PaleyFest 2012: Mad Men Cast Talk About Jon Hamm Directing Episodes This Season

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The PaleyFest panel last night was filled with "Mad Men" – the cast that is! While the show has been extra secretive about what is to happen in its upcoming fifth season, they were all excited to share their opinion on Jon Hamm directing for the first time. The PaleyFest panel last night was filled with "Mad Men" – the cast that is! While the show has been extra secretive about what is to happen in its upcoming fifth season, they were all excited to share their opinion on Jon Hamm directing for the first time.

Apparently Jon will be doing double duty of directing and acting in the third episode this season. The always-dapper Jon Hamm told Cambio that he was given a few pointers from his long time girl friend, Jennifer Westfeldt, as well as co-star John Slattery who has also directed a few episodes of the show. Slattery joked to our cameras that he would never work with him again. But all in all everyone was very impressed by his vision, including Kiernan Shipka, who thought is was exciting to see him as an actor and now as a director.

Inside the event, the cast came out to sit down on the panel similarly to their characters: with drinks in hand. There was much to be talked about, including the shocking finale episode with Don's sudden engagement. While Creator Matt Weiner and Jon Hamm talked about this ending for many weeks before shooting it, when shooting it Jon joked, "but then I thought is this a fake out? Dream sequence maybe?"

The cast discussed how heavy and deep every single character is, and the dark places the show isn't afraid to go, which can be exhausting for an actor. But they all agreed that it is so rewarding to be given a challenge. The challenging jobs are always more fun and liberating for them.

Kiernan also spoke to what she has to go through with her character Sally. She said that her and Matt always talk at the end of table reads regarding what her character is doing that episode since Sally is such a complex character. But she stated, "I think she is super flawed and that's what makes her interesting." When asked if she thought Sally was more her mother Betty or her father Don, she was quick to answer, "Neither. She is her own person." The audience could not help but be impressed with how well versed she is at her age. But the cast all joked that Sally was the smartest person on the set.

Matt Weiner revealed at the end of the panel that this show was to only be seven seasons, and they are on their 5th. But nothing is set in stone. The big two-hour premiere of "Mad Men" airs Sunday March 25th at 9pm on AMC.

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