Linda Cardellini on Her Audition for ‘Mad Men’ and Her “Objective” When Seeking Roles

Linda-Cardellini-Mad-MenLinda Cardellini wasn’t expecting to get the role of Sylvia Rosen on AMC’s Mad Men.

“I had to audition, and Matt Weiner [the Mad Men creator and show runner] was in the room,” she recalled in an interview with The New York Times.  “I had just had a baby and it was the first time I had really contemplated coming back to work.  I wasn’t even sleeping through the night with my baby yet, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to retain the information or know the lines.  I was very lucky to get the part.”

It’s not like Cardellini had much background upon which she could build her character.  The show is notorious for being tight-lipped about plot points.  “You know nothing about what it is you’re doing when you come in,” she said.  “The character’s name was Sylvia, but I did not know it was Don [that she was interacting with] at that point.  I’ve never worked in that way, and it kept me in the moment.  You can’t play the end of your arc, because you don’t know it yet.”

The actress, who got her breakout role on the Freaks and Geeks series, admits that she doesn’t necessarily seek out roles that will distance her from the show or her role in the Scooby Doo movies.

“I don’t make that an objective at all,” she said.  “For me, the objective isn’t to try to make anybody forget anything that I’ve done, but I want people to know that there’s a lot of different things I can do.  People who have no idea it’s me when they first see me playing something, and later they realize, that’s her from whatever it is, it’s a great compliment that they can forget.  When I was doing Scooby Doo, nobody knew it was me.  That’s the fun part of it, being able to hide inside of a character and change yourself.”

Mad Men airs on AMC, Sundays at 10 p.m.

Leave a Reply
William H. Macy: “This may sound pretentious, but I am getting better at what I do every day”
"I love the fact that I work every day." - William H. Macy
Luke Hemsworth on ‘Westworld’: “It was a no-brainer to me. I was absolutely going to jump onboard”
"As an actor, if you're given very little information about what's going on, then you're forced to make it up." - Luke Hemsworth
Khary Payton on His ‘Walking Dead’ Audition: “It was one of the more substantial auditions I’ve ever done”
"I always say I’m in the hope business. You’ve got to stay hopeful. You’ve got to get up off your behind and try again..." - Khary Payton
Hayley Atwell’s Best Career Advice: “I’d say the main thing is: show up. Show up and be professional”
Atwell reflects on her career and recounts why she wanted to become an actress since she was a child and what was the best career advice she ever received.
Mike Colter on Playing ‘Luke Cage’: “I was looking at it from the standpoint of an artist”
Colter says that it didn't take long for him to understand the importance of the character in comic book history.