'Mad Men': Jon Hamm, John Slattery, and Matthew Weiner dish on season 5

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On pregnant Joan
WEINER: When is her profession really going to be her goal? She got a taste of it a couple seasons ago, and everybody saw that ambition and it was crushing. But she has a position of authority in the new agency. So, is she a career woman? Is she going to be the early single mom? Or is she going to keep this a secret? We don’t know if she’s giving it away, but we know that she’s committed to having the baby… All I will say is I think it’s a very identifiable story.

On what to expect from Lane
JARED HARRIS: He wants to fit in. One of the things that I was and am attracted to by America is the idea that you can reinvent yourself. And I think that Lane is attracted to that idea subconsciously. Of course the most difficult thing about doing that is that you have to change who you are. The cloth that he’s cut from is something that he finds hard to let go of, so as much as he would like to reinvent himself, he’s got some very, very old habits that are difficult to change.

On what to expect from Pete
KARTHEISER: Right before last season ended, he became a partner at the firm. And he has a voice now in the voting world of it. There is an opportunity for him to show himself, but it’s coming about right when change is coming too. It’s like becoming CEO of a banking firm in 2007. It’s a nice job, but get ready.

On Harry (Sommer)
WEINER: History will show that Harry Crane has the most important job in the agency.

RICH SOMMER: It’s clear that Harry is becoming more valuable, and that value is being recognized not just by people in the office but by Harry himself. So people are taking every opportunity they can to capitalize on that — and that includes Harry.

On Ken (Aaron Staton)
WEINER: People who have everything still have wants.

On AMC’s decision to delay season 5 until spring 2012
HAMM: It was frustrating for us — we just wanted to go back to work… Debuting our show in the spring is risky because they’d never done it, [but] in many ways, we’re happy to be the guinea pig. Absence will make the heart grow fonder, ideally.

On the backlash from Weiner’s contract negotiations
WEINER: I just thought people didn’t have the information and I was surprised because I expected people in the WGA and creators to support that, but it was so misinformed that I couldn’t really be mad about it.

On the show’s three-season renewal, which takes Mad Men through a seventh and presumably final season 

WEINER: Anything that gave me security to put down roots was nice. They said, “Can you do seven seasons?” and I thought “Yeah, I think I can do that.”  I can’t imagine pushing it beyond that… It’s a luxury for me and hopefully it will be for the audience to know how long this thing is. I hope they’re clamoring for more when it’s over. And I hope that I know at that point that it’s over if it’s over. But I don’t want to paint myself into a corner and be the person who’s like, “Remember how I said I was leaving? Elvis hasn’t really left the building. Elvis is in the parking lot. Why don’t you come outside and I’ll play another song?” I am not going to be that.

Read more:
‘Mad Men': Christina Hendricks, January Jones, and Elisabeth Moss tease season 5
New ‘Mad Men’ trailer: Did you miss them?
‘Mad Men’ cast portraits
‘Draping’ like ‘Mad Men’s Don Draper

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