, which for her, is enough to remain a working actress.