You are also in Chris Colfer’s movie, Struck By Lightening…
Dermot Mulroney: Yes, I just did that. I was on set for a couple of days. I thought that was a terrific script. I didn’t know his TV show. I knew what that kid looked like, but I’d never heard him open his mouth, or anything. But I thought, “If you are 21, you didn’t even finish high school, you came to Hollywood, you took a long shot, you become a huge star on this cultural, text-point TV show, and then you write a really accomplished screenplay…” Not just funny, quirky dialogue, which it has…But it has a strong concept. There was just script stuff that was really cool. I’ll tell you…In Struck by Lightning, he is killed on page three. Then he narrates the rest of the movie, leading up to his death. It flashes back a couple of weeks. The dead kid is the narrator of the film. Simple, but I don’t know that I have ever seen that done. I can’t think of anything. I thought, “Allison Janney? I’m in.”
Plus you are being reunited with Christina Hendricks from The Family Tree…
“Yes on the Benefactor episode, I worked with January Jones and she was very lovely to work with. She was kind and quiet and somewhat shy. During lunch she played in the field with her dog alone and then when we were called back on set, Jon Hamm took her by the small of her back and escorted her in. I commented to them that they looked like Barbie and Ken. So beautiful that she is. I couldn’t even begin to think of Mad Men without her! She’s been given some meaty roles and she has bravely handled them very well. When this came up with little Bobby, it was probably her being in character, the strong character she had to build. Well, she was terrific back then when I was on set and she is terrific now! I’ve gotten to really like her and what she is doing!”—Nora Paradiso worked with January Jones on Mad Men and says “She’s Lovely”!
Don’t hate January Jones because she’s beautiful. Randee Heller, who played Don Draper’s sassy yet clueless secretary Ida Blankenship on “Mad Men,” defended the bedeviled Betty Draper in the wake of those widely reported comments by 11-year-old Jared Gilmore, who plays her TV son Bobby Draper.
“She’s not as approachable as the others … everyone else is so nice,” Gilmore zinged in an interview. But Heller had a more sympathetic (or perhaps diplomatic) take when Flash asked her about the mother-son “Mad Men” contretemps.
“With January, she’s so beautiful it can be really intimidating,” Heller told us.
Meanwhile, Heller is probably the only actress in Hollywood who can say looking two decades older boosted her career: She’s now nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actress Emmy.
“She’s a wise-cracking, tired, bumbling, inappropriate survivor,” Heller, 64, said of Ida.
“Mad Men” co-star John Slattery directed the first of her six episodes, which required two hours of age-advancing makeup and prosthetics every day.
“He was such a slice of good luck,” Heller said.
Best known as Ralph Macchio’s mom in “The Karate Kid” movies, Heller also played one of TV’s first lesbian characters on “Soap” in 1979.
“I knew it might hurt my career, but I didn’t care. I’m a risky girl,” Heller said.
As delighted as she is about her “Mad Men” Emmy nod, Heller doesn’t expect to win.
“I think it’ll be between Joan Cusack and Julia Stiles,” she predicted.
In the meantime, Heller has been doing yoga and spending time with her boyfriend, veteran sitcom writer-producer Robert Griffard. And auditioning, of course.
“I’m not dead yet,” she joked. “I think our age group should be more represented on TV, and like Mrs. Blankenship, we can be very entertaining.”
Mad Men's John Slattery on Emmy Hopes, Jon Hamm as Director: 'He's the Best at Everything!'
TVLine sat down with the actor to discuss said Emmy snubbery, the (eventual) return of Mad Men after a much-too-lengthy hiatus, and more.
TVLINE | Since the Emmys are right around the corner, lets tackle that topic first: You’re nominated for a fourth consecutive time — as are some of your castmates — yet Mad Men has yet to score an acting win. What gives? I think the whole thing is rigged, personally. It’s a conspiracy. [Laughs] What do I say about that? You can’t get offended. The fact that you get nominated at all and that anyone even cares what I do is flattering enough. If you go into these things expecting to win, then you’re an idiot. Having said that, would I rather win than lose? Sure. It’d probably make the awards show more fun to sit through.
TVLINE | How do each of your nominations, when paired with zero wins, impact your mindset going into the big night? [Sarcastically] Mostly, I’m filled with bitterness. I start feeling bitter as soon as I start getting dressed, and it lasts the entire night….
TVLINE | Oh, and I’m sure the same goes for the entire Mad Men cast. Oh yeah, they’re all furious, the whole group. [Laughs] Everybody is pissed off and hates the Emmys — except Matt Weiner. He loves the Emmys; it’s his favorite day of the year. [Laughs] Really, we’re all just glad to be there. And then we all start whispering “loser” to each other as we start losing, one-by-one. In all seriousness, as corny as is sounds, it is a surprise and an honor to be nominated.
TVLINE | You’ve now returned to working on the show after a longer-than-anticipated hiatus. How was that first day back on set? You know, for some reason I seem to be first up on the first day most of the time. I don’t know why, but then all of a sudden you’ve got a drink in your hand! In my first scene this season, I was supposed to be half in the bag and telling jokes — and I forgot how to smoke and drink and talk at the same time. [Laughs] It was trickier than I’d remembered. I was nervous the first day back, like the first day of school, but that wore off after awhile.
TVLINE | Your costar Jon Hamm directed the premiere episode. How was it working under him? Any fun stories you can spill? The only difference between Jon as an actor and Jon as a director is that he was actually on time for work — that’s the only one I can detect. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Were you able to impart any wisdom given your prior experiences directing Mad Men?
No, just like he usually does, he steps right in and he’s the best guy at everything in the room. [Laughs] He’s a very smart guy and obviously knows the show better than any of us because he’s here from the first shot to the last shot, every single day. He understands the process of not only the show and how it’s produced, but acting as well, so it took a very short time to do all of these scenes in a day. He understood the pace that we had to do this episode in, and he gave brief, useful direction. We’ve obviously been playing these characters for a number of years now and know them well, but you have to play a scene moment-to-moment, and Jon just gets it. He jumped right in like he’d been doing it his whole life. He’s just better at everything than anyone else. He looks like that, and he can do everything better, too.
TVLINE | I can’t argue with that. You’re now gearing up to direct another episode of Mad Men. Are you looking forward to it? Or is it really stressful to tackle a project like that? It’s fun and it’s challenging, but I’m not stressed about it. I look forward to it. We never get the script until just before we start, so I have no idea what the story will be. I guess I’m a little less daunted having done it before, but I also know that it’s a lot of work. I’m a little more emotionally prepared for it than the first time, and now know that the anticipating of it is much scarier than the actual doing of it.
TVLINE | Your cast is full of such professionals — and the show clearly speaks to that — but is it difficult at all to actually give direction to castmates? Especially in scenes that you also have to act in? The acting and directing at the same time is a little distracting, and I think Jon Hamm would agree, only because you have to finish a take and then go back and watch it and redo it; it’s a split focus. You want to get the scene right from an acting standpoint, but you’re also watching [for the direction]. The second time I did it was easier, and in my case, I just have to be more prepared than usual.
TVLINE | Now, I know you have to be extra tight-lipped when it comes to discussing the new season, but what can you say about Roger Sterling in Season 5? Yes, we do [have to keep mum]. All I can say is that he’s still here. I’m sitting here right now in the same costume, so I’m taking that as a good sign. And that’s all I can say…
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, along with producer Spike Jones, Jr., have announced presenters for the 2011 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards. Similar to last year, the awards will be presented by pairings of showrunners with talent from the shows they produce.
Presenters announced today include Jon Cryer & Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men), Connie Britton & Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights), Mitzi Gaynor & Bob Mackie (Mitzi Roaring in the ’20s), Alison Brie & Dan Harmon (Community), Phil Keoghan & Bertram Van Munster (The Amazing Race), Noah Wyle & Robert Rodat (Falling Skies), Nick Tweed Simmons & Gene Simmons (Gene Simmons: Family Jewels), Kiernan Shipka & Matthew Weiner (Mad Men) and Jeff Probst & Mark Burnett (Survivor).
The Primetime Creative Arts Emmys will be held on Saturday, September 10 at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. The awards will air September 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET and 8:00 p.m. PT on ReelzChannel.
"Well, it’s an intimidating character,” John Slattery told us last night at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Performers Peer Group 2011 Emmys cocktail reception at L.A.’s Sheraton Universal Hotel. “I mean, that’s the character. Betty Draper is an intimidating woman I suppose, if you were a seven-year-old boy [or] her son.”
While the Mad Men star’s former onscreen son, 11-year-old Jared Gilmore, may not think so highly of her, not everyone in the cast is feeling the same way…
"Well, it’s an intimidating character,” John Slattery told us last night at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Performers Peer Group 2011 Emmys cocktail reception at L.A.’s Sheraton Universal Hotel. “I mean, that’s the character. Betty Draper is an intimidating woman I suppose, if you were a seven-year-old boy [or] her son.”
So no diva behavior around set?
"No, she’s a sweetheart," Slattery said. "We got lucky. We don’t have anybody like that."
A rep for Jared declined to comment for our story.
As for what kind of mom he thinks the preggers actress will make, Slattery gushed, “I have no doubts she’ll make a great mother.”
“January’s awesome. She’s so opposite of her character. She’s so sweet and funny; I love working with her. Last season, we had some great stuff to do together. She did all the yelling at me, she slapped me around a bit, she terrorized me a ton. Kind of in a ‘Mommy Dearest’ sort of fashion. It was really fun. It was a lot of drama. I’m super excited [for her baby]! Hopefully I’ll get to babysit! That would be really fun.”—
Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men’s Sally Draper) on January Jones
If people are willing to take what the other Draper child said to heart (read here), then you should probably give this just as much credence.