'Mad Men': Jessica Paré on Megan vs. Betty
Whether you love her or loathe her, there’s no denying that Megan Draper — née Calvet — is going to play a huge role in Mad Men‘s fifth season. Luckily, actress Jessica Paré is up to the challenge — even though, initially, she had no idea that Megan would become such a pivotal character.
“I didn’t know what I was auditioning for,” the French-Canadian actress told reporters this afternoon. “[The role] was vaguely described as ‘female brunette.’ ”
Now, of course, that brunette has moved from SCDP’s front desk to Don Draper’s bedroom. But don’t think this means that the adman has achieved a happy ending. Paré notes that there will definitely be “friction” between Jon Hamm’s character and his young wife as Season 5 progresses. We got hints of that last night, most strikingly when the pair engaged in what one writer called “angry floor sex.” To Paré, though, this scene actually demonstrates why Megan is good for Don: “Megan is Don’s equal in a lot of ways,” she explained. “They are such a great match sexually and physically. And so I think that this is her trying to regain her upper hand.” Paré was so impressed with the scene’s writing that when she read it, she “totally forgot about the fact that I’d be wearing a bra and underwear.”
Megan also shared a few memorable scenes with Elisabeth Moss’s Peggy, another working woman who acts as both a friend and a role model. Paré was pleased to discover that her character and Moss’s have become pals rather than rivals: “At the end of last season, when Peggy and Joan were kind of laughing [at Megan] — it sets it up that they could have an antagonistic relationship, but they’re not.”
In fact, Peggy and Megan share a bond that Paré likens to one of Mad Men‘s strongest relationships. “Peggy has taken Megan under her wing, not totally unlike the way Don took Peggy under his wing,” she says. “I think that Peggy’s someone that Megan looks up to and admires.”
Though Paré stayed tight-lipped about what’s next for both the show and her character, she did drop a few choice tidbits. When asked whether she’ll share the screen with January Jones’s Betty, Paré carefully answered that she’s “worked a little bit with everyone” in the cast. And after another reporter noted that a happy Don might be less effective as a pitchman, Paré agreed that it’ll be “interesting to see where that tension will take them.”
Just don’t bother asking point-blank where Megan will be next season, or even next episode. “It’s up to Matt [Weiner],” Paré said with a laugh. “And if he tells you anything, then please let me know.”