Tag Archives: “Mad Men”

‘Mad Men’s’ Jared Harris Savored Role in Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’

Jared Harris is practically a one-man rep company of late, with his “Mad Men” character, Lane Pryce, his recent turn as Moriarty in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” and his forthcoming role — as Ulysses S. Grant — in Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

“What a great character, what an amazing character,” he says of the Union Army General and 18th President of the United States.  “The number of failures the man endured!  When you consider that when the Civil War broke out, he was a store clerk in his father’s canning business, and then eight years later he was President of the United States, it’s fantastic.  What a great 10-part series on cable that would make,” Harris muses.  As far as Harris is concerned, “He’s been kind of maligned in terms of his military success, even his success as a president.”

Of Grant’s notorious drinking, Harris says, “He liked a tipple.  Apparently he couldn’t handle his liquor.  When there were in lulls in the campaign, he would commandeer a steamboat, go up the river for a day and get absolutely legless, and then come back.  But he was never drunk or under the influence while the enemy was anywhere near.

“One of the things that endeared him to his soldiers was that he lived the life they lived.  They were used to seeing commanding officers with 27 wagons of personal belongings following them.  Grant came with one clean shirt and slept on the ground.”

Harris credits “Mad Men” — and the fact Spielberg is a “Mad Men” watcher — for the fact he landed in Grant’s saddle.  In fact, he gives the 15-Emmy Winning AMC drama (freshly returned for its fifth season) credit for the heat in his career.  Having grown up amid the industry, the 50-year-old son of the late Richard Harris is all too aware of its vicissitudes.  “You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.  I remember watching Jack Lemmon accept a lifetime achievement award.  He stopped in the middle of his speech, and said, ‘I don’t know if I’m crying because I’m so happy to receive this award, or because I haven’t worked in two years.'”

Mommy January Jones Takes a Time Out

January Jones expects to keep her schedule clear for awhile to focus on all her attention on her precious guy in life — that guy being her six-month-old son, Xander.

“I promised myself I wouldn’t take any work after we wrapped unless it was something special,” says the blond beauty of “Mad Men” – which returned for its long-awaited fifth season on AMC last week.  “Kids are only babies for a year so I only want to be with him, and get some rest. There’ve been a lot of sleepless nights.  I went back to work quite soon after I had him,” she notes.

One would not guess she’d recently had a baby by looking at the spectacular actress.  As far as having a rigorous workout routine, she says she does not.  I fact, “I haven’t done any exercises yet.  I want to get back into yoga. I did a lot while I was pregnant, but haven’t done any since.”  She supposes her slimness has to do with “not having time to eat, and running around breast feeding.  Also, my mom’s very petite; I’ve got good genes.”

The Emmy-laden drama finished shooting for the season two months ago.  January had pink highlights put into her hair prior to new season premiere events – and fashion-following crowd took note appropriately.

“It’s fun.  I have fun.  I’m a girl.  I like to do silly things sometimes and I love to be able to experiment with things.  I wanted to be able to wake up in the morning and smile at my hair.  You know, as a mom you don’t get a lot of sleep.  I wanted to feel something to feel kind of girly and excited about.  A little retail therapy goes a long way.  Pink streaks go a long way – or, rose gold highlights.”

MEANWHILE:   January feels as if her Betty Draper Francis has been like a different character in each of the show’s seasons.  She credits creator Matthew Weiner for “taking Betty on a different journey each year.  He does that for all the characters, that’s the beauty of his writing.”

‘Nights’ Duty a Challenge for Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler NBC photo

Kyle Chandler reports he’s been shooting episodes one, two and three simultaneously for the fourth season of “Friday Night Lights” — and that it’s a challenge. 

All three episodes are set at night, “And shooting at night. can be demanding,” he observes and then explains, “Devastating things can happen to the human body when it’s faced with sleep deprivation. It’s like jet lag — one gets thrown off of schedule, especially when one gets up at six in the morning, as I do That’s when my wife and I start fixing breakfast for our daughters, and even if I wanted to sleep in, well, the noise from pots and pans would wake me up.” 

He’s not complaining, mind you. Even though, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, he asks us to believe, “If I had known how much work is involved with raising a family, I would have stayed single.” 

He says he and wife Katherine “make breakfast together, make sure our daughters Sydney and Sawyer, ages 8 and 13, are getting dressed, take turns driving the kids to school. Yep, if I had known about all this work I would have stayed single.” 

He goes on, “I look at those celebrity magazines and I’m jealous. There are pictures of late-night partying at nightclubs and I wonder who’s taking care of the kids. I’m boring compared to those people.” 

But the fact is, Kyle admits, “I wouldn’t trade anything for what I’ve got right now.  I appreciate everything in my life. Every time I turn on TV and see how difficult things are for some people, I’m just grateful for what I’ve got. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.” 

SHE’S GOT THE LOOK:  “Mad Men” actress Abigail Spencer is tight-lipped as to what’s in store for her teacher character on the acclaimed series, such as her response when we ask what it’s like to do a love scene with Jon Hamm:  “You’ll have to ask his girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt.”  She laughs.  But seriously, “Jon’s a wonderful actor, so in any capacity to work with Jon, it’s a wonderful experience, period.  Exclamation point.”

What the 28-year-old actress will say about her character is that because of her, costumer Janie Bryant is exploring an aspect the early 1960s that’s a far cry from glossy Madison Avenue style.  “What we are going to find is that this character is not like anyone you’ve seen on the show.  She’s going to provide a peek into where the ‘sixties are going to go – not necessarily in terms of feminism or Woodstock.  She’s a single woman, very simple in her lifestyle, definitely someone who would want to be a part of the Peace Corps and be for changing the world because of her heart.  What I’ve heard from Janie are things like, in terms of materials, ‘Oh, no. That’s too expensive for her.’  She’s someone who made a lot of her own clothing, wore hand-me-downs, probably only had one coat that she would constantly wear – as much a flower child as she could be in 1963.”

THE INSIDE TRACK:  David Gray, known for his smash hit “Babylon,” took a break from singing for a few years and has recently returned with a new album “Draw the Line.”  The English singer-songwriter, who is currently on tour in the U.S., tells us he needed that time off to gain a fresh perspective.  “You have to live a bit to have something to write about.  I try to find a balance.  There’s no balance now – for the next two years I’ll be giving my heart and soul to this.  I’ll hardly see my family.  I’ve taken the last few years to get to know them again,” says Gray.  “The whole promotional schedule is a lot more involved now.  It takes a lot out of you.  The time I spent slowing down was time well spent.  I’ve got a renewed appetite for everything so that’s what speaks volumes.” 

While it will be hard to match the success of his album “White Ladder,” Gray is equally as proud of his latest work and isn’t worried about how many copies he sells.  “Music is more important than it ever was.  It can be magical, but it seems to have lost its price completely, which is usually a result of gross stupidity of the industry.  It’s just up to me to do my thing, and I’ll let my business people worry about how we put it out there,” he says.  “Doing this album was like starting all over again really but with the knowledge we’ve amassed.  I think it’s got a different feel to it.  It’s a little bit more direct.  It’s like I’ve kicked the door down like some photographer taking snap shots of everything.  It allowed me to get a lot of stuff off my chest that I’d been waiting to say for a long time.”

 WRITE AND WRONG:  Famed wrestler Mick Foley has already written three memoirs in the last 10 years – all of which have been hugely popular.  While he enjoyed getting the chance to tell his story, he’s not sure if another autobiographical book is in his near future. “I might do another book.  I hope the next few years are interesting enough to write about.  It may be that three memoirs are enough,” says Foley with a laugh.  “As much as I’d like to write another novel, I’d really have to feel strongly about it because it takes up so many hours of time and as a father of four it’s tough to find that time.” 

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Elisabeth Moss, Fred Armisen Having Fun Planning Wedding

Elisabeth Moss  (Photo: Justin Stephens)

Elisabeth Moss (Photo: Justin Stephens)

Elisabeth Moss, nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy honors for her work in “Mad Men,” has a lot to celebrate in her personal life as well as her professional one.  She tells us she and fiancé Fred Armisem of “Saturday Night Live” are busy planning their wedding and ”it’s really fun.  I love wedding planning.  It’s a great experience for us.”

She notes, “We’re not saying when, but it’s not too far.  We’re pretty
much not talking about any of the details, but all of our close friends and family are going to be there.  It’s going to be a really special day.”

Fred – who is in the Emmy running as well, as part of the “SNL” team – “woke me up and told me the news.  It was the best person I could possibly hear from,” notes the actress, who’s brilliant as the naïve-yet-ambitious young career girl, Peggy Olson, on the show set in the 1960s world of advertising in Manhattan.

Moss tells us that they’ve finished the first eight episodes of “Mad Men’s” third season so far.  When the AMC series (up for a total of 16 Emmys, the most of any drama) returns to the tube Aug. 16, viewers will finally get answers to the cliffhangers they’ve been left with since October.  In Moss’ case, her character confessed to ex-lover Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) that she’d had their baby and given it up for adoption – and that she had loved him but now didn’t care anymore.  And Pete was last seen sitting alone in his office with a rifle in his lap. So what’s next?  Moss is mum.

“For sure, people definitely want to know what’s going to happen in Season 3,” she notes with a laugh.  “I know some, but not all.  But I do know enough to believe this season is even better than last season.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  “Regardless of what people think of things getting handed to us, we work really, really hard,” says Vanessa Simmons — whose dad is Run-D.M.C.‘s Rev Run and uncle is music mogul
Russell Simmons.  She, along with her sister Angela, have ventured out
onto their own to star in the MTV reality series “Daddy’s Girls,” whose second season premieres Aug. 11.  “Your parents can’t hand you success.
You have to work for it.  They can hand you connections, and we’re thankful they were able to do that, but me and Angela have worked so hard for the things we are accomplishing that right now.  We just hope people respect us for that.”

Not only have they become reality TV stars, but they also created the popular fashion line, Pastry.  Luckily for them, they were able to pick up a few pointers from their uncle who created the hugely successful clothing line Phat Farm.  “We’ve had the best examples in life.  We got to see them building their business our whole life and the choices they made,” says Angela of her entrepreneurial family.  “Even with Kimora [Lee-Simmons], I got to watch her start Baby Phat from the beginning. Just from watching all of that, I’ve learned so much.”

While parts of their business will be shown, Vanessa says fans can
expect more laughs than anything.  “We have so much fun and we have a lot of new friends on board,” she reveals.  “I actually for once have my boyfriend on the show,” adds Vanessa.  The personality, who’s been linked to recording star Bow Wow in the past, chooses to not officially reveal his name.  “I’ve just never been the kind of person who’s wanted to put my relationship out there and finally I was like, ‘Ok, you guys can meet him.  He did a good job and he’s really funny so people will like him.”

GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS Nia Vardalos has had some big success in Hollywood, but she tells us she’s most proud of the kind of friends she’s accumulated over the years.  They are the people who keep her grounded, and she is certain she wouldn’t have survived this cutthroat business without them.

“My husband and I have managed to stay sane here because we have the same friends as we did before any success.  I have the same friends since kindergarten.  I tend to collect people who I continue to work with,” says Vardalos who recently worked with her “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” co-star John Corbett and longtime pal Rachel Dratch.  “I am where I am because my friends have stayed with me.”  In fact, Vardalos tells us despite the competitive nature of the business, she and her friends continue to root each other on.  “There wasn’t any jealousy or any pettiness from when things hit for me before they hit for them.  I have friends who are still handing out flyers for their own one-woman shows, but we’re all in this together.”

WE’VE HEARD OF PRECOCIOUS. BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS:  Interesting casting notice for the feature “Life As We Know It.”  They’ve been looking for a 10-14 month old to play the role of Sophie, described as “a cute toddler with an engaging personality.”  The producers specify, “on-set experience preferred.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Ask Stacy: The 411 on ‘Mad Men’s’ Sam Page

Sam Page in his 'Shark' days

Sam Page in his 'Shark' days

DEAR STACY: Please give some background on Sam Page, who was so effective in the role of Dr. Greg Harris on “Mad Men.” I’d like to see more of him. – Grace R., NY, NY

DEAR GRACE: If things had gone a little differently, handsome, single, 32-year-old Page could have been an environmental scientist, for he holds a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton.  His senior thesis, about the mating habits of the female mosquitofish, was published in a scientific journal.  He also played baseball for Princeton, in addition to playing football, ice hockey, golf and tennis in his school years.  The acting bug took hold in his senior year, and once he graduated, the Wisconsin-born Page was off to Hollywood.  His career was launched via filmmaker David DeCoteau, who cast Page in the movies Micro Mini Kids,” “Prison of the Dead,” and “The Brotherhood.” On the TV side, Page amassed credits on such shows as “7th Heaven” and “Popular.” He had a recurring role on “American Dreams,” a stint on daytime’s “All My Children,” and regular roles on Fox’s supernatural drama, “Point Pleasant,” and CBS’s James Woods legal series “Shark.” He has a horror movie called “Slave” due out on DVD this summer.

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