10/13/2009 at 12:00 PM EDT
Don't tell January Jones what she can't do. Even if you're Ashton Kutcher
Back when the South Dakota-born Mad Men
actress – she plays Mrs. Don Draper – first arrived in Los Angeles and was dating the now-Mr. Demi Moore, Kutcher didn't think the onetime Abercrombie and Fitch model could make it as a thespian.
"[He] was not supportive of my acting," Jones, 31, says in the new issue of GQ
. "He was like, I don't think you're going to be good at this. So – f--- you! He only has nice things to say now – if anything, I should thank him. Because the minute you tell me I can't do something, that's when I'm most motivated."
It also helped that she simply didn't much care for modeling. During a visit to Paris, Jones had an epiphany at the gravesite of Doors frontman Jim Morrison.
"I felt like, God, I'm miserable. I hate modeling," she says. "When I moved back to New York, the agency said I owed them $20,000. So I left the agency and then – very quickly – decided to go to L.A. and try acting. Without any training."
Now a successful, Golden Globe-nominated actress who's a critical darling in her role as Mad Men
's Betty, a repressed suburban housewife
in the 1960s, Jones is dating a friend of eight years, a lawyer in Oregon. After Kutcher, she'd dated singer Josh Groban for a number of years
"What I want is James Brolin in Amityville Horror
, minus the horror," she said. "A guy with a beard who can swing an ax."