THE WEST WING star Allison Janney loves playing tough press secretary CJ CRESS in the hit US TV show, because for the first time in her life people believe she is intelligent.

The actress insists she has never been especially brainy and she loves the new intellectual image The West Wing has given her.

Janney says, "I am definitely not as smart as CJ. That's why I love playing her, because I can fool people into believing I am incredibly bright and witty.

"I don't always understand the finer points of my monologues on the show. So I just memorise the lines and say them."