Mad Men has been a huge hit not just in the US, but around the world. An exclusive episode screening at MIPCOM today drew in the crowds, not least because stars Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss were on-stage for a Q&A session too.
How did they prepare for The Suitcase, the episode which was screened tonight? “Well, we had three and a half seasons…” said Hamm, who described it as a “beautiful, self-contained episode that draws on the intense personal history that these two characters have”.
How does Mad Men compare with The West Wing, which Moss worked on for seven years? She said she feels much more at the heart of Mad Men – “it’s just different being really really there… also the writing is completely different, both brilliant but in very different ways”.
How has steeping themselves in the era of the show changed their worldview? Hamm said it hasn’t: “if anything, it’s served to put a lot of our current social attitudes in perspective, and given us a perspective on where we’ve come from”.
Moss pointed to the light shed by Mad Men on the role of women in the workplace in that era, meanwhile, and admitted that in her twenties, she’d taken a lot for granted, but that filming the show has made her much more aware of how things have changed on this score.
Someone from the audience asks a question: “Who is Don Draper?” A big laugh, but Hamm responds: “It’s a very telling question: there is no answer…” talking about how Draper has created a fictionalised version of himself. “This was the last generation that could have that complete and total self-reinvention.”
How so? Because of technology: Hamm said that nowadays, it’s near impossible for anyone to do a Don Draper – “they’d be found out, people can Google you!”.