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In the span of just one season, Jessica Paré‘s Megan went from a glorified Mad Men extra to dominating screen time during Sunday’s Season 5 premiere. And now the newly minted Mrs. Draper has gone viral.
Paré’s rendition of ’60s French pop song “Zou Bisou Bisou,” part of a poorly-received surprise party for Don (Jon Hamm), topped water cooler conversation and social media for much of the day.
“It’s really exciting,” the 29-year-old actress said on Monday. “At the time, I just was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m new on this show and I have to do an entire song and dance routine for the entire cast of Mad Men.'”
In all of the excitement, she says it also slipped her mind that her formal recording of the song would go on iTunes, where it’s been available to download since midnight on Sunday.
“I got to go to a real, grownup recording studio and sing the song like a professional,” she said. “I worked with a choreographer, Mary Ann Kellogg. I think we had three six-hour sessions together, which was my first hint that it was going to be a little bit more complicated choreography than I had expected. Working on it, practicing it… I think it would come to about a week and a half.”
The result of her work must give her some satisfaction. Megan’s increased role with the Season 4 engagement was greeted by skepticism from a lot of fans, but the critical reception to Sunday’s performance has been marked by a lot of approval.
“I’ve been waiting for today and last night for months,” she said. “I’m really proud of the work I did. I couldn’t be more honored or proud to be part of such an amazing cast or such an incredible show. I’ve been doing this for 14 years… It’s a huge, enormous gift.”
But its not all light fare for Paré. The episode’s other big scene, in which Megan and Don engaged in some rather heated reconciliation on their dirty living room floor, drew nearly as much attention as her song-and-dance.
“Is there really any problem that can’t be solved that way?” Paré joked.
Still, though the scene and their disagreements foreshadow deeper troubles for the new couple, Paré says Megan and Don are happy — at least by Mad Men standards.
“Obviously, there will be some friction between them. I think the seeds of it are pretty well sown in this first episode,” she said. “I’ve put a lot more thought into Don’s relationship with Megan since I’ve been working on that part of it, but I think the big surprise for this season is that Don and Megan are pretty good together. They’re a pretty good match for one another.”
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