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Song of the Day: Jeannie C. Riley “Harper Valley PTA” Video

Elvgren pinup teacher standing on a chair frog jumping on her desk

I have been singing this song ever since Sunday’s Mad Men. Why? It was playing in the background when Don, Roger and Harry arrived at the party in Los Angeles. You know, with the blonde in the fabulous jumpsuit playing hostess.

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Interview With Christopher Stanley Mad Men’s Henry Francis

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We’ve heard from the women of Mad MenJanuary Jones (Betty Francis/Draper) and Jessica Pare (Megan Draper) and now we get to hear from one of the men: Christopher Stanley aka politico Henry Francis.

Everything from Betty’s change in hair color to his part in Oscar winner movies.

Q: What’s been your favorite Betty and Henry moment so far?

A: Most recently, in the bedroom, when I come in and talk to Betty and tell her that I’ve been approached for the seat in the Senate and she’s really taking an interest. But you also see that she’s conflicted, but you see that Henry is conflicted too… I like those kinds of scenes where you see them working it out and sort of trying to help each other.

Q: Betty teased Henry in a pretty shocking way about being infatuated with Sally’s friend. What did you think when you read that scene?

A: [Laughs] Well, I was a little nervous, but you have to take in the context of who the characters are. It’s Betty’s kind of awkward attempt to tease Henry and to try and have a moment with him and try to get a reaction from him. It’s actually really quite innocent, but true to form, Betty goes too far.

 

RELATED: Interview with Mad Men’s January Jones (Betty Francis/Draper)

Q: Which do you prefer: Dark-haired Betty or blonde Betty?

A: Blonde. It’s not that I have a preference for blondes… I just think that Betty is already a depressive. [Laughs] She can walk through the world with a level of sadness and grief that most of us would find intolerable… And I think the blonde hair played against her inclination towards being a little sour.

Q: Would you have been as smooth as Henry was reacting to it?

A: I can understand why she did it. It was an act of self-empowerment… I think Henry probably feels the way I feel and prefers her as a blonde, but he’s a smart guy… If she came in in dreadlocks, that might be something else.

Q: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about NYC politics from this role?

A: I’ve learned how politicians are groomed and fabricated to be presented as an image that is saleable to the public. In a sense it’s similar to what the guys at the agency are doing, except there is a political lean to it. He sells a product. His product that he molds and fashions is people, for the public.

Mad Men Season 4 episode 5 chrysanthemum and the sword henry francis betty draper

Q: Do you know if there’s a specific, real-life NYC politician that Henry is based on?

A: In researching Henry, there were several advisors to Rockefeller and Lindsay, and I think he just might be a kind of conglomeration of several different of those guys.

RELATED: Jessica Pare (Mad Men’s Megan Draper) Talks Relationships, Fashion, and French

Q: You’re often cast as authority figures and cops. What do people see in you that makes them think of you that way?

A: I guess I just look like a lot of cops or military guys out there… I’m a little bit of a throwback, I think. I’m not what I’d call your soft male, or a metrosexual. I’m kind of a guy’s guy, at least on the surface. But I consider myself a really progressive guy. If you talk to my wife, I’m pretty much just a softie.

Q: That’s funny because Henry is the sensitive one compared to some of the other guys on Mad Men…

A: That’s what I like about Henry, and that’s very similar to me. If you judge him upon meeting him, at first you’d think he’d be similar to the other male characters, but once you get to know him, there’s this whole other side of him that’s kind and very different.

Q: You were in two Oscar-winning movies last year, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. Did you sense the trajectory of either film going in?

A: I knew that they were going to be big films, just because of the people attached to direct… But I had no idea they would be award-contending films… I was very excited to be a part of it, but you never what’s going to happen with any film that you do.

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Is Mad Men’s Megan Draper Really Sharon Tate? Set to die this season?

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Oh people have a lot of spare time on their hands when it comes to Mad Men conspiracies. While fun, they are often mis-steps. But when it comes to Matt Weiner, anything is up for grabs, I guess.

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There is a rumor going around that Megan Draper, played by Jessica Pare, will be murdered at the end of this season, a la Sharon Tate by the Manson family. With a whole list of “evidence”, my favorite is the white shirt with the red star Megan was wearing in the last episode. Tate wore the same shirt in an Esquire photo shoot, and when asked Mad Men’s costume designer said that it was no coincidence.

Hmmmm…. So what do you think? With all of the violence being highlighted this season do you think Megan will be getting offed?

Megan image via AMC

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Jessica Pare (Mad Men’s Megan Draper) Talks Relationships, Fashion, and French

mad men season 6 e 1 and 2 megan draper Jessica Pare image by Michael Yarish AMC 2

After the long weekend and a rather twisted episode of Mad Men, we have a peek into Megan Draper thanks to an interview with Jessica Pare. Don’t expect anything too deep, thank gawd, it’s mostly how she is a fan of the show, as well as an actress, and how she loves being able to speak French with Julia Ormond.

Oh, and the fashion. Of course.

Q: How have you been handling the success from the show?

A: It’s been fantastic! First of all, it’s been great to have access to the scripts and the people who are such big fans of the show. It’s made meeting and auditioning a lot more fun. I’ve also had the opportunity to do…a couple of tour dates with The Jesus and Mary Chain singing…and I sang in front of 10,000 people the first night.

Mad Men Zou Bisou Bisou Jessica Pare Megan Draper
Q: How’s your single “Zou Bisou Bisou” doing? Do you own a copy yourself?

A: I have a bunch. [Laughs] To be fair, I haven’t listened to it. I haven’t really needed to. It’s still really cemented up in there. I saw about six months ago that it was number one on the world music charts, which was definitely unexpected.

RELATED: You Can BUY Zou Bisou Bisou 

Q: Fans were initially skeptical when Don married his secretary. How has the feedback about Megan changed?

A: I think understandably when Don proposes to Megan at the end of Season 4, people were sort of disappointed that he’d made the apparently easy choice. But we didn’t know anything about Megan, so as her character has developed, we see that it’s not so cut and dried… She’s actually seemingly a great choice.

Mad Men Season 6 Megan Draper, Jessica Paré, Don Draper, Jon Hamm in Episode 4

Q: Don and Megan have a complicated relationship. Where do you stand on it?

A: It’s ever evolving… I think they are happy in the very beginning. Matthew Weiner was quoted somewhere as saying that they are two sides of the same person, but the problem with that is that person is Don. So when she splits off and decides to pursue her passion, there’s a distancing that happens.

Q: Megan and Don seem to be in a constant tug-of-war over their different paths in life. What advice would give to someone in Megan’s shoes?

A: I think we’re all engaged in that every moment of every day. How can I get to do what I want to do while maintaining the balance of the universe as a whole? Like, how do I eat this donut and also fit into my jeans? How can I have a career and also have a home life? I wish I had advice.

mad men season 6 e 1 and 2 megan draper Jessica Pare image by Michael Yarish AMC

Q: Your character gets to wear so many amazing dresses. Do you have a favorite?

A: There are so many. It’s all a blur. There was a black-and-white houndstooth coat and dress that I really, really loved. Though I don’t own anything like that, if, say, anybody wanted to get it for me, that would be fine. [Laughs]

Q: You’re actually French-Canadian. Did you give Julia Ormond and Ronald Guttman any tips to perfect their accent?

A: I did actually because I’m from Quebec and Ronald is Belgian, I believe, and Julia is English. So I gave them a few ideas…. I love any time that I get to speak French because I don’t get to do it that often… It’s difficult when you’re living in the States and you have nobody to speak it with because you lose it really quickly.

Q: When Don gets solicited at the bar at the end of Season 5, what was your reaction? Did you worry, that was the beginning of the end for Megan?

A: Definitely… I am really attached to Megan now. I really love her so much. [Laughs] So, there’s a part of me that’s like, “How could you do that to Megan?”

Q: Some fans are excited at the thought of Don returning to his old ways. What were your thoughts?

A: I’m a fan that plays Megan Draper. [Laughs] So, not really. I’m not that excited to see if the old Don is coming back.

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Interview with Mad Men’s January Jones (Betty Francis/Draper)

Mad Men Season 5 Cast Photo January Jones Betty Francis

I don’t think there’s a Mad Men character that is more unpredictable than Betty. And we have an AMC interview with January Jones about the most loved/hated women on Mad Men. She talks Betty, love, change, motherhood, and fashion.

Q: How did the public’s reaction to Betty change after her challenges in Season 5?

A: She became much more sympathetic when she got bigger. I think people liked her again, which I find very interesting… When she’s, you know, trying to be independent or to better her own life, people have a negative response to it. So, it seems like a very un-modern approach… I find it very confusing at times.

Q: Matthew Weiner says one of the themes of Season 6 is whether or not people can really change. Where do you stand on that?

A: I think it’s very difficult to change, and I think that’s what makes all these characters so interesting is that everyone can relate to the flaws in each character and the desire to change.

betty draper january jones mad men season 4

Q: Yet Betty’s life is really different now than it was in Season 1. What does that say about her ability to change?

A: Each season I think she’s a little bit different, and she really does make an effort to do that. If she can’t change herself, she’s trying to change her circumstances… I just think she’s one of those people where she’s never going to be truly satisfied and will kind of have that character flaw where she’s always wanting what she doesn’t have.

Q: Who do you think has a better chance of lasting happiness, Don or Betty?

A: Betty. Definitely. I think there’s too much baggage in Don’s history for him to ever…know who he truly is or what role he’s really playing in life. He marries the people he thinks he’s supposed to be attracted to, and then isn’t or loses interest. I think that Betty will have an easier time if she chooses to.

mad men season 6 e 1 and 2 Sally Draper Kiernan Shipka image by Michael Yarish AMC

Q: Do you have a favorite Betty and Sally scene?

A: Now that Kiernan Shipka‘s becoming such a young woman and a really fine actress, I think that it’s less of a mother-daughter situation than it is that we’re friends… The last scene of the last season, where Betty is comforting Sally — that really warms your heart that Sally came to Betty when she got her period. I thought that was really very sweet… And it was fun for us to actually get to be nice to one another!

Q: Kiernan says that the two of you bond on the set over your love of fashion…

A: She’s becoming quite the little fashionista. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who’s been very into it, and now I’m going to her and asking her what’s cool. [Laughs]

Q: Does it scare you knowing you’ll have to parent your own pre-teen eventually?

A: I just feel very lucky that I have a boy. [Laughs] I was very hard on my own mother as a teenager… The world is already so different from when I was a kid, and 15 years from now, it’s going to be even more different. And just having to deal with technological advances and things like that really freak me out. But I have a really sweet boy. He’s got a really good heart, so maybe he’ll be nice to me.

Q: What advice would you give Betty at this point in her life?

A: I don’t know if any advice that I have would break through her walls of what she thinks she knows… One of the things that I do relate to with Betty is when someone says something, she sometimes goes the other way. [Laughs]

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