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"She's just like me," thought Alison Brie when she first read the part of Trudy, Pete Campbell's wife. In an amctv.com exclusive, the actress talks about her character's up-dos and the downside of pitching magazine stories for your husband.
Q: What was your audition for Trudy like?
A: When I first read the script, I loved the role and thought, "She's just like me, I'll be great." But a ton of people read for Trudy, and plenty of girls were called back. A week went by, and I didn't hear from the producers. I was crushed. Fortunately, a few days later I got the part. It turned out the casting people had screened another whole group of girls and still felt they hadn't found Trudy. Matt Weiner likes to tell me that he told them, "Get that girl Brie. Something Brie." Something about me said "Trudy" to him.
Q: After you got the part, did he give you clues about how to play Trudy?
A: "Just remember you love your husband and just be yourself," he said. "She's just like you." I remember thinking, "Fantastic," because that's what I was planning to do. Later, I'd get calls from people saying, "Your character is such a spoiled brat, such a bitch." And I'd think, "Great, the only notes I had were be myself." When you're playing a part, you're so on your character's side that her demands don't seem unreasonable.
Q: Do you have a favorite episode?
A: When Pete asks Trudy to get her ex-boyfriend Charlie to read his short story, because you get to see inside their marriage. Trudy feels blindsided in two ways. It's a sensitive thing, Pete's asking her to go to her ex-boyfriend. Then when Charlie is so forward with her, she's not ready for that. The circumstance brings up the idea of extramarital sex, which was risqué at the time. But what's most disappointing to her is Pete's reaction when the story is going to be published in Boys' Life. She feels like it's a good thing, but Pete's not happy because of what the guys at the office will think.
Q: How does it feel wearing all the gear women wore in the 1960s?
A: It amazes me how much time it took to get ready to go out. All the clothing: girdles, slips, stockings. You couldn't just pop on the nylons and throw on a dress. I think people appeared to be adult so much sooner because they dressed up. Another thing was the amount of time it took to do your hair. For women like Trudy who didn't work, I imagine their days were filled with cosmetics and hairstyles.
Q: Are you ever jealous Trudy doesn't get those incredible flip hairdos Betty Draper gets?
A: Absolutely. I love the down hairdos. A lot of Trudy's scenes are at home with Pete at night and her hair is down. I often get a Veronica Lake wave for those. But the rest of the time it's rock-hard up-do's.
Q: Important question: Do you own a Chip and Dip?
A: I do indeed. It's not very glamorous, more like a Fiesta Ware Chip and Dip. Good for when the game is on. It's used more for chips and salsa, though.