The KISS frontman, star of 4th and Loud and co-owner of the LA KISS Paul Stanley discusses the parallels between managing a rock band and managing a football team and the time he got tackled by an LA KISS player.
Q: You and Gene Simmons have said that you’re really trying to shake things up in the AFL. Do you feel like sports in general could learn from what you guys are doing to draw in fans?
A: What we’re really trying to do is to turn a sporting event into something much larger, something that you can bring your kids to, into something that someone who has no real knowledge of sports can come to and have a great time at. We have amazing dancers… We also have BMX bike riders, we have pyro, we have a live band. It’s an event to be there. Clearly just the concept resonated with people because initially we sold 8,000 season tickets, so people were waiting and clamoring for something like this.
Q: You and Gene are pretty hands-on with the team. What skills from being in KISS are you bringing to running the team? Has there been a learning curve?
A: I think whenever you set out to do something, you have to believe that you can do it, and if you’re smart, you surround yourself with people who can help you accomplish it. A great president is dependent upon a great cabinet. And for us to believe that we had the necessary skills to run a team would have been naive at best. So, between Brett Bouchy, who’s been involved in AFL football for decades, and Schuyler Hoversten who worked with the Dodgers among others, and Bob McMillen who’s been coach of the year in the AFL and on from there, we made sure we brought in the best people possible.
Q: You personally designed the uniforms. What goes into that?
Q: Harry’s in talks to become a partner. Congrats! What was your reaction when you found out?
A: Excited. It’s probably not going to change much for me as an actor, but I’ve been rooting for Harry every step of the way and certainly since day one.
Q: You’ve said before you see Harry as a supporting character. Did you hope that aspect of being on the show would change?
A: Not really, no… I know who the show is about and I know Harry’s position in it and I’m very happy with Harry’s position in it. If Harry Crane suddenly kicked everyone out and it suddenly became the Harry Crane Agency, it still would be a show about Don Draper. [Laughs]
Q: What do you think the Harry Crane Agency would look like?
Q: In the span of a season, Ted went through a merger, an affair and a move to the West coast. Do you even try to guess what’s going to happen to Ted at this point?
A: I don’t try to guess at all because there’s no telling what they’re going to do. I did not see the merger coming… It’s funny, Elisabeth Moss knew about it before I did and she said, “When you read that script you’re going to be really happy.” And then she said, “Wait, wait, not the first thing, the second thing,” because the first thing was that I kissed her. She didn’t want me to think I was going to be happy because I got to kiss her. She knew I was going to be really happy about the second thing, the merger.
Q: When did you find out that Ted’s place in Season 7 was secure? What was your reaction?
Continue reading “Q&A – Kevin Rahm (Ted Chaough)” »
Q: Ginsberg seems like one of the only people happy to see Don back in the office…
A: Yeah, 100%. I think the office was heading in a direction away from creativity and the world that Ginsberg excels in and the kind of world that he came into… It would have been an incredible relief for him to see a piece of that old world show up again. And then almost in the same episode to take that away with a giant scary robot has got to be a scary thing.
Q: The presence of the computer has a really negative effect on Ginsberg. Was that a common reaction in that era?
A: As far as responding to and going crazy because of the machine — there’s only so much research you can do to try to figure out Ginsberg and eventually you have to go, “This guy is not something I can research, he’s sort of his own thing.” … I used to get asked that a lot: “What about this? Was this common? Did you find this while looking at the ‘60s?” No, none of it. Ginsberg’s a lunatic.
Q: What piece of technology today has a comparable effect on people?
Q: After all these years being one of the only kids on set, what’s it like to shoot scenes with other girls your own age?
A: We had a great time. It was all really fun. I think it’s just a really different dynamic working with girls my own age. It’s totally just a different vibe, especially for my character as well. We see her mostly around adults and her parents, so for Sally too it’s a different scenario.
Q: This season, Sally and Don seem to be learning how to relate better. Are there traits you think they share in common?
A: I definitely think that people are a product of their own environment, and I think that Sally in a lot of ways is like both of her parents. Even if she doesn’t want to be… She’s like her father in certain ways, especially when you see them together. She’s smart, she’s sort of conniving, all those sort of traits.
Q: What’s it been like working even more closely with Jon Hamm?
Continue reading “Q&A – Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper)” »
Q: Pete compares Cutler to Machiavelli. Do you think that’s a fair assessment?
A: [Speaking as Cutler,] If I’d been there to defend myself, I would have said “no.” I am not Machiavellian in the least. I’m a pragmatist and a good businessman. But Machiavellian? No. He’s very insecure, Pete.
Q: You’re well known for LA Law and Shameless. Are you also getting recognized on the street for Mad Men?
A: I’m getting recognized a lot for Mad Men. Mad Men has a big audience in L.A. I go for a hike almost every day, and I always pass a lot of people, and a lot of them have something to say. If I go on a Monday, they always want to talk about the episode on the night before. Mainly people want to know, “Why don’t I smile more on the show?” And I say, “Well, Cutler’s not a smiley guy.”
Q: Is that something you had ever thought about before, your character’s lack of smiles?
Q: Is it hard adjusting to life at the SC&P L.A. office? You must miss working with the other actors.
A: It’s mostly hard because I’m kind of a weird duck, and I’ve gotten used to everyone realizing that I’m a weird duck and accepting my weirdness. And now there’s all these new people who I forget that they don’t know that I’m weird.
Q: You live in L.A. Got any advice for Pete on acclimating to the city?
A: Stay off the 405, take Fountain, and don’t believe the hype.
Q: That sounds like that Saturday Night Live sketch, “The Californians,” that jokes about which highways to take in L.A.
A: [Laughs] I love “The Californians!” “I’m just going to leave here and hop on the 101 and exit on Western.” I love that. It’s amazing, amazing.
Q: There are some communication problems between the L.A. and New York office due to ’60s technology. Have things gotten any better since then?
Q: Matthew Weiner told us that your audition for Mad Men was one of the top five he’s seen in his life. What do you remember about it?
A: I auditioned twice. The first time I came in for Peggy. And the second time I came in for a character that he just sort of wrote overnight, which is Betty… But he told me, “There’s this little scene at the end of the pilot, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the character if we get picked up.” But he wrote these two amazing, beautiful scenes within two days that ended up being in the show… I just remember thinking that if nothing ever happened with the show, that I was just happy to be able to do those scenes.
Q: How invested are you in what happens to Betty over this final season?
A: I try not to think about what’s going to happen. You can’t help it a little bit, but I try not to presume to know where her character is going to go because whenever I do that, Matthew Weiner takes it one step beyond my hopes and dreams… Betty has grown a lot, as all the characters have. She’s a lot more self-possessed and confident, and her marriage with Henry has allowed her to be a lot more “her”… But as an actor, I love playing those impulsive sort of scenes where she’s all bottled up, just because they’re interesting compared to when things are happy and sunny and bright and perfect.
Q: What’s been your favorite Betty phase?
Q: Megan and Don have gone through a lot together. Would you have stuck by your man if you were in her position?
A: That’s kind of a personal question. [Laughs] But yeah, I think so. My take on Megan is that she really has this perspective on Don that no one else has. She sees him as this really fun, sexy, really loving, really caring man, and nobody thinks of him that way in the office, certainly. Even Betty doesn’t think of him that way… It’s really easy from an audience perspective to call it naïve because we see what he’s doing and we see what’s going on. But we have to remember that she doesn’t see it that way.
Q: Megan has many emotional scenes. Do you prefer playing those sides of your character?
A: I love playing those more emotional moments. Everybody asks me about the love scenes and the kissing, and I know Jon Hamm is very handsome, obviously, but those emotional scenes are far more intimate than any of that physical stuff, which is ultimately choreography with the camera. And that emotion is what most dramatic actors live for. It’s such a privilege.
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?