John Slattery Remembers Auditioning for Don Draper and Divorcing His Real-Life Wife on ‘Mad Men’

john-slattery-Mad_MenCan you picture Mad Men’s John Slattery as Don Draper instead of Roger Sterling? As he recalled in a recent interview, Slattery originally auditioned for the lead role that eventually went to Jon Hamm.

“I went to the audition and they said, ‘Oh, sorry, we’ve got that guy, you can try for someone else.’ In my arrogance I thought, “‘What? You haven’t got that guy, I’ll show you. You haven’t got that guy because I’m that guy,’” the 49-year-old told Shortlist.  “It was apparent from the beginning how annoyingly good (Hamm) was in that role. I don’t think people appreciate how difficult it is to play something as subtle as he does.”

Slattery, who has won several awards for his role as a womanizing, alcoholic advertising executive on AMC’s hit 60s drama, was also able to succinctly pinpoint the show’s overarching theme, a feat that’s caused writer’s block for many a TV reviewer.

As he explained, it’s all about the pursuit of happiness for the mad men at ad agency Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce.

“They’re all just looking for happiness. I think that’s what it is all about with these characters on Mad Men,” said Slattery. “They want something and they get it — and then they’re disappointed. That’s the show in a nutshell right there.”

What was it like divorcing his on-screen wife, played by Talia Balsam, who is also the real-life Mrs. Slattery? “I was reading the script, lying in bed next to my wife, and neither of us at that point had any idea the divorce was coming,” he remembered. “I read the script, didn’t say a word other than, ‘Goodnight’ — then shut the light off. There was no way I was going to be the man to break the news that she was being written out.”

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sarah-Paulson.jpg
Sarah Paulson: “I muscled a lot of what I’ve achieved by sheer force of will and relentless determination”
"If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy" - Sarah Paulson
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Boyd-Holbrook-Narcos.jpg
Boyd Holbrook on Shooting ‘Narcos’ in Colombia: “It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done”
Holbrook talks about working with the real-life Steve Murphy, what movie inspired his narration, and why shooting in Colombia was so challenging.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-Snowden.jpg
How Joseph Gordon-Levitt Developed his ‘Snowden’ Voice
"You're playing someone that everybody in the world has seen before. It's a little different than playing a fictitious character." - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/renee-zellweger-bridget-jones-baby.jpg
Renée Zellweger on Returning to Film After a Six-Year Absence: “I needed to grow as a person in ways that didn’t revolve around my work”
Zellweger talks about what prompted her six-year absence from Hollywood, what's different about playing Jones again, and ageism in Hollywood.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/dev-patel-lion.jpg
Dev Patel: “I want there to be people that look like me represented on screen”
"There aren’t many roles written for someone that looks like me. It’s slim pickings. It’s difficult, but I try and stay on the optimistic side." - Dev Patel