All AMC Shows
Movies on AMC
Jessica Paré, who plays Megan on Mad Men, spoke with AMCtv.com about becoming Don Draper's fiancée and breaking the curse of the Draper girlfriend.
Q: Don's proposal to Megan is quite a shocker. Did it ever cross your mind that the season might end this way?
A: No! I was worried that I was gonna fall down an elevator shaft first. Right up until the season finale I was like, "Are you sure this is what you wanna do?" But yeah, it was pretty surprising. ... I didn't want to speculate as to what happened at the end because I felt like I wanted to stay in that mode of living in the moment.
Q: Describe shooting a scene in bed with Jon Hamm...
A: He's a really great actor to work with because he's very supportive. What you see is what you get, which is in direct opposition to his character. The scene we did when we're both in bed -- that really intimate scene before he leaves [my hotel room] -- was my favorite scene to shoot in the whole season. Or maybe in my life. It's just so beautifully constructed and so intimate and warm, and it was such a comfortable environment in which to do that.
Q: Were you nervous since Jon Hamm is such a sex symbol?
A: To be honest, the biggest intimidating factor was that all of these people are such amazing actors and that Jon Hamm is such a great performer. I mean, I've been doing this for twelve years. I know that I'm a decent actor, but it's another thing to be in a scene with Jon Hamm and hold your own. He's very good-looking, but I don't think that freaked me out so much as I was like, "Yay!"
Q: What makes Megan different from all the other ladies who didn't get the ring?
A: I think she's more modern, in the sense that she has a secretary job for now but she fully expects to do something more with her career. I think she sees this job as the right place for her to be at 25 [years old] in New York. It's not like she takes it for granted that she's going to move up, but I think she doesn't necessarily see it as an obstacle so much as someone just a few years older than her might.
Q: People are going to have a lot of opinions on whether Don and Megan are a good match. Do you think they are?
A: I think so, and maybe it's because I'm hopeful for Megan and Don, but I think she's got a really natural, nurturing warmth to her, and I think he responds to that because, as he says in the finale, I feel like myself when I'm with you, but the me that I want to be. And that's a really good place to be with a partner.
Q: What does Megan's engagement ring look like up close?
A: It was beautiful, and it's real diamonds. Like 1.5 karats or something. The funny story about that is before I'd read the script, props had to measure me for a ring. So she came in and was like "I don't know how to do this without giving anything away, but we still have to do it." I didn't want to think about what it might mean. Until I read the script, I wasn't believing anything.
Q: When you first found out you were becoming Don's secretary, did you start skimming your scripts to see you if you had any love scenes with him?
A: There was one funny moment, actually. I think it's the first episode that I am officially his secretary and there's a mix-up with the government forms, and then at the end of the episode it was written that he's staring at me through the door. There's this joke on set that once you become involved with Don, your days are numbered on the show. So people reading that sentence were like, "Oh, man. Well, it was great to know you."
Q: How was working with Matthew Weiner different from working with other directors?
A: I'd worked with Michael Uppendahl twice and John Slattery twice, and Phil Abraham. They're all amazing. But working with Matt, I didn't have to wonder whether or not he liked my work because he was right there. If I wanted to try something I wasn't sure he liked, he was there to tell me that he didn't like it. So there was that sort of immediate feedback from him that was definitely great to have.
Q: Have you ever done any kind of secretarial work?
A: I used to assistant produce automotive photo shoots and do a lot of personal errands for the photographer.
Q: Did this role call up memories of that job?
A: Absolutely. When your boss is very particular you kind of have to try to get into his head, and in my case the photographer was a man, as well. That line she says -- I know everything about you and you don't know anything about me; I think about you all day, even when I go home -- that's something that I really could identify with, because your job all of a sudden becomes looking out for somebody else and anticipating their every desire. Well, maybe not their every desire.
Q: You're very good with Don's kids in the show. How are you with children in real life?
A: I grew up around a lot of kids. I have an enormous family because I'm from Montréal and my family's Catholic, so my dad has eight siblings and they all have kids and we all grew up in the same property on weekends and summers. And I have to say I loved working with Kiernan [Shipka] and Jared [Gilmore] and Baby Bobo. I think Brody is his name. They call him Bobo. He's so cute and so sweet. I always like to joke on sets when I'm working with kids that they're really unprofessional, but I think these guys were more professional than I am.