March 30, 2012 4:56pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Mad Men' Star January Jones Discusses Betty's Season 5 Return (Video)
One of the few things Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner let slip about his series' Season 5 premiere was that star January Jones was not in it.
Pregnant at the start of the 2011 production, Jones taped episodes out of order to give birth to her son -- one reason why she was not in the two-hour opener.
She does, however, appear in Sunday's episode. Ahead of last week's premiere, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Jones about where this season finds Betty and what it means for her marriage to Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley).
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"I spoke with Matt before the season started about what we were going to do, because I had some physical things to work around," she said, referring to her pregnancy. "He came up with a great storyline for me this season. I'm excited for fans to see what Betty does. She's always growing."
Whether her choices take her in a good or bad direction, Jones thinks her character is learning from her mistakes. And one of them might be her second husband. AMC promos for the new episode, which only show the back of Jones' head, reveal that the situation hasn't much improved between Betty and Henry.
"I'm sure there is, but I don't know if she would know it it if she saw it," said Jones, when asked if there was a right man for Betty. "I think she has an idea of what is right for her and what would make her happy. but I just don't think she knows how to find that or acknowledge it when she sees it."
Betty has been, to say the least, a divisive character on Mad Men. Her mothering in particular has been a source of ire for fans since the series began. But Jones, closer to Betty than most anyone, says she still sees the good in her.
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"I think, more and more, as the seasons have gone on and Betty's grown and become more comfortable with her emotions and expressing them, she's become a darker character and a more unlikeable character for the audience," she said. "I'm attached to her. I don't agree with a lot things she does. But I feel I should defend her. I don't understand what she's doing a lot of the time, but I will giver her the benefit of the doubt that she's trying."
During a previous season hiatus, Jones costarred in X-Men: First Class as Emma Frost. When THR asked the actress if she'd be reprising her role in the upcoming sequel, she said, "They're still writing a script. I don't know if I'm in, but I would love to."
Watch the full interview below: