VIOLET GREY – The month of January brings with it a desire for frank self-examination, and once that’s over, an even greater desire for a whole new look. With that in mind, we thought we’d reach out to brilliant actress and longtime VIOLET GREY friend, the appropriately named January Jones. Jones, ever game, agreed to test out this season’s maximal makeup trend—artist Morgane Martini flew in from Paris for the shoot—in front of the glamorous lens of photographer Ben Hassett.
We then met at Nate ‘n Al’s, the storied Beverly Hills diner, for a round of cheeseburgers and a wide-ranging conversation with VIOLET GREY founder Cassandra Grey about sex scenes, parenthood, career fulfillment, and everything in between. The result is just the inspiration one needs to get through the early months of the year, sanity intact—and just for added value, we also got Jones to detail her morning beauty routine. Read on for the very best of January.
Cassandra Grey: Are we all supposed to couple up and be in a monogamous, living-together relationship?
January Jones: I think, ultimately, people begin their romantic emotional lives feeling like that—women especially. So that’s the end goal. I’ve definitely felt like that: I thought I would marry the boyfriend I was with in my early 20s and we would have loads of babies. But then he cheated on me, and I was like, Oh. After a series of disappointments, I’ve just gotten more and more comfortable with myself, where I don’t need a partner to be happy. I was thinking about this in the car the other day: I don’t know that I’d want to get married unless I met the love of my life and it was important to him. Give me the ring but keep the paperwork.
CG: Did you always have a good relationship with yourself?
JJ: I’ve always liked living alone. I like my own space, and I rarely get lonely when I’m alone. And the funny thing now, with having a son, is that I cherish those moments so much—just having a bath alone. Sometimes I think I’d be a great hermit. But I love my time with him—soon he won’t want to sleep in the bed at night, and I’ll be crawling into his!
CG: When you have a kid there’s not a single moment.
JJ: And it limits your sex life, for sure. Because you can’t bring someone home when your kid’s coming into the room. Honestly, my son turns up in the middle of the night and asks for a massage, and then I fall asleep. I imagine that’s what marriage is like [laughs]?
CG: How important is sex?
JJ: Sex, what’s that [laughs]? As my mom always said, sex is a gauge of your relationship, so if you have a good relationship you should be having sex regularly. Even if you’re angry or you’ve been together for a million and five years. You have to force yourself to have that physical connection.
CG: Remember that movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith, where they were trying to kill each other and then having sex?
JJ: That was very real sexual chemistry. They definitely did not have sex during filming.
CG: Have you experienced that while acting?
JJ: No. [And for sex scenes] you have 200 people behind the camera. You can fake chemistry pretty easily—it’s called acting [laughs]. Those scenes are just never that fun. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy pushed me up against a bed in my underwear for X-Men, and that was pretty great. I was like, “I can handle this. Can I have another take?”
CG: I feel like there’s a lot of acting in sex anyway. Good sex is when you feel like you’re so hot.
JJ: Or just comfortable with your body!
CG: Or they think you’re the hottest person in the world, or they love you.
JJ: I don’t know about men, but for women I think that comes with age—knowing and loving yourself. When I was younger, I wouldn’t ask for things I knew I wanted because I was insecure. And everybody’s different, so guys don’t know what’s going to work. But hopefully now I’m more comfortable with my body and my sexuality.
CG: What are you working on at the moment?
JJ: The Last Man on Earth. We have four episodes left of Season Four, and then we wait to see if we get picked up again. Then I’m shooting a comedy in L.A.
CG: What are you looking for?
JJ: Something creatively challenging, but also geographically convenient. And monetarily rewarding! Just that [laughs].
CG: What’s it like filming The Last Man on Earth?
JJ: So fun. We just laugh all day. That’s fun creatively, getting something different [Jones’ character Melissa is quite insane]. I always ask the writers to push my character. And we have a lot of cool guest stars.
CG: Have you tried any new treatments recently?
JJ: I gave in and went to see Nurse Jamie! The pixel laser. I did it two days ago. It takes two weeks, she said, and is supposed to make your skin look like glass and close all your pores. She just did it in my T-zone. But it’s my fortieth this weekend and I wanted to do something!
CG: What are you doing for your birthday?
JJ: We’re just having people meet us at my friend’s restaurant. Going to Big Sur was my proper birthday. I also bought myself a very rare, vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Virgo necklace from the ‘70s. They’re so hard to find, but I saw it on the FD Gallery instagram, and I’m friends with Fernando [the gallery’s treasure hunter], so I just texted him. My son Xander is a Virgo, and it shows a woman standing next to a unicorn, which intrigued me.
CG: How many people are going?
JJ: I think 70? I have a few friends and then their spouses. They’re all people I would consider friends, they’re not just anyone. I’ve never been to the restaurant, but it’s my friend Michael Voltaggio’s place, ink.well.
CG: Are you dating anyone? Is he coming?
JJ: No comment.
CG: Apart from the guy you’re dating.
CG: What do you look for in a partner?
JJ: I’ve always been attracted initially not so much to their looks as their talent or their power or their intelligence, or [the fact that] they’re funny—their ability to make me laugh. Something that would carry into a longer relationship so you’d have something to talk about for years and years and years. You have to keep inspiring each other. The other side is that often people who are super artistic in my business, and that comes with some sort of…yeah, craziness.
CG: It’s way more fun.
JJ: I’m so organized, I’m almost the opposite of every other artist I know, except for when I’m at work. That’s my time to let go and be free. And there are parts of my job where you never feel in control, ever, so I go home and organize my closet or something. There has to be a balance, and balance is very difficult. You never know when you’re going to work next, or if you’re going to work, or where. I don’t know what my hours are going to be tomorrow! So you live your life on call. And you’re under contract, so even though I’m under contract until February, I had to ask to go to Hawaii in March. So I crave order. So being in a new relationship where I felt vulnerable would have to be really special for me to give up control.
CG: And what’s on your mind, right at this minute?
JJ: How much I want a tray to eat my dinner off – it would help to have a chic one, to elevate eating on the couch. Not like those hotel ones, I always knock them over. I’d like one with legs. I don’t want a rickety one, I want a nice one! I just think it’s going to make communication so much easier while eating on the couch, which I love to do. Maybe it will be the new Instapot.
CG: You heard it here first!
JJ: There’s your quote. 2018 is the year of the dinner tray.