A Sane Q&A with Mad Men's Jared Harris
But I was told that they wanted me to come back at that point, and they handed me the scripts and they said, "You can't tell your agents what's in the script." And I was looking at them going "I think I'm in a pretty good position; go and bargain." But I couldn't tell them that my name's on the door.
TWoP: It must have been exciting to get such a huge character payoff as an actor.
Harris: Yeah! I was happy because Lane as a character was quite dry, and you'd sit at read-throughs throughout the course of the season and there'd be laughs rolling in for all the characters, but nothing for my character at all. And they didn't really get where the humor could come from from the character, but the first big one was "Merry Christmas" when I'm talking to the people back in London and that was a huge laugh. And I tell you, there's nothing an actor likes more than getting a laugh.
TWoP: Are you allowed to tell us anything at all about Pryce's story arc in the new season?
Harris: I don't know what it is!
TWoP: You've filmed six episodes -- you know something.
Harris: Maybe you know! What have you found out?
TWoP: I know zero things! Well how about this: do you think Pryce's marriage will survive the season?
Harris: I know absolutely nothing.
TWoP: Alright, alright. Well, I guess you can't answer my next question either--
Harris: You can ask!
TWoP: Well, part of the fun of each Mad Men pre-season is trying to predict which historical events the show will weave into its story. If the next season does take place in 1964, which, chronologically it would, there's a lot to work with: The Civil Rights Act, The Beatles, the Vietnam War -- can you speak to what this season's "Kennedy's dead" episode might be?
Harris: What I can say is that I think Matt [Weiner] chose this decade for a reason. There's this idea that there's an idealized America back in the '50s when everything was perfect and America was at the height of its super-powerdom, and the American dream was fixed as a solid goal that everybody could attain. Which of course he was picking holes at. And he's sort of taking that idea and smashing into the upheaval of the '60s and one of the things he's interested in dealing with is the changes that were wrought on America during that decade -- the reverberations of it are still being felt to this day. So I would be surprised if he missed an opportunity on any of the big things that happened in the '60s.