Most casts show up at PaleyFest prepared to tease at least a few upcoming plot points.
But most casts aren’t governed by Matt Weiner.
The notoriously tight-lipped but charismatic stars of Mad Men bravely took the stage Friday night to dodge moderator Michael Schneider’s questions. Let’s just put it this way — you could glean more information from one of the show’s infamous Next Week on Mad Men teases.
Here are five tidbits we learned from Weiner, Jon Hamm (Don Draper), Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris), Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson), Jessica Paré (Megan Draper), Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Cambell), Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper), and Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper).
Everyone is sad that Mad Men is ending.
“A week from today we’ll start shooting,” Hamm said of the final seven episodes. “We’re in some phase of grief at this point and it’s probably denial. We’re collectively starting to realizing that the end is coming faster than we thought it was.” His M.O.? “Have as much fun as we’ve always had making the show until we can’t make it anymore. That will be emotional but inevitable.” Hendricks said she’s “just bracing” herself. Paré said she cries every day. And Moss? She’s been texting Weiner about the boulder in her chest, and the inevitable end of the show, and the consistent relationships. She laughed: ” I don’t plan on seeing any of these people ever again.”
Don and Megan don’t necessarily want to be pregnant.
The moderator started in on a line of questioning about Megan and Don and how their plans might not be lining up, implying that Don wants Megan to have his child. “I don’t know that Don wants her to be pregnant necessarily,” said Paré quickly. “I might take issue with that, too,” Hamm added. “It’s a time where feminism is bubbling up in the culture. Megan takes it more for granted that she can have everything,” said Paré.
About Megan’s future on the show and that Sharon Tate thing…
Things were unresolved at the close of the final episode of season 6, when Megan walked out on Don after he told her that she had actually quit her job in vain. They would not be going to California. It’s a fair question as to whether or not she’s coming back, though her appearance on the panel and in all the promos would suggest “yes.” Even so, Paré stayed silent. Kartheiser jumped in, though. “None of us are,” he said. The Sharon Tate conspiracy theories remain unlikely but technically unresolved, too. Paré didn’t even admit that she was aware of the speculation. “But maybe we’re all dead,” she said.
Peggy is finally “asking the right question.”
We left Peggy Olson in a somewhat devastating spot. Ted has just informed her that he would not, in fact, be leaving his wife for her, and he’d also be fleeing to California to lessen the awkwardness. But don’t cry for Peggy just yet; things may be looking up for our intrepid copy editor. “I think her story is one of finding out who she is,” said Moss. “Should she be Don? Should she be Joan? Should she be someone’s wife? Someone’s mother? I don’t think she’s figured it out yet but she’s finally asking the right question: Who am I?” As for that whole Ted situation? “I think Ted misled her,” she said diplomatically. “That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise,” she laughed, adding quickly: “I didn’t write that. That’s from The Apartment.”
Don is even more aimless without his job.
Don Draper has had some dark moments, but he’s always had his job to fall back on and obsess over. “His marriage is in trouble, his relationship with his kids is tricky at best, and now work isn’t there,” said Hamm. “Don is trying to process his life and his place in his job, his career, his family, everything.” And he’s made some uncharacteristic mistakes of late, including the disastrous Hershey’s pitch. “That was a completely honest moment for him. He thought, I’m going to try this because it’s a step in the right direction,” said Hamm. “But it was a step in the exact opposite direction.” Don’t dismay, though. Hamm ended on a hopeful note: “There’s one principle to Don: He’s a survivor. He rises to the challenge.”
Mad Men season 7 premieres April 13 on AMC.