AMC is calling the upcoming Mad Men finale “The End of an Era,” and that’s not hyperbole. Today at winter press tour, creator Matt Weiner and Mad Men’s original six cast members assembled to reflect on Mad Men’s legacy, and its “surprise” conclusion.
As I wrote at Adweek, Weiner admitted he didn’t want to craft a finale that would spark fan outrage, like the How I Met Your Mother conclusion did:
“I’m trying to delight them and confound them, and not frustrate and irritate them. I don’t want them to walk away angry,” Weiner said of Mad Men viewers. But at the same time, “I don’t want to pander to them. … Sometimes, people have to be protected from what they want to see happen. You can’t just give them everything they want.”
There’s much more from the cast on how they reacted to the finale, and Weiner talks about protecting the Mad Men brand in the years to come.
Yesterday, I spoke to Elisabeth Moss about her favorite Mad Men moments as Peggy Olson. But Moss received an second Emmy nomination, best actress in a movie/miniseries, for her haunting turn as police detective Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake. In the second part of our Daily Beast chat, she talked about how she pulled off four of the role’s most daunting aspects, including her toughest scene: where Robin opens up about being raped as a teenager.
I did it the same way that I did it in the audition. Sometimes scenes just click and they make sense to you. For some reason, you don’t feel like there’s any other way to do that scene. So I did in the audition, and obviously they liked it, I guess. Then we did a lot of rehearsal, improv, and a lot of talking about the script and everything, but never ever touched that scene. Because there was a sense of, we understood it, and sometimes you don’t want to fuck with it too much. You’ve really got to be careful, so we never talked about it and never rehearsed it. From the audition to filming the scene, I never said those words.
I’m helping The Daily Beast talk to many of this year’s Emmy nominees about the moments that got them nominated. I was lucky enough to land a dual nominee — Elisabeth Moss — for a two-part feature.
In the first part, which posted today, Moss talked about her best actress in a drama series nomination for Mad Men, and shared her all-time favorite Peggy Olson moments from the show’s six seasons, including this one from possibly its best episode, Season 4’s “The Suitcase”:
It’s hard to pick a scene from that episode because they were all really special to me. But I love the scene in the bar, when they finally talk about what happened with the baby and him visiting her in the hospital. They kind of talk around it, but they talk about it more than they ever have. He says, “Do you ever think about it?” and she says, “Playgrounds.” I just love that line, and it was such a simple way of summing up exactly where she is on having a child and giving it away. It’s also the kind of moment you can only get after four seasons, which is something I love about doing a TV series. That scene means nothing without four seasons of buildup. It’s a great payoff for the characters and the audience.
Look for the second part of our chat tomorrow, focusing on Top of the Lake.