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Jon Hamm and Matthew Weiner take us inside the past and future of 'Mad Men'

June 4, 2011 |  8:00 am

  Hamm


Earlier this week the Los Angeles Times' Envelope hosted a "Mad Men" Q&A session featuring show creator Matthew Weiner and cast members Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks and Kiernan Shipka, and hosted by Times TV editor Martin Miller.

Looking roguishly casual with his 5 o'clock shadow, Hamm discussed the inner workings of Don Draper with some seriousness: "I think the guy is a pretty damaged person and there's a fundamental falsehood about his existence, as we well know...I think this season's arc has brought him the closest he has come to some kind of fundamental shift in who he is."

But Hamm, who is set to direct the Season 5 premiere (which won't air until 2012), acknowledged that Draper isn't necessarily any closer to true self-realization. "I think he's still the same scared person running from the explosion, running from the war in many ways."

Weiner addressed the strained contract negotiations among himself, AMC and production studio Lionsgate over the show's next season. "It was public, and there was no reason for that. But...the most important things for me are that after it's over, I get to go back to work and that we get to do three more years of the show."

Weiner also revealed a very surprising influence: "I used to watch 'St. Elsewhere' a lot; it was one of my favorite shows. There's so many comedians in that show and it was part of my guide for casting this show." He continued, "You have a real opportunity for real deep humor if the drama is steady enough,"  talking specifically about the episode last season in which the staff has to hide Ida Blankenship's dead body. 

Take a look at the video excerpts of Jon Hamm and Matt Weiner from the hourlong discussion and check back next week for further clips from Envelope panels for "Shameless" and "Justified," among others.

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-- Joy Press

Photo: Kiernan Shipka, Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm and Matthew Weiner at the Envelope Screening Series. Credit: Stefanie Keenan.

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