Mad Men
The Rich Sommer Interview

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"He Wants To Be A Guy, But Also Wants To Be A Man"
CB: The camera setups on the show are very meticulous. How does that translate for you technically? Do you end up going more times than maybe would be normal, to get what the director and the D.P. need? RS: You know, it's actually pretty remarkable how quickly the show gets done. It seems that people come in with pretty clear plans. I can remember a couple times when we were told, "Okay, boys, go play cards." There were a couple times where that was the case when they were trying to set up a shot, but it really was remarkably…it was much quicker than I thought it was going to be. You know, of course some scenes took more takes than others, but it was routinely pretty quick. CB: So what would you say was a normal number of days for you to shoot per episode? RS: Well, for me…[both laugh] if you look at the episodes, I am lightly peppered, so generally I'd shoot anywhere from one to three days. There were a couple episodes where my stuff was spread out enough that I'd be there every day for a short time, you know, five days in a row. But generally I would say each episode was two, three days. CB: Another thing about the production to which a lot of care is obviously given is the set design and wardrobe. To me, it seems like those things are paramount on this show, because for one thing, those are the tools that really evoke the time period, and for another thing, it seems like one of the themes of the show is how this glossy, shiny world of advertising creates this veneer over some ugliness in society. RS: Sure. CB: So given that, is everyone, even down to the actors, paying attention to the set design? RS: Oh, I think so, at least to some degree. You also have to know that for me, I'm just a dumb actor. [both laugh] I don't have any sort of firsthand knowledge, but we kept eyes out, sure…a couple times we'd notice the copyright on something and bring it to someone's attention. But in general, the people who did that stuff were so amazing at their jobs that you just…we seriously didn't have to worry about it. I do remember when I was being shown -- when I had to choose my watch, they had a big pile and I tried on all these watches, and I was like, "How about that one?" And they said, oh, that one shouldn't be in there -- it's not period. And it looked period to me, so I asked, "What about that isn't period?" And there was something about the typeface on the front of it or something like that that didn't…it was something where I was like, "Okay! I trust you!" Those guys are just so good at what they do.

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