1. Mad Men takes place in the 1960s. How much research did the actors do prior to filming in order to truly understand the time period, and their character?
I definitely watch films of the era with a different eye. The relationship between women and men is of particular interest to me. For example, we’ve all seen those horribly sexist ads from that period but how did that play out between men and women on a daily basis?
In all honesty though, and to give credit where it’s due, Mad Men is so meticulously researched that all the attitudes, affects and influences of the time are on the page. Megan is a brilliantly rounded person, and I’m free to think about the woman.
Both are great. I think most actors would agree that work = awesome in any form. The special challenge of TV is not knowing your character’s arc from the outset. In a film you’re able to map it out, charting your character’s progress through the story. Working in television has taught me to be more in the moment, out of necessity, since I don’t know what’s coming next.
I will say, too, that there used to be a feeling that the real art was exclusively made in film. The same could not be said these days; the quality of the writing on TV is so extremely good – the characters are so richly drawn, and the plots so nuanced.
I feel that working on Mad Men has made me immeasurably better as an actor and as a person. The privilege of working with this quality of writing has made me smarter, more empathetic and more judicious. In addition, I hope I’ve gleaned even the littlest bit from this incredibly confident, creative and playful cast.
4. The mid-season finale of Mad Men Season 7 left a lot of things up in the air for some of the characters. Where will these characters evolve from here?
If it were up to me, Don and Megan would be very happy together and nothing bad would ever happen and it would always be sunny out. It would be the most boring piece of shit you’ve ever seen, and that’s why I’m not in the writers’ room. You’re welcome!
Don’s ambition, his intelligence and charm are a few of the things that draw Megan to him, at first. She sees him in such a different light than we’re used to: he’s funny, easy-going, sexy. (Okay, maybe we’re used to that last one.) She sees a vulnerable person struggling to reconcile his two identities; she loves him for who he is and who he wants to be. Unfortunately, she’s not as in love with what he does – that is, the choices he makes.