Could anything good possibly come from this whole Mad Men impasse? Things looked awful bleak yesterday, when AMC officially announced that the sorely missed show wouldn’t return for a fifth season until March 2012. A year from now. (UPDATE: What a difference a day makes: We’ll still have to wait for new episodes, but at least the Great Mad Men Impasse is now settled.) How would Sally survive without all of us faithful audience members cheering her on each week while sticking pins into our Betty dolls? In the last two seasons, 11-year-old Kiernan Shipka has transformed from a perfectly fine kid actor into a genuine powerhouse, her troubled Sally so full of worry and rage, at once completely vulnerable in the face of her disappointing parents and somehow tougher and better than the both of them. But now with Mad Men‘s production schedule delayed, Shipka’s spring is suddenly freed up in interesting ways. Last fall, she told EW that she planned on spending the hiatus exploring possible movie roles. “I would love to do a big action film,” she said. Oh, honey, may we suggest The Hunger Games?
I’d never even considered Shipka in the role of Prim, Katniss’ dear and innocent younger sister who is originally picked to go fight to her certain death in The Hunger Games, until the crap news of Mad Men‘s delay. But now I can’t get the idea out of my head. The girl has serious chops, with many fans crying out to see her nominated for an Emmy last year. She’s 11 years old — Prim is 12 at the start of the trilogy — and come to think about it, Shipka kinda looks like Jennifer Lawrence. With Mad Men‘s schedule pushed until who knows when, that means Shipka could theoretically accommodate The Hunger Games‘ late May production kick-off. Director Gary Ross’ camp wouldn’t comment about whether they’ve met with the young actress and Shipka’s rep wouldn’t yet comment on her client’s next move. But surely somebody in power must think this could work as well as I do?
I thought about signing off with one of my favorite clips of Sally from the show — maybe that time she fell in the hallways of SCDP&C, or one of her therapy sessions, or maybe that time she demanded that a kitchen table full of adults acknowledge her grief over the loss of her grandfather. But then I found this clip instead from backstage at the Emmys, when, in a brilliant bit of comic delivery, Shipka shone brighter than all of her beautiful cast. I miss Mad Men. I miss Sally.
Does anyone else think Shipka would make a perfect Prim, or am I letting my anxiety and grief for my favorite show cloud my judgment? Is she too small and young-looking for the part? If not Shipka, who? And while we’re at it, is there a part in the movie for Sal?