Q: Is there a Joan line or scene that you feel like best sums up her character?
A: I think a scene that sums up where Joan is at now is that beautiful tableau in the Season 6 Finale when they all move out of the offices upstairs, and it’s all the partners looking out on the horizon. She’s standing there with the big boys in the middle of all of them, and she’s standing where she should be.
Q: Once, Joan might have been seen as a traditionalist, but she’s used some highly nontraditional methods to advance her career. Are you still surprised by any decisions the character makes?
A: Not really, and I’d been given advance warning about the [Jaguar] storyline about two years before, so I wasn’t surprised. I’m not really surprised when anyone does anything. It takes a lot to shock me. [Laughs] To me, it’s very human and very real to make difficult choices.
Q: Whose story line besides your own are you most looking forward to knowing the resolution of?
Q: You juggle, Ken tap dances; any other hidden talents lurking within the cast of Mad Men that haven’t made it to the screen?
A: I’m sure [Jon] Hamm has a whole raft of talents. He’s one of those guys that can do anything… Juggling is pretty easy. It looks harder than it is. The hard thing about it is doing it when the camera is turned on and not screwing it up long enough to say the line… Aaron Staton’s tap-dancing, that was really impressive. Tap dancing with the cane and the eye patch. [Laughs] That’s not easy. He was dancing with one leg and one eye.
Q: You directed “A Tale of Two Cities,” the episode at a pool party in the Hollywood hills. What was the most memorable part of directing that episode?
A: It was raining torrentially. It was literally three solid days of rain, so what you see there is actually kind of a miracle… Whenever it would stop raining, we’d run outside the house and shoot whatever we could and made it look like it was a beautiful day in Hollywood. It was actually a really s—-y day in Encino. [Laughs]… There were 50 or 60 extras, and I was acting in it at the same time. It was a lot…
Q: Yet you laugh about it…
A: The whole thing made me laugh. The writing was so funny, from the plane ride out there to Rich Sommer’s character pulling up in the car, was to me just hilarious, and Danny Strong… We also got to use a Steadicam for the first time in the show’s history. We’ve never done that. And we pitched the idea to Matthew Weiner because Don had that whole trippy hash scene where he sees Megan and then they go walking and then he bumps into the soldier and all that.
Q: Roger had a great monologue last season about life being a series of doorways to nowhere. What were your thoughts when you read that scene?
Q: Thinking back to Season 1, did you ever dream Peggy would be in the position she is now?
A: Definitely not. I thought maybe she would be a copywriter, which technically she still is. Only she’s the copy chief. I never really thought that the show would go for seven seasons. None of us were thinking that long-term.
Q: Do you ever feel a personal sense of pride for what Peggy has accomplished?
A: I’m extremely proud of her. I think she’s gotten super cool and a little bit badass, and I think she’s really strong and smart. And I think I’ve always been protective of her.
Q: What was it like filming the scene in the Season 6 Finale where Peggy sits at Don’s desk?
Q: Did you do anything different to prepare for filming the final season?
A: No, but obviously we are all different people because ten years has happened since we started this show. I was 35 when I started this thing, and I just turned 43. It’s been a chunk of our lives, a quarter of our lives. It’s a part of us. And I’ve made some incredibly close friends that I hope to have for the rest of my life, and it’s given me a career. And I can only look back on it with a respect and awe and pleasure.
Q: How are you documenting the end of the process?
A: I think what people are doing is marking things they’re going to steal. I think there is a lot of nostalgia happening. I’m not a big believer in that, though. My memories are good enough for me, and I have some very, very good memories of the show. Hopefully we’ll have some more from this final chunk [of episodes].
Q: Matthew Weiner says one theme for the upcoming season is the material vs. immaterial life, like ambition vs. spirituality and happiness. How do you compare your approach to Don?
Continue reading “Q&A – Jon Hamm (Don Draper)” »
In this interview with amc.com, Matthew Weiner, the Series Creator and Executive Producer of AMC’s Mad Men, talks about watching the cast’s audition tapes and reveals his process for writing the series ending.
Q: A lot of fans are re-watching the entire series to get ready for Season 7. What did you do to prepare?
A: I planned to watch the entire show before I started writing Episode 7 [the finale of Season 7: The Beginning] and did not make it. It is a lot of hours.
Q: How far did you get? And how did it strike you watching it back again?
A: I made it through the end of Season 4, and my children are watching the whole thing right now, which is interesting because Martin, who’s in it, and Charlie’s been in it too (two of my boys), they hadn’t really seen it because it wasn’t really appropriate for them. I’m really proud of it… I’m proud of the commitment to change on the show… There’s a respect for the audience. If Sal gets fired, Sal is fired. Don is starting a new agency, we’re going to build a new set. If Betty has a new life, her husband is going to be a character.
Q: What’s your favorite obscure character or character who was only on the show for a short time?
A: There are some clients we’ve had that are just in one or two episodes. Obviously, Conrad Hilton. That was really a pleasure to watch Chelcie [Ross] again. I loved Ho Ho, who’s the jai alai client. In the first season, there’s Walter, the guy from Bethlehem Steel. It’s interesting to me to look at these actors who are not necessarily famous and even though I cast them and wrote it and even directed some of them, they feel like those real guys to me.
Q: Do you have any coping strategies to deal with stress when you’re writing?
Mad Men‘s Season 6 was filled with moments that made fans gasp, guffaw and take to tweeting. AMC asked Series Creator Matthew Weiner to share the inspiration that led to five of those buzzed-about moments. Herewith, the stories behind Betty’s dye job, Pete’s misstep, Ken’s footwork, Peggy’s breakup, and the line that said it all (along with clips of the moments themselves)…
Betty Dyeing Her Hair – Episode 1, “The Doorway”
“That’s a story from my childhood. My mother was actually a brunette who dyed her hair white blonde when I was a little boy and it was in style. She came in from the hairdresser and I was horrified. And I realized as an adult how painful it must have been for her that I reacted that way.”
Iconic artist Milton Glaser designed the key art for Mad Men Season 7. In this interview with AMC, he reminisces about hanging out with Bob Dylan, the ad business of the late sixties, and his creative process.
Q: You’re responsible for so many iconic images — the I Love New York logo, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album poster, the DC Comics logo. Is there a piece of work you’re most fond of?
A: It’s a lot like having a lot of children — it’s very hard to pick the one that I love the most. But when I’m finished with a job, I’m finished with it. And it just sort of goes into the storage room, and I’m on to the next… Truthfully, I’m more interested in what I’m going to do than what I’ve already done.
Q: Were you a fan of the show before being asked to contribute art?
A: Yes! I watch it all the time. It was an environment that I grew up in. I had a lot of friends in the advertising business, and it was a growth of a particular moment in the advertising world… I used to work for ad agencies frequently — a lot more then than I do now. So I knew the world. And Mad Men is a really wonderful re-evocation of that time.
Q: Tell us about your process. Was it any different for this project?
Bob Odenkirk’s character on Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman, is the kind of guy “who knows a guy who knows a guy.” You know all about Saul — especially if you just watched AMC’s Complete Breaking Bad Marathon at the end of 2013 — and you’re no doubt clamoring for word on Saul’s upcoming spinoff series, Better Call Saul. But the question is: How well do you know Odenkirk, the hard-working comedian behind ABQ’s most unscrupulous attorney? Do you know which TV comedy won Odenkirk his first Emmy? Can you remember what big screen credit he shares with Bryan Cranston? Play the Bob Odenkirk Ultimate Fan Game to find out.
The confrontation with Gretchen and Elliott. Skyler’s bittersweet good-bye. The showdown in Jack’s clubhouse… Breaking Bad‘s Series Finale brought a close to Walter White’s journey in spectacular, jaw-dropping style. And if you’re curious just what went in to making it, check out these 12 pics from the filming of “Felina,” including candid shots of creator Vince Gilligan along with Emmy-winners Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) and Anna Gunn (Skyler White).
All five seasons of Breaking Bad featured unforgettable poster art. In fact, the final season had TWO memorable posters. Is the Season 1 poster with Walt in his underwear your favorite? Or Season 3 which showed Walt and Jesse in haz-mat suits? Revisit all six posters up close with this Breaking Bad Poster Photo Gallery then cast your vote below.Cast your vote now!
The Complete Breaking Bad Marathon begins Fri., Dec. 27 at Noon/11c on AMC. Click here for a complete schedule.