John Slattery is grateful his character wasn’t killed off during this past season of AMC’s Mad Men.
He told Vulture that the cast is always prepared that they might be the ones to get the cut, like Jared Harris’ Lane Pryce did. He said, “I mean they wanted to cut characters and expenses and stuff, so there was some discussion of characters, and of course people send you links to sites where they predict it’ll be you. And yeah, it could be anybody. I’m glad it wasn’t me, but I’m sorry it was Jared. I hope I stick around. I mean, any time a character has to go it’s because of story. I’m sure when it’s my turn, there’ll be a reason for it.”
Slattery also spoke about the last scene in which his character, Roger Sterling, appears nude. “It’s funny,” he said. “I read that [script] and you think, Who wants to be naked in front of a camera? Especially nowadays, when you know it’ll be on someone’s cell phone or around forever. The fact that it was Roger who took the LSD to begin with was surprising, but it made sense, and the end made sense. So as intimidating as it can be to do something like that, it made sense to the story, and Matt [Weiner, the creator] never makes a false step. You know you’re in good hands. And sure enough, it worked. It’s a funny scene, but it actually makes sense in a storytelling way. It’s not gratuitous.”
Slattery also directed an episode, “Signal 30,” earlier this season (it aired April 15.) and on that he said that, “You direct the one you’re given. The schedule plays into it. I was supposed to direct an earlier one, I think, and because I’m in it they have to figure out an arc in terms of the season where I’m light so I can prep my episode and not be so heavy in the one I’m directing. It’s really a time issue; if you direct the scene you’re in, you have to go outside, watch the monitor, then go back in and do another take. If you’re just directing and not acting as much, you don’t have to take time out. It becomes a bit of an issue, but you’re given the script you get. I take what I’m given, and I had a great script—I’m glad I did that one.”