Mad Men
The Rich Sommer Interview

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"He Wants To Be A Guy, But Also Wants To Be A Man"
CB: So let's talk some about Harry. At the beginning of the season, I think it's fair to say that he was lumped in as one of the fellas. RS: One of the boys, yeah. CB: But he's really kind of emerged as a decent, sensitive guy. So how do you think he survives among, let's say, the less upstanding folks? RS: You know, that's a good question…I mean, he's -- CB: And maybe as a related question, what's the appeal of Sterling Cooper for him? RS: I think Harry is…he's trying to, as I mentioned, walk that line between personal and professional. He, more than anyone, wants to be a guy, but also wants to be a man. He wants to be a good husband, but also wants to be one of the boys. I think that he, more than anyone, is constantly trying to figure out how to draw that line. I think it's in "Marriage Of Figaro" where Harry talks to Pete about women, and he refers to enjoying women in such a way as a married man can. What we have may not be enough for some people, but it's plenty for me. And he's just saying, I think, it's possible to smoke and drink with the boys, you know, go to a strip club, do the whole thing, flirt heavily, but when all is said and done, he kind of hangs up his shoes and goes home and tries to be a good husband. The appeal of Sterling Cooper, I think, is that it gives him a chance…these are all -- I think these are all kind of frat boys, and it gives him and all of these guys the chance to keep living that freewheeling lifestyle. You know, I'm married with a child -- I've got a kid on the way right now. CB: Congratulations! RS: Thank you very much. But I sometimes lament the loss of that time in college when I could just skip class and play video games and, you know, no one cared, really. I could do whatever I wanted, and it didn't matter. And I think many people still now try to kind of make business a pleasure as much as possible to keep that sort of freedom alive. There are plenty of people who don't want to leave the office, because leaving the office means leaving a little bit of their identity. CB: So to the extent that they've been developed, and obviously they haven't been developed with everyone, how would you describe Harry's relationships with some of the other characters? RS: Um…Harry's in kind of a unique position, because he's not among the creative staff, you know? Harry is a media buyer, whereas Paul and Ken are copywriters and Pete is an account executive, so is Don, but they're both creative. Harry's job is, luckily, sort of slightly less in competition with the other boys. You see Paul and Pete have major jealousy issues when Ken is published in the Atlantic Monthly, so Harry in a way is kind of lucky that he doesn't have to get into that crap. You know, he just kind of hangs out. As far as his closest friend, it's Pete, and by "friend" it doesn't really seem like they're friends, necessarily, as much as they just get along. They don't deal competitively with each other.

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