New 'Mad Men' Season 'Feels Like Now'
By DAVID WEINER
March 19, 2013
At the end of Mad Men's season five finale episode last June, Megan Draper (played by Jessica Pare) stepped into the spotlight with a role in a Beauty & The Beast-themed commercial, leaving Jon Hamm's Don Draper to disappear into the shadows, straight to a smoky bar to the tune of You Only Live Twice by Nancy Sinatra. Season six of the AMC phenomenon premieres with a two-hour episode on April 7, and the cast explores where their characters are on the precipice of another round of Mad Men.
"I think last season, if anything, [Don Draper] was at his most straight and narrow," Hamm tells ET. "So where we left Don was at a bar, and a woman coming up to him and asking him, 'Are you alone?' And not, 'Are you lonely,' and not 'Are you single?' And the reason I don't think we got an answer to that is because there's a lot different ways to interpret that question, and therefore a lot of different answers. So that's the jumping-off point for season six, and I think that's a big question we explore."
Great television that takes place in a different time period has often displayed a mirror reflection to our current times, and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner says that this new season is no exception.
"I did feel when we were conceiving this season that more than ever there was an intersection between [Mad Men's time period of the late '60s] and this America that we're in right now, this exceptional place that has had a blow to its self-esteem, and that is maybe in a state of anxiety," says Weiner. "You're talking about a gigantic cultural change happening … I'm always looking at a human scale … and I think that for some reason or another, the story of this season feels like now."
Watch the video to see the other stars of Mad Men – including Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Jessica Pare and Kiernan Shipka -- discuss the status of their characters, while January Jones talks about enduring her "chubby Betty" prosthetics and fat suit while being pregnant, and John Slattery talks about his nude LSD scene at the end of the season finale. Was it scripted, or impromptu?