Allison Janney was always on the move as a child. The "West Wing" actress played sports and enjoyed figure skating, so staying active was easy. But over the years, exercise took a back seat to Janney's evolving career.
"I think when 'West Wing' ended, I just went into a slump," she recently said.
We all did, Ms. Janney.
Thankfully the popular government drama is back, available for streaming on Netflix due to a new deal with Warner Bros. that sent fans to the couch in rerun ecstasy. And Janney has returned to her active lifestyle, dropping 20 pounds by focusing on her diet and daily hikes with her dogs.
Janney's had more than one high-profile role since "The West Wing" ended: She played the dog-obsessed mom in "Juno," a Southern socialite in "The Help" and Matthew Perry's crazy boss on "Mr. Sunshine." But Janney said White House press secretary C.J. Cregg will always be one of her favorite characters.
"I feel proud," she said. "I feel like I can die happy; I did something good. Not that I'm planning on dying anytime soon."
That's good, especially considering Janney's newest role is spokeswoman for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.
The campaign aims to spread awareness about the No. 1 killer of women: heart disease.
Heart disease kills one woman every minute, according to the American Heart Association, and the gap between women's and men's survival rates continues to widen.
Janney comes from a long line of "cream and butter" lovers, she said. Her family's history of heart disease -- including a grandfather who died of a heart attack -- led her to volunteer for the campaign.
"I feel if there was one cause that I actually had experience with, and a reason to step up for, it would be this," she said. "I hope I can make a difference in someone's life."
CNN spoke with Janney about Go Red for Women, how she stays healthy and where she hopes her career heads next. The following is an edited version of that interview.
CNN: I love the dress that you're wearing in the new PSA; that bright red color looks great on you.
Allison Janney: I love it, too! Red has always been a great color on me, which is why I decided to do the campaign. (laughs)
CNN: What does that color symbolize for women?
Janney: It's blood. It's love. It's your heart. It's vibrant. It's alive. Red is just the most standout, powerful color I think there is.
This famous costume designer I worked with ... said the woman who gets to wear the red dress is the one who's the most powerful. It's the perfect color to go with this campaign, because it's all about keeping women strong and healthy and vital.
CNN: Let's talk about the real reason you're working with the American Heart Association.
Janney: I had a bit of a scary experience with my mother who, like most women I think, ignored the symptoms.
She was driving, going to see the grandkids. She was in a motel and probably had what was a very small heart attack -- but a warning. She just thought she was having this unbelievable pressure and discomfort in her neck and shoulders.
She drove 10 hours to Dayton, Ohio, and drove right to the doctor because she knew something was wrong. He just couldn't believe she drove all that way. She went right into the hospital and had emergency quadruple bypass surgery.
I almost lost her. For that reason alone, I'm glad to be part of this campaign.
CNN: You mentioned that many women feel like they have to tough it out and just ignore the symptoms. Why do you think that is?
Janney: I think, as women, we tend to always put our own needs in the back seat to take care of our family or loved ones. My mother did just that.
Women feel they need to take care of everybody, (but) they can't take care of anybody if they don't take care of themselves.