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The end is in sight for Mad Men, and the stars are already getting sentimental.
Spoilers about the upcoming season were not an option, so nostalgia filled the air instead as the stars of the AMC series descended on the red carpet in Hollywood April 2. As industry types flooded into the ArcLight theater to catch the first episode of a bifurcated final season, the actors reminisced about their favorite scenes and laid claim to the most coveted set items.
“It’s sad. There’s no other way to say it,” Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper) told The Hollywood Reporter about the arrival of the show’s two-part final season. “I’m glad that the show has done as well as it has and I’ve been able to contribute my part to it.” The 14-year-old, whose favorite episode is “At the Codfish Ball” from season five, recently pointed out at a PaleyFest panel that she’s been on the show longer than she hasn’t, making post-Sally Draper life even more difficult to imagine.
Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson), whose character has become increasingly central as she navigates her role as a woman in the 1960s, agreed with her young co-star. “Nobody wants it to finish, but all good things must come to an end. It’s definitely bittersweet.” She added, facetiously: “It’s a lot more bitter, like 90 percent bitter, 10 percent sweet.” Moss, who is determined to keep the ring she wears in nearly every episode, shares the same favorite episode as Jon Hamm: “The Suitcase” from season four.
Other castmembers were more frank. “There’s really nothing sweet about it,” Jay Ferguson (Stan Rizzo) told THR, adding: “It’s all pretty terrible and sad.” Ferguson already took his desired set piece home, a maple syrup ad that was pinned up in the creative lounge. His wife framed it as a Christmas present, and it now hangs on his wall to remind him always of Mad Men.
Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper) compared the end of the series to going away to college: “It’s a real sense of loss. Seven years we’ve spent together.” He’ll miss his wardrobe, in particular, he says, and hopes to keep his suits, shirts, ties and any other of his character’s clothing items he can get his hands on.
Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) described the experience this way: “It’s sort of like being told you’re going to be dead in a few months. Instead of just having a car accident where it’s just quick and over, you’re mourning the fact that you’re going to be dead in a few months.”
Sommer, who’s hoping to snag an ashtray from the set, also dished on the off-screen interactions between castmembers, which apparently involve a lot of phone games. “Jon Hamm, Jay Ferguson, Kevin Rahm and I are always playing cribbage and dominos over our phones when we’re anywhere. Hamm will be in India doing a movie and we will still be playing dominos.” It’s the sort of thing Rahm said he’ll miss but hopes will continue.
When the series officially wraps up next year, January Jones (Betty Draper) has creative plans to keep in contact with her castmates. “I had the idea that we’re all going to have a book club when it’s done where we’ll see each other on a monthly basis,” she said. What will they read? “Children’s books, like Everyone Poops,” Jones joked.
Not only were the stars careful not to reveal anything about what’s to come in the upcoming episodes, but they also insisted they knew nothing about how the series will end. Jessica Pare (Megan Draper) is hoping for a happy ending, especially between her character and her on-screen husband, Don (Hamm), while other castmembers just hope to make it to the series finale alive.
Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris), who wants a picture from Joan’s apartment for herself once the series ends, told THR that she’s “nostalgic” about season one, especially the episode “Babylon.”
What would Hamm like to take with him from the Mad Men set? “Just the memories, honestly,” says the star. “I don’t want to steal anything.”
Mad Men premieres Sunday, April 13, at 10 p.m. PT on AMC.
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