Returns Spring 2015 for the Final Episodes
AMCtv.com asks January Jones (Betty Draper) about her delivery scene in Episode 5, her own modeling career, and Betty’s smoking and drinking during her pregnancy.
Q: Betty’s hospital and delivery scenes were intense. How did you prepare?
A: I tried to do a little bit of research but every person I asked didn’t have a clear memory, because of what they went through…
Q: ”The Fog”?
A: Yes, exactly. The makeup and hair were a big help — the chapped lips and blotchy skin. It was my biggest fear to do the whole “pushing out a baby” scene. Luckily we didn’t have to do that, but I tried to think of something really painful.
Q: The Demerol dream sequences were mesmerizing. What was it like shooting those?
A: It was fun — it was new and weird. Don has a lot of flashbacks but Betty hadn’t yet. It was good to see her interact with her father. The more abstract stuff, working with the caterpillar on a green screen while on a treadmill, that was a challenge.
Q: By now Mad Men viewers are used to seeing pregnant women smoke and drink. What was it like to actually do it in the scenes?
A: She’s drinking and smoking more now that she’s pregnant! Matt [Weiner] gets a kick out of it. It’s fiction — it’s not like I advocate it — but you have to just laugh at it.
Q: How did you feel about Betty’s wardrobe during her pregnancy?
A: Janie Bryant and I discussed it and decided: She’s still Betty, she’s still fabulous. She’s not going to look dumpy. She has some amazing gowns with that belly. I have a lot of fun with fashion — it really helps you get into character. We have a bunch of silhouettes this season with petticoats, and more form-fitting shapes segueing into mid-’60s.
Q: You began your career as a model at age 18. Betty Draper also had a modeling career.
A: Actually Matt pulled that from my life and brought it to Betty’s character. I didn’t really enjoy modeling. It was a means to an end for me.
Q: Betty’s character has faced many traumatizing events (Don’s infidelity, the death of her father, etc.). How do you adjust to the character’s shifting circumstances?
A: We get the script the day before the table read, which is a day before we shoot. At this point, I look over the script and don’t do a lot of mental preparation. I never had any training — it’s all very instinctual. It’s a blessing to be on a show for this long. Nobody knows the characters better than we do — except, of course, for Matt. We all respect each other so much on the show and all really love each other.