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NYT Interviews Jon Hamm; Mad Men in Center of EW Bullseye

This week, The New York Times interviews Jon Hamm, while Entertainment Weekly places Mad Men in the center of “The Bullseye.” Plus, Matthew Weiner discusses Don and Peggy with HitFix. Read on for more:

• Jon Hamm talks to The New York Times about “the moments — triumphant and otherwise — that made Don Draper who he was.”

• Don, Peggy and Joan are in the center of “The Bullseye” of Entertainment Weekly, which laments, “We’ll go Mad without these men — and women — on our TVs.” [No link]

• Interviewed by HitFix, Matthew Weiner talks Don and Peggy, how “I love their relationship, because it is not chaste, but it is not romantic, but they are in love with each other in so many ways. And it shifts from like brother to father to husband.”

The New York Times chats with Matthew Weiner and Kiernan Shipka about growing up on Mad Men, with Shipka sharing that the show “made me fall in love with characters, flawed ones, that are real and have voices.”

• CMS Wire interviews Keith Reinhard, an original Mad Man who is often speculated to be an inspiration for Don Draper’s character, about working in advertising in the 60’s and the accuracy of Mad Men.

The Hollywood Reporter gets insight from members of the cast “about their biggest episodes — and some of the more absurd moments on- and offcamera that helped make them so memorable.” Matthew Weiner also talks to THR about Chauncey and the characters he wishes he used more.

USA Today also talks to the actors “about some of their favorite episodes and other memorable happenings.”

The Wall Street Journal provides a Season 7 refresher, “even though we can never really prepare for what series showrunner Matthew Weiner is going to throw at us next.” And Gothamist looks back at how every season so far has ended.

• John Slattery talks to The Daily Beast about Roger and Joan and how he doesn’t know “if they’re meant to be together. One of the best things about the show is it’s not explained why they’re not together.”

• “Directing the show was the best lesson in acting,” John Slattery reveals when discussing with The Wall Street Journal how Mad Men changed his acting.

• Talia Balsam was the only actor who never had to audition for Mad Men because “I had the experience of being in three auditions with her at The Sopranos. I knew exactly what she did, and I wrote the part for her, and I knew it would work,” Matthew Weiner discloses to TVLine.

• Matthew Weiner gives the Associated Press a hint of what’s coming up: “The incredible windfall they [the partners] got at the end of last season wasn’t just a plot device. It is propelling them into these last seven episodes: Once all your material needs are met, what else is on your mind?”

• Jon Hamm talks to HitFix about Season 7 starting at the L.A. airport, “all bright colors and new things and shiny planes, and new things and hippies and hot women and colors and psychedelics, and through it all moves this gray man that we’ve seen for the last 10 years, and he’s exactly the same.”

• In a HitFix conversation, John Slattery addresses Roger losing Bert, how it “leaves him without a father figure certainly. That’s what Bert was and I think the enjoyable part of those scenes was that he really wasn’t my father, so I could be irreverent with him in a way that maybe I couldn’t be with my own father.”

• Vincent Kartheiser tells Vulture that playing Pete was “great. Pete was fun. I mean, the dialogue that they wrote was amazing. For all of us. All of us had amazing dialogue! And really unique voices, and it was on the page. It was right there.”

HitFix gets Vincent Kartheiser’s take on Pete and Peggy, how “they share moments of deep intimacy and they’ve shown each other their hearts. And their hearts don’t change and so they’ve seen each other’s wounds and I think that it’s created a really significant unspoken bond and trust.”

• In a chat with the New York Daily News, Matthew Weiner says, about the series ending, “I’m very aware that this is the way the characters will be left forever. Because of that, I feel a responsibility to them. And I think it will be rewarding for people who have watched.”

The Financial Times lunches with Matthew Weiner at New York’s Café Boulud and learns that, from a storytelling perspective on Mad Men, “We’ve stuck with that from the beginning, saying that, if we like it and understand it, there’s a chance the audience will like it.”

• Elisabeth Moss teases to Reuters that, at the start of the final episodes, Peggy “meets this guy and she gets carried away and thinks ‘Oh my god, this could be something.’ But of course, in typical Peggy style, she is not quite as good at it as you hope.”

Variety tours the Mad Men exhibit at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image with Matthew Weiner, who gives “what amounted to a guided tour through the canyons of his mind.”

• On NPR‘s “Wait Wait …Don’t Tell Me,” Matthew Weiner says that Mad Men “runs on conflict, and super confident people with no problems and great marriages and great parenting are not good entertainment.”

• Matthew Weiner talks spoilers with The Huffington Post: “I don’t care what anybody says. They don’t want to know. Sometimes they want to alleviate their anxiety so they can enjoy the show more, because it can be tense. But I think they enjoy that.”

• Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Janie Bryant details seven standout Mad Men costumes, such as the time Peggy wore pants (“I felt at that moment, she had arrived”) and when Betty let her guard down (“one of the first original costumes I designed for the show”).

• Similarly, Time shows off what it considers 10 of “the most iconic” looks from Mad Men, while E! Online goes straight to the show’s main ladies to find out what they thought were their best and worst looks.

• Kiernan Shipka tells Vogue she loves a photo of Sally in her ballerina costume sitting on Don’s lap “and it’s just heartbreakingly sweet because she’s so happy! It’s just such a sweet moment . . . . It sticks out to me as a special little capturing of their father-daughter relationship.”

• Kiernan Shipka speaks with National Post about the Season 7 diner scene between Sally and Don, how there’s “a new standard of honesty in their relationship and I think that was seen there.”

• As part of a Marie Claire photo shoot, Kiernan Shipka characterizes Sally as “very strong and independent. Very perceptive, too. I don’t think she’d want to be friends with me, but I’d to be friends with her!”

• Interviewed by E! Online, January Jones credits Betty for becoming “braver than I normally am, just because she is so beautifully flawed and complicated. I just felt like I could get away with anything when her, so I’ll just miss her. She was a gift of a role for an actress.”

Vanity Fair attends a black-tie gala in Los Angeles ahead of Mad Men‘s return, where Matthew Weiner says, “TV writing is for people who hate being alone more than they hate writing. I was never alone on this journey. Everything you see is an act of collaboration.” People runs photos of Jon Hamm and Kiernan Shipka (then and now) at the event.

• At Mad Men‘s Museum of Modern Art screening, Jon Hamm says to The New York Times that, for Don, Mad Men is “increasingly about getting older and becoming irrelevant in an industry that continues to put a very high value on relevancy and currentness and cool.”

• The Film Society of Lincoln Center posts a podcast of a conversation with Matthew Weiner and several cast members that featured favorite clips from various seasons of the series. covers the presentation of Mad Men artifacts to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History at a ceremony attended by Matthew Weiner, Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery. BBC News also has an account of the occasion, while The Washington Post has a video of Weiner speaking at the event.

• Talking to The Daily Beast, Matthew Weiner compares Tony Soprano and Don, “these dark, brooding, terribly sexy-yet-troubled existential heroes.”

Vulture chooses Season 3’s “The Arrangements” as a quintessential Mad Men episode, “a relatively quiet episode, and not one that’s thought of as a milestone in any creative or dramatic sense. But it’s intelligent, heartfelt, and complex, and I think about it all the time.”

International Business Times recommends viewers check out Mad Men‘s 10 definitive episodes, which range from “The Suitcase” to “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”

• The cast shares its favorite memories of the show with the New York Post, including Jon Hamm disclosing that, when he looks at Don’s relationships, “the one thing I come back to, almost 100 percent of the time, is his kids.”

• The Los Angeles Times traces the way the show’s women “climb their way out of their fates as unappreciated secretaries to become pivotal players during an era when it was rare to see women break through the glass ceiling or chart their own paths.”

The Wall Street Journal compiles a list of Mad Men‘s “healthy stash of trippy moments from its six-and-a-half seasons.”

A.V. Club tells the story of Mad Men (“a trove of memorable ad campaigns”) in seven pitches.

Vulture asks the Mad Men cast who the funniest Sterling Cooper employee is — and Jon Hamm responds, “The answer is always Roger Sterling. That’s all I can say.”

• Jay R. Ferguson, answering A.V. Club‘s 11 Questions, talks about the time he was mistaken for The Walking Dead‘s Andrew Lincoln.

A.V. Club also poses its 11 Questions to Kevin Rahm, who reveals his adolescent crushes were Nancy McKeon and Farrah Fawcett.

• And Christopher Stanley tells A.V. Club that if he could have played anyone else on Mad Men, it would have been Roger, although he says, “Not that I could do it justice because [John] Slattery is so incredible in that role.”

• Matthew Weiner tells The Jewish Daily Forward that, in Season 1, he “loved this idea of Rachel Menken explaining a secular version of Judaism, and the emotional and political relationship with Israel that I have and a lot of American Jews have. Which is a great kinship but you know, we don’t live there.”

Vulture also has highlights of Matthew Weiner’s discussion at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage, including his contention that Don was “a hero of assimilation.”

A.V. Club examines 17 pop culture influences that “walked into the offices of Sterling Cooper (and its subsequent permutations), closed the door, took a seat, and walked out as wholly new creations of Mad Men,” from Saul Bass and North by Northwest to John Cheever and Bewitched.

• Conversely, A.V. Club reflects on the show’s influence on pop culture, going “beyond TV, as its characters’ powers of persuasion reached the screen as well as the stage, and shaped the dramatic discovery of one decade into a reliable comic voice of the next.”

The Wall Street Journal examines the meaning of elevators to Matthew Weiner and Mad Men and how they “served as a cinematic jewel box that he returned to repeatedly throughout the influential cable-TV series.”

• Matthew Weiner adds to The Wall Street Journal that there’s “a public space element” to elevators “that I find really heightens subtext and drama because they can’t really say what’s on their minds.” Elisabeth Moss tells WSJ that her favorite elevator scene was at the end of Season 4’s “The Beautiful Girls” when Faye, Joan and Peggy all get into the elevator and “the doors close on them looking a little bit unhappy.”

• The Los Angeles Times traces 10 childhood moments that Sally will have to discuss with a psychologist since she’s been “exposed to enough family dysfunction to necessitate a few decades’ worth of intensive therapy.”

SundanceTV has a quiz to test your Mad Men knowledge and also administers a personality test to figure out which Mad Men character you are.

Flavorwire thinks that Peggy’s “transformation from fashion-backward secretary to corner office-holding, power suit-wearing boss is feminist inspiration with a side serving of peril.”

• Speaking to Rhapsody about Betty, January Jones says, “if that’s my legacy, then that’s not the worst thing. That’s kind of awesome, actually. She’s, like, the best character ever.”

• Kiernan Shipka tells The Vine she’s rooting for a Peggy spinoff since “I’ve always been a fan of her character so I think that’d be really neat.”

World Screen talks to Matthew Weiner about Mad Men‘s lack of judgment about its characters, how the show is about “admitting what human behavior is like and not having television represent a different standard or a fantasy standard.”

A.V. Club argues that Don isn’t an antihero, that in fact he’s “a socially sanctioned confidence man hiding his broken interior with a suit. He doesn’t exist on a good-bad continuum. He’s simply a man who wears many masks.”

MStars lists five reasons to watch the final episodes.

TVLine speaks well of Fox’s Last Man on Earth, observing, “And for not being a comedienne, January Jones is holding her own opposite Professional Hilarious People Will Forte and Kristen Schall.”

• The London Evening Standard gets the scoop from Christina Hendricks about her favorite places in London.

• According to Deadline, Aaron Staton has joined the Season 3 cast of Showtime’s Ray Donovan in a recurring role.

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