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Q: Do you balance work and home life as well as Ken?
A: My wife and I are expecting our second kid any day now, and today I was like, I don’t know if [this interview] is going to work because we had a doctor’s appointment, but then I realized I had my coasts mixed up… But amongst the characters in the office, Ken is very different in that his ambitions, and his priorities lie outside those walls… I feel the same way that Ken does, but I live in 2012 where that’s more commonplace.
Q: This season Peggy quit and Lane died. Do you worry about whether your character will survive?
A: Yes. [Laughs] But I think that’s also realistic and it’s a reality in any business. At the end of Season 3, when Sterling Cooper was dissolved and they began the new agency, even these characters dealt with that. I imagine that most people, whatever they do at any time in this economy or another, relate to that.
Q: Did you actually see anything when you were looking through the window into Lane’s office where his dead body was hanging?
A: There was like a CPR dummy there, and I have to admit that the first time I looked over there it was a bit comical. [Laughs] We’re looking over and are supposed to be horrified and it was a bit of a comical jolt.
Q: Did you have to do a couple of takes to get the right reaction?
A: I think I might have caused us to have to take a second take on that one, if I remember correctly… But it was good for all of us to be looking at something there and eventually I was able to be an actor.
Q: Were you there for the scene where Don pulls Lane off the back of the door?
A: The first time I’d seen it was a couple of weeks ago when it aired… It was tragic and fantastic, and very, very sad for the story and our experience there working… But I thought he did a very good dead body, that Jared Harris. It was very authentic looking, I have to say.
VIDEO: Inside Episode 5, “Signal 30″
Q: Ken has two pen names, Ben Hargrove and Dave Algonquin. What would your alter ego’s name be?
A: I am completely on the spot, but of course I want to answer that… Ken came up with the second one pretty organically. The first one I think he wanted it to sound sort of like his name. [Laughs] But if I was as good a writer as Ken, my own name would be out there. I would want everybody to know that I wrote that.
Q: Season 5 was unexpected in so many ways…
A: With this show, you really get the opportunity to throw away all expectations and enjoy the ride because whatever you expect, there’s a 99% chance it won’t happen, or it won’t happen the way you think it will.
Q: You’ve been with Mad Men since the beginning. How has doing the show changed over time?
A: So much has happened in my life along with the show… I met my wife after the first table read and now we’re going to have our second kid… So much has felt like a dream, and I feel so fortunate that we have some time and story left. Sometimes I think that in life things end before you can realize how great they are, and fortunately we all collectively realize how special this is.