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We didn't get to see Duck Phillips until nearly half-way into Season 3, but suffice to say, the man has had some memorable moments. Actor Mark Moses talks about his character's scene at the Pierre, and his favorite line for 2009.
Q: In the beginning of Season 3, many viewers wondered, "Where's Duck?" Was there any question about his return?
A: I wasn't quite sure -- just like everyone else. And then I was called and they said, "You'll be back for a number of episodes." I was very excited to come back to the show. I had no idea what Duck was going to be doing in Season 3, so it came as just a big of a surprise to me as the audience.
Q: Duck has a stunner of a moment with Peggy in Episode 7. What was your reaction when you read that twist?
A: My jaw dropped. I had no idea that it was coming. I had no idea it was coming in Episode 5 either. I didn't see how it was going to play out. So when I received Episode 7, it was a total surprise to me. At the table read, it was a great surprise to everybody. It got quite a reaction. I think Elisabeth [Moss] knew something about it, but I was left in the dark.
Q: You had a guest appearance on The West Wing years ago. Did you work with Elisabeth then?
A: I know she worked on it, and she did great work on it. But no, we didn't know each other back then. She was terrific to work with and we had a great time, considering it was quite an odd matchup. In fact, I hadn't really worked with her before Season 3.
Q: Was there any special prep for the scene at the Pierre? Was it a closed set?
A: It was closed to a certain extent. But I think getting in bed with any stranger is always a little nerve-wracking whether it's in real life or whether it's just dramatic license. We had a great time and we discussed certain things during the scene, and I think it came out really well. I got quite a reaction from people across the country about the actual scene.
Q: Positive feedback?
A: Basically surprised reactions. And some positive reaction... It depends how people view Elisabeth's character and what she's going through. Some were like, "I can't believe she did it"; some people were: "Peggy deserves something good to happen in her life." It was either way.
Q: In three years, Duck has transitioned from new guy to someone quite different... Have there been changes in how you approach the role?
This year, I thought Matt did something wonderful in turning Duck's approach to his alcoholism around. By the time you see him, he's got a new job at Grey, and seems to have come to some kind of peace with his drinking. He doesn't make any bones about it. He's back in action, and in a way, more so than in Season 2 when he was still battling it and going through a divorce. He has a new lease on life. Grey has given him a new confidence.
Q: In the Season 1 finale, Duck delivers the now classic line "Good luck at your next meeting." What line from Season 3 most stands out for you?
A: One of my favorite lines is when he's pitching Peggy Grey Advertising. And after she turns him down, he looks at her and says, "Well that's what opportunity looks like, just so you know." I think in many ways, Duck gets inside Peggy's head and what her options are. There are other options outside of Sterling Cooper and might be to her advantage to consider them. I think he had a very realistic pitch and offered her something that wasn't just BS, but was a legitimate step up in the business. I think that was all very out in the open. Duck sees how advertising business is moving and that women are going to be needed in it.Click here to read Mark Moses' interview from Season 2 »
Click here to read Mark Moses' interview from Season 1 »