Cara Buono started her run as ‘Dr. Faye Miller’ on Mad Men originally thinking she would work for 2 weeks. A dozen episodes later, she’s now Don Draper’s love interest and part of an integral story-line.
She did an interview with AMC about how she got the part, her role and more!
Q: Don revealed his true identity to Faye! Did you have any idea the scripts were leading up to that?
A: I basically never knew anything that was coming down the pike. It’s always been fun and interesting to hypothesize about it all, but I can never predict it. From a story perspective, I just thought Anna dies, so now Faye’s the only one who knows his secret. Betty knows, but she’s rejected him. Pete Campbell knows, but that’s sort of a different category. Now Faye knows his true identity and she accepts him and loves him. I thought it was a natural progression in their relationship. Because it is a real relationship, he trusts her.
Q: How surprised were you when you found out Faye was going to be one of Don’s love interests?
A: I was very surprised. I just thought that they would be two workplace contemporaries who would have a repartee on that level. And I think because she sized him up so quickly at the beginning, saying “you’ll be married in a year and you’re a certain type,” [I thought] that she would know what he’s all about and would never go there.
Q: Your character doesn’t display her emotions very much, but she has that scene where she’s breaking up with her boyfriend over the phone. Was it fun to finally yell?
A: That scene was so much fun because I got to curse and scream at this imaginary boyfriend, and she does it so well. I just think, boy is she articulate, she says what she wants, she tells him off, and she’s just really clear. You wouldn’t really think of [those words] in the moment if you were having a fight with someone, but she says it. And “go shit in the ocean” is the English translation of this expression which is very common in Yiddish.
Q: Since you knew the show before joining the cast, which actor ended up being least like his or her character?
A: Vincent Kartheiser is nothing like Pete Campbell. He does such an amazing job portraying Pete Campbell that I think the audience thinks he’s really like that. And he’s nothing like that. It’s such an amazing performance.
Q: Dr. Miller keeps her work life very separate from her personal life. How easy is that to do when you’re an actor?
A: I got married last July and it’s funny, Faye wears a fake wedding ring and I don’t ever like to not have my wedding band on me. So I actually pin it to myself. When I put on Faye’s fake wedding ring I take my real ones off and pin them inside of my undergarment, so I’m never without them.
Q: What was the audition process like for the show? How did you prepare for it?
A: I live in New York, and I got a call that there was a role on Mad Men. I got on the plane [to Los Angeles] on a Tuesday and the audition was on the same day. There wasn’t so much preparation because everything is so secretive on the show. I was just told her name and that she’s a psychologist and that was about it. … and then the next day I got a call that I got the job… I never knew it was going to be more than a few episodes. I just said I’ll be in L.A. for two or three weeks and then I’ll come back home. I ended up being here the whole season.