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Rich Sommer, who plays Harry Crane, the head of Sterling Cooper's TV department, talks about acting with John Slattery and Robert Morse and how surreal it was to go to the Playboy Mansion.
Q: You've had many scenes with just you and John Slattery, and a scene with Robert Morse. What's that like?
A: It's pretty incredible. John's a hell of an actor, and we had joked at the beginning of the season about how we had never really done a scene together, and then literally a week after we had been joking about it, we had our first scene together. He's a very playful and generous actor. As for Bobby... he's this enigmatic, Yoda-type guy. He is an acting legend, stage and screen. To sit around with him at work and B.S. is one thing, but to actually get to work with him is another experience entirely.
Q: I hear that you're good friends with Aaron Staton, Michael Gladis and Bryan Batt.
A: It is really funny how our on-screen relationship clearly seems to be inspired by our off-screen relationship. The perfect example is "The Gold Violin," in the scene where all of us are toying with the notion of going to see Cooper's painting. Paul (Gladis) and Harry are sort of bickering at each other, Ken (Staton) is tossing in silly little quips, as is Sal (Batt). That's basically our relationship -- Bryan and Aaron making fun of me and Michael.
Q: The video you did for the AMC contest was fun. Why did you decide to play Peggy and involve Elisabeth Moss?
A: Lizzie and I are pretty good pals, and I knew that she would be up for it. And so I asked her if she'd be willing to do a video with me. I'd wanted to do something from the beginning of the contest, but I hadn't really figured out what. It just popped into my head that she could maybe do it with me and then she was willing and that was what we came up with.
Q: What was it like doing DVD commentary for "Nixon vs Kennedy" from Season 1?
A: It was a really, really self-conscious day. I've listened to many, many commentaries and it isn't until you're sitting and looking at it that you realize that you don't imagine that you have anything to say that anyone could possibly care about. So you start really doing your best to come up with things that might be interesting. And it was really helpful having Jon (Hamm) and Vincent (Kartheiser) there because having them there to inspire conversation or to dispute what you're saying or to agree, that was very helpful.
Q: How strange was it going to the Playboy Mansion after your photo shoot for Playboy?
A: The photo shoot, in and of itself, was incredibly surreal. But the true surreality of it didn't hit until we went to the Midsummer Night's Dream party at the Playboy Mansion, which was right before our issue was going to hit the stands. That whole Playboy experience was very strange. It's kind of a microcosm of this whole Hollywood thing. It's like asking, when you were 10, did you ever imagine that you'd go to the Playboy Mansion? Absolutely not and then one night I did. It was just as crazy and amazing and overwhelming as I ever dreamed it would be.