Mad Men is a series that traffics in secrets, both onscreen (Don Draper’s increasingly less obscured past) and behind the scenes (creator Matt Weiner’s famous reluctance to reveal any information about what’s coming next). But though the show’s sixth season featured plenty of unanticipated shocks, its two biggest both involved one top-secret new character: Linda Cardellini’s Sylvia Rosen, a bored housewife who a) had an affair with Jon Hamm’s Don (gasp!) which led to b) Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) discovering her father cheating on his wife (double gasp!!).
It was an undeniably juicy guest role — which is why the Emmy Awards honored Cardellini with her very first nomination this morning. The actress, best known previously for her work on Freaks and Geeks, is understandably over the moon: “It feels amazing!” she gushed to EW today. “When I started the part, I didn’t know what it was I would be doing. And so having it unfold the way it did was amazing. And the idea that she is sort of a catalyst for all these things that happen in Don’s life — it became such a great role. So that happening, and now this on top of all that, it’s really a dream.”
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