'Mad Men's' Jessica Pare: Megan Thinks She Has It All

The actress tells THR that Mrs. Draper’s booming acting career won't steal her focus from her marriage: "I think that she’s always been trying to make herself happy and make him happy."
"Mad Men"

After avoiding the pitfalls of being with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) for an entire season, Megan (Jessica Pare) is now in the same boat Betty (January Jones) was in back in the first season of Mad Men.

The season-six premiere revelation that Don has gone back to his philandering ways -- this time with Doctor’s wife, Sylvia (Linda Cardellini) -- seems to deflate all hope of the protagonist ever keeping a steady romantic interest. And it makes Megan and her in-the-dark optimism one of the series’ more sympathetic characters at this juncture.

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“Things were moving a little bit for her when her husband made this amazing sacrifice so that she could have something she wanted,” Pare tells The Hollywood Reporter, referring to the commercial audition Megan got at the end of the last season. “I think she feels she’s got it all, which is always a worrisome position for someone to be in.”

Megan’s booming acting career as a soap actress might have her working conveniently long hours for Don, but Pare says that having a strong marriage always has been first priority for her character.

“I think that she’s always been trying to make herself happy and make him happy,” she says. “She wants to be a good partner. I think that’s a fundamental part of who she is. I think she realized at some point in season five, in “The Codfish Ball,” she had this thing that she had to do. And if she wasn’t doing that, she wasn’t fulfilling her purpose.”

Mounting fame likely won't alter her course. Speaking in the most specific terms allowed by the tight-lipped series, Pare says there’s “no fundamental change to who Megan is” in the coming season.

And one thing she still doesn’t know is whether the female hand clinging to Don’s in the cryptic key art by illustrator Brian Sanders is hers or somebody else’s.

“It’s as just a mystery to me as it is to everybody else,” she says, laughing. “I’d like it to be Megan’s.”