Mad Men Women
Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

A lot has happened to you, dear readers, over the last year and a half. Perhaps a new haircut. A new drink of choice? A new significant other? But one thing is definitely missing from that list: new Mad Men. That all changes on March 25 when, after a 17-month wait, the fifth season of the Emmy-approved, ’60s-era, martinis-and-Madison-Avenue drama begins on AMC . This week’s issue of EW previews the coming action, and to help get you into the spirit(s), we shared some bonus quotes from the men of Mad Men here. Now it’s time to hear from the women: namely, Elisabeth Moss (Peggy), Christina Hendricks (Joan), and January Jones (Betty).

On the aftermath of Don’s proposal to Megan in the season 4 finale

HENDRICKS : “This is a proposal that was announced in the workplace. Of two people who work in the same office. It’s obviously going to affect everyone around them.”

MOSS: “I felt the same as Peggy and Joan did [in the finale], where you’re just like, ‘What?’ And feeling nervous about it, nervous about it for Don. Just knowing who he is, that he finally started to live something that was at least true to himself, as much as he was going down hard in this downward spiral all of season 4. Getting engaged again just felt like a quick solution, a Band-Aid. But that said, things are complicated and he fell in love. And when people fall in love quickly, it’s always surprising and you’re always a bit nervous about it.”

On the office dynamics at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

MOSS: “The older generation is finding it more and more difficult to stay present and to stay relevant. And the new kids are coming up and they’ve got great ideas and they’ve got their finger on the pulse a little bit more. So obviously in any company there’s just going to come a time when the power shifts, and I definitely think that’s starting to happen in the company.”

On Peggy

MOSS: “I’m just really proud of the person that she’s becoming. She’s developing a sharp sense of humor about life and about her business and about what she does. And this season for her is really, really, really about work…. There’s definitely a moment this season that I will be really, really interested to see what people’s reactions are. And that episode involved my favorite scene that I have ever done in the show.”

On fan reaction to frosty Betty

JONES: “For seasons 3 and 4, people were a little bit confused and felt a little bit more negatively toward her than they did in seasons 1 and 2. I think people liked Betty when she was submissive, unhappy and bottled up. It’s a character you can pity. Yes, she’s lacking parental skills, but people are really hard on her when she’s trying to seek out some things that make her happy. She is an imperfect character. She’s trying so hard and failing most of the time. And I don’t think you see that a lot…. I’m not going to defend the way she treats certain people. She’s got an emotional immaturity that makes a lot of her actions just stupefying to me as well, but at least she’s trying… I feel like I understand her more now than I did. I understand her moves, when she’s at least giving it a go, when she’s exploding with failure rather than imploding and doing nothing. I’ll defend her because I feel like some people aren’t seeing exactly what she’s trying to do.”

On what to expect from Betty

JONES: “You’ll definitely see a different side of her.… It’s a side that the audience hasn’t seen before, ever. And I think that’s a good thing, whether you sympathize with it or not.”

On what to expect from Joan

HENDRICKS : “You’re going to learn a lot more about where Joan comes from very quickly.”

On Joan’s pregnancy

HENDRICKS : “Just because we’ve left her pregnant doesn’t mean that there’s one option.”

On fan reaction to Joan’s romantic life

HENDRICKS : “A lot of people say, ‘I hope your husband dies at war,’ which is a horrible, horrible thing to say about someone. But [Greg] has left such a bad taste in people’s mouths that I get that comment even more than ‘We wish Joan and Roger were together.’”

On whether or not Hendricks wants to see Joan end up with Roger

HENDRICKS : “I don’t know, I think they’re sort of a hot mess together. But it’s hot regardless, so….”

On the 17-month wait for season 5

MOSS: “I hope it builds excitement. That’s the feeling that I’m getting from people who talk to me. There definitely is a feeling of frustration. I get people saying to me, as if it’s my fault, ‘Why hasn’t it come back yet?’… I frankly think it allowed a lot of people to catch up on the show that maybe were [watching] the earlier seasons that hadn’t seen the last season, maybe people that hadn’t watched it at all. I found a lot of people who have been able to catch up on all four seasons, and are now waiting for the next one… I don’t think they’re going be disappointed.”

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