At long last, that slice of TV greatness is here: The Season 4 premiere of AMC’s highly acclaimed ‘Mad Men,’ airing Sunday at 10/9c. When last we did the twist with that ’60s show, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) and select cronies had jumped the sinking ship that is Sterling Cooper to start up their own ad firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. On the home front, things were equally shaky, as Don’s wife Betty (January Jones) – unsettled by all sorts of revelations about her husband – elected to take a gamble on illicit lover Henry Francis and flit off to Nevada.
Given that latter twist, you can only imagine how young Sally Draper – already a reactive youth – might be responding to her new world as ‘Mad Men’ picks up roughly a year later. Ten-year-old Kiernan Shipka gave Fancast some insight into what Sally’s thinking these days.
You’ve been promoted to a series regular this season. Did the producers tell you why?
All along, they always treated me very well. And this year AMC stepped up to the plate, because it was really just a financial issue.
Oh, so they may have wanted you a regular all along, but just needed some money.
Does a child actor, as a series regular, get to work more hours?
For a child over the age of 9, it’s [a daily maximum of] 1 1/2 hours. And then when you turn 16 you can go all out.
I saw this season’s first episode, and Sally seems to be acting out a bit.
She doesn’t seem to be accepting the new family arrangement as well as her kid brother.
No, she’s really not accepting the situation at all.
Is it more a matter of her missing her father, or does she have a particular beef with this Henry guy?
I think it’s more that she doesn’t know who to trust, because at the beginning of Season 3, her dad said he’d never leave her. She’s very lost, and she has no one to talk to. So it’s not that she doesn’t like Henry; she just doesn’t like the situation.
What’s different about doing a 1-on-1 scene with Jon Hamm versus January Jones (Betty)?
They’re both so different, and they’re of course both phenomenal actors…. They’re just both great.
Since you’re only 10, do you appreciate the fuss that’s made about how good-looking your TV dad is?
I do, yes. [Laughs] People ask me about that a lot on the street.
I heard that your mother pre-screens each ‘Mad Men’ episode before deciding whether you can watch it or not. Do you have any idea of what sort of scenes she isn’t showing you?
I have no idea, because she really doesn’t tell me. But she did let me watch the lawnmower scene, where Lois ran over the guy’s foot! That was a pretty classic scene.
Which female character do you think has the coolest clothes?
I really loved Betty’s style last year, and I love Peggy’s clothes this year. And Alison Brie, who plays Trudy? I love her wardrobe!
This season do you have scenes with anyone you haven’t had scenes with before?
Hmm, I’m really not allowed to tell you that.
Hey, I tried. I just thought that maybe Don could take Sally to his new office or something…
That would be fun.
What are your other favorite TV shows?
You know, I don’t really watch a lot of TV – kind of by choice. I more listen to music.
Who do you like?
I really like Muse, Passion Pit, Lady Gaga of course…. Nina Simone, Nora Jones, Michael Buble….
No Justin Bieber?
Yeah, I like Justin Bieber. His song “Baby” is really addicting.
But you don’t quite have “Bieber Fever”?
[Laughs] I definitely don’t quite have Bieber Fever.