13 April 2011

January Jones on her role in Mad Men: originally, there wasn't going to be a Mrs. Draper.

In her recent interview with W Magazine, January Jones said that, originally, Mad Men wasn't going to show any of Don Draper's home life - the role of Betty Draper was created specifically for her after she auditioned for the role of Peggy:

"There was no Betty in the pilot when I auditioned. Matthew Weiner, the creator of the show, had no intention of showing Don Draper’s home life. I read for Peggy two times—it was between me and Elisabeth Moss, who eventually got the part. At the end of the scene, there was a casual mention that Don was married. Matt went home that night and wrote two scenes that featured Betty. I auditioned a couple of days later, and he made me a verbal promise that the character would grow. I took the part on faith—there was no script or fleshed-out character or Betty plotline."

It's interesting to think about how different the show would have been without Betty and that aspect of the plot.  I think the depiction of Don's home life is a large part of why it's so successful - it shows Don's complexity, rather than as the one-dimensional stoic he tends to be at Sterling Cooper (or Sterling Cooper Draper Price or whatever the hell his agency is called now).  I also think that the large female following the show was able to build is due in large part to January Jones's role.  Again, she adds another dimension that I think would have been sorely missed.

Check out the article here, or just gaze in awe at the pics from the accompanying photo shoot, below.

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