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/2017/05/24-legacy-corey-hawkins.jpg
Tony Nominee Corey Hawkins on His Nearly-Disastrous Juilliard Audition
"I remember thinking, ‘I want to go to Juilliard, I want that structure and I want that rigor and that classical foundation.’" - Corey Hawkins
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/the-walking-dead-josh-mcdermitt.jpg
Josh McDermitt: “I moved to LA a little later in my life than when most people move and I feel like I’m better for it.”
"You have wins, you have losses. You have to remain positive, that’s probably the biggest challenge; to not get yourself down." - Josh McDermitt on Acting
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/tracy-letts-indignation.png
Tracy Letts on Turning Down Acting Work: “It’s not worth doing work that I’m not proud of”
"I'm in a weird and enviable position in that, because of my playwriting, I don't have to do anything as an actor I don't want to do." - Tracy Letts
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/elizabeth-moss-handmais-tale.jpg
Elisabeth Moss on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and Doing Television When Actors Weren’t “Supposed” to Do Television
"I still get excited when I get offered stuff. Like, a part of me thinks, They think I can do it! That’s awesome!" - Elisabeth Moss
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/dennis-quaid-dogs-purpose.jpg
Dennis Quaid on Discovering Acting and His Early Career
"I discovered that acting was really a study of human behavior; what made people tick. And that fascinated me, and still fascinates me." - Dennis Quaid