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'Mad Men': Megan Draper will not die, YET

sharon tate megan draper

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner didn’t consider the power of the internet to immediately connect dots, freak out, and assume that because Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) wore the same T-shirt on the show as Sharon Tate had during a 1967 photo shoot, Megan’s character might reach a tragic end along the same lines as Tate’s. As Weiner explained during a roundtable discussion with the L.A. Times, all he wanted, really, was for Megan to wear any t-shirt!

“I always wanted Megan in a Disneyland T-shirt and [costume designer Janie Bryant] kept saying, ‘They’re not around yet.’ So I said, ‘There’s got to be a women’s T-shirt,’ and Janie brought [the photo of Tate] in and asked, ‘Is this okay?’ And I said, ‘Yes. I want that exact T-shirt.’ Little did I know…”

No one else is about to die on Mad Men. At least… not this season. “I didn’t say never!” laughed Weiner.

More ‘Mad Men’ on EW.com:
O Mother, Where Art Thou?: ‘Mad Men’ and its lady problems
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‘Mad Men’ explained: From A to Z
Jon Hamm reveals why ‘Mad Men’ keeps secrets better than the CIA — VIDEO

'Mad Men' and feminism: A place for Peggy, Joan, and Megan in the movement?

It’s impossible to talk about the women of Mad Men without talking about feminism. But now that we can finally discuss when season 6 picks up (the wee hours of 1968), we can also address what our working heroines think of their position in the burgeoning movement.

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) are both in very different positions now then they were when we first met their characters five seasons ago (or eight years by Mad Men‘s timeline). Both women have made significant professional strides while suffering consistent humiliations at the hands of their male colleagues and superiors. If the beginning of season 6 is any indication, we should expect to see more of both Peggy and Joan as they try to conquer their new positions — Peggy in a more senior role at a new agency, Joan as a Partner with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Though both might seem emblematic of a larger movement, it’s unlikely that it was rooted in any sort of feminist consciousness. When EW spoke to Hendricks and Moss, both were hesitant to categorize their characters as feminists.

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'Mad Men': Jon Hamm, Jessica Pare, and Matt Weiner on Megan's 'threatening' independence

Hey, sad Don Draper. You’re at a bar. You’re alone. You’re perhaps disappointed with your young wife’s recent decisions. Enter: Attractive Woman. “Are you alone?” she asks coyly. Cut to black.

The last image of Mad Men’s fifth season is a hard one to forget. Though we don’t know anything concrete about what decision Don made that night, opening the door for another affair was at turns dismaying, ominous, and so familiar. And it’s hard not to trace it back to Megan and some sort of undefined, fundamental disconnect in their relationship. There aren’t enough martinis in the world to make Jon Hamm, Jessica Paré, and series creator Matthew Weiner talk about season 6 specifics. But EW did talk with them about Don and Megan, where the couple left off last season, and what they both wanted out the relationship.
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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Matthew Weiner and Jessica Pare on 'Zou Bisou Bisou,' the '60s tune that kept 'Mad Men' humming

When Matthew Weiner cast Montreal native Jessica Paré as a pretty assistant at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, only a few people knew that she would eventually become Mrs. Don Draper. Initially, Paré was not one of those few, so even after a moon-eyed Draper proposed to her during the final episode of season 4, she understood that her next scene could very easily include her resting peacefully in a casket. But Weiner had other ideas, and in the long-awaited season 5 premiere, he unveiled a whole new show dynamic, with Don and Megan’s relationship at the heart of it. “I said it as a joke, but the story of the season for me is that Don and Megan are soul mates,” says Weiner. “They are one person and that person is Don. And right in that first episode, there’s a line from Roger where he says, ‘They’re all great until they want something.’ As soon as Megan starts to separate from him by rejecting advertising and pursuing her acting career, it’s very hard on them. It’s very hard on him.”

In that two-hour premiere, titled “A Little Kiss,” the seeds of the season’s tension were ingeniously planted with one amazingly hypnotic song and dance number. Harry Crane wasn’t the only member of the audience who was mesmerized by Paré’s sexy rendition of Gillian Hills’ playful 1960 single. “Zou Bisou Bisou” was practically trending online before the episode concluded, and the catchy tune would reverberate for weeks. Below, Weiner reflects on the kernel of the idea that sprouted into an unforgettable moment for the Emmy-winning AMC drama, and Paré describes the terrifying challenge of bringing it to the screen.

For more stories behind this year’s top moments, click here for TV and here for movies.

MATTHEW WEINER: It would be a lie to say there wasn’t a showmanship aspect to it. We’d been off the air for 17 months — against my will — and I really wanted to make sure that we gave the audience some bang for their buck. It wasn’t the major thing, but it’s certainly where some of it came from. For me, the origin of the idea was that Don had proposed to this woman, and the audience didn’t even know if he was going to marry her. And the audience didn’t know anything about her. And I kind of wanted to give her a character moment, especially if the whole season was going to be about their relationship and what it meant to Don — to sort of introduce her to the audience and to the other characters through her personality. What I thought was, it’s one of the old saws of all entertainment — the surprise birthday party — and I loved the idea that this woman was very different from the people at the office. That she was younger, that she had a different set of rules, that she was more fun-loving, that she was extroverted, and that Don’s intense, almost-pathological privacy was going to be broken by this woman’s personality. She is throwing the surprise party — which means he has no say in it. No one knew at that time she was going to become an actress, so what better time to show her do this song for him, in front of all his “friends.” I mean, it was story: this is who this woman is. I think people thought that the whole story was going to be about him hiding his past from her, but you find out right there and then that she knows it all. So where is the show going to go? Well, whether you realize it or not in that episode, you just witnessed the major conflict in their relationship. That she has her own personality and Don can’t control it. She is expressing her sexuality out in front of everyone.

I love music from this period. I didn’t know it was a genre, but I was raised on a lot of light French movies. There was a lot of this music in the Pink Panther movies and things like that, American movies with a little bit of European flair to them. So I was looking for the right sort of sexy song for her to sing, and for some reason or another I found this song, realized I’d heard it before, and it just had the perfect mix of childishness and sexiness that made it a socially-appropriate strip tease. The other thing was I wanted it to feel like a real person doing it. I didn’t want it to feel like it was some big, rehearsed choreographed number. I wanted to feel like it was somebody who had just sort of practiced it a few times in their house and had the guts to do it. READ FULL STORY

Aloha, Don and Megan! New photos reveal 'Mad Men' in Hawaii

Like the Bradys, the Jeffersons, the Tanners, and the Dunphy-Pritchett-Delgados before them, the Drapers are headed to Hawaii. New photos reveal that Don (Jon Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) will vacation in Maui during Mad Men‘s upcoming sixth season. This being Mad Men, additional details are scarce — though Megan is enjoying a tropical drink garnished with a slice of pineapple in one snapshot, and Don is reading a book called The Inferno (Dante’s?) in another.

While the bulk of season 6 remains a mystery, we do know that Mad Men has been renewed only through next year. There is, however, a strong possibility that the series will end after seven seasons, especially since star Jon Hamm’s contract lasts through 2014.

Read more:
AMC settles Dish dispute, just in time for tonight’s ‘Walking Dead’
Jon Hamm and Adam Scott film ‘The Greatest Event in Television History’ — VIDEO
‘Mad Men’ mash-up montage proves just how much Don Draper drinks — VIDEO

'Mad Men' star Jessica Paré on angry floor sex, Matt Weiner, and Megan vs. Betty

Whether you love her or loathe her, there’s no denying that Megan Draper — née Calvet — is going to play a huge role in Mad Men‘s fifth season. Luckily, actress Jessica Paré is up to the challenge — even though, initially, she had no idea that Megan would become such a pivotal character.

“I didn’t know what I was auditioning for,” the French-Canadian actress told reporters this afternoon. “[The role] was vaguely described as ‘female brunette.’ “

Now, of course, that brunette has moved from SCDP’s front desk to Don Draper’s bedroom. But don’t think this means that the adman has achieved a happy ending. Paré notes that there will definitely be “friction” between Jon Hamm’s character and his young wife as Season 5 progresses. We got hints of that last night, most strikingly when the pair engaged in what one writer called “angry floor sex.” READ FULL STORY

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