I finally sat down to watch the premire of Mad Men last night, and it did not disappoint. Other than the oddly bizarre ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’ scene, it was pretty decent!
On Don Draper: “There is no Don Draper. Don Draper was blown up in a ditch in Korea. That whole ‘Be Don Draper’ thing, I feel it’s… sad. This is a fundamentally f**ked up human being.”
On the sweetness of his success: “It’s certainly sweet. There’s a lot of talk about, ‘Oooh, you’re so sexy!’ If people put that mantle on you, fine, but you take it with a wink and a pinch of salt. At 41 I’m like, give me a break, man, I’m no Ryan Gosling. And that’s fine. I don’t aspire to be that. That’s not my jam.”
On using his own struggles with grief and depression to play Don Draper: “If the audience is picking up on some kind of ‘lost’ vibe I’m giving out, then great. I hope that lends a deeper resonance. It’s not anything I’m doing consciously. All we can do as actors is bring our own personal experience to the role. My mother died when I was 10, so I did have far more experience of being raised outside my family than I had from my own home, probably. But who cares?”
On seeing a shrink aged 20 after the death of his father: “Talking to anybody helps. Talking to your friends helps. But your friends are your friends. They’ll tell you what you want to hear. The shrink doesn’t sugarcoat it: ‘Hey, you’re f**ked up. Do this, this and this. Don’t do this anymore.’ It’s a wonderful third-person perspective that you get from an analyst. It’s invaluable, I think.”
On first reading the script for the Man Men pilot: “I remember picking it up. Mad Men: sh-tty title. AMC: network no-one’s ever heard of. Two strikes. Then I read it. I said to her Jennifer, ‘This is the best pilot I’ve ever read in my life.’ She’s going, ‘What?’ That’s never the response to a pilot. Sometimes, at best, you’re like, ‘Hey! It’s not terrible!’ And I just thought, ‘I have to be in this show.’ And thus began the long, winding road to getting cast.”
On fame impinging on his life: “Obviously you can’t go tear it up and act like an idiot, but at a certain age you should probably stop doing that anyway. I’m not that interesting to follow around. I don’t fall down and you can’t see up my skirt.”