With the premiere of Mad Men's fourth season rapidly approaching, we leapt at the chance to talk to the show's newest and most British series regular Jared Harris about the upcoming season, Jon Hamm's diva antics, Scrabble and more. The show's notoriously strict no-spoiler rule got in the way a little bit, but we still had a good time chatting with the delightful thespian. At the very least, it helped us get over the recurring nightmares he gave us while on Fringe.
TWoP: Congratulations on becoming a series regular.
Jared Harris: Thank you!
TWoP: Is this your first big TV press tour? Is it as bad as actors often make it out to be?
Harris: No, it's exciting that people are interested in your work. I think it's great! I think if you're doing those things all the time and people keep asking you the same questions it's a challenge to come up with original answers so you don't just feel like a tape recorder, but I think it's great.
TWoP: Was it always the plan to bump you up to regular? Or did that come as a surprise to you?
Harris: I signed up last year as a guest star, and really, the agreement that I got was that Matt [Weiner] was going to wait to see how the character played out. There was nothing definite. It was possible that I was going to be in it a lot, but on the other hand, if he wasn't that excited by the character, or he wasn't that excited about what I was doing, that it might just be a couple of episodes.
Matt very sweetly said that he was excited about what I did, and that he had no idea what he was going to do with Pryce, but it's quite possible that he always had it in his mind that he wanted to end the [season] the way he wanted to end the [season]. I really don't know. He could've just been being kind and trying to butter me up.
TWoP: So how many episodes of Season 4 have you shot so far?
Harris: They're on six.
TWoP: We hear the season doesn't necessarily start the next day after Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is formed --
Harris: Who told you that?!
TWoP: The Internet! Can you hint at all how far ahead the time jumps, if at all?
Harris: They really don't want us to say anything, I'm sorry. The only person who could answer that question is Matt [Weiner].
TWoP: How's it been back on set in your second season?
Harris: It's been great! I feel a little bit less like I'm an interloping outsider. A little bit less. A little bit more part of it. But they all have this shorthand with each other and there's a lot of banter that goes back and forth which I end up sort of standing there smiling, trying to pretend to understand.