Aaron Staton has had to do all sorts of things while playing Ken Cosgrove on AMC’s Mad Men. During this past week’s episode, he even had to tap dance.
“I took some classes in college, and my first job was in the Broadway show Mamma Mia!” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “I played the fiancé [Sky], and I had to do a bit of dancing, albeit in flippers. The truth of it is, it’s not something I’ve done in a while. It’s been a few years.
“First I got a text message, ‘Do you tap dance?’ And so I had to go: ‘Do I? Let me check.’ I’m still holding the phone—‘What do I still know, if anything?’ Mary Ann Kellogg—who has choreographed all of the dance sequences over the course of the show, from when Pete and Trudy did the Charleston and the ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’ song last year—she came aboard, and we had fun figuring this out. Matt [Weiner, the show-runner] knew he wanted a time step in there, and there were a couple steps that I needed to work on and freshen up a little bit.”
Since Staton hadn’t really done much dancing recently, he was grateful they gave him some time to rehearse. “Fortunately they gave me about two weeks, and I needed every day of it. I really did,” he said. “The hardest part was speaking while doing it. It was only maybe eight lines or so, but it’s a difficult thing. It’s like rubbing your stomach and patting your head.”
But really, he was glad to be doing it. Staton appreciates how the talents of the respective characters are displayed throughout the seasons.
“What’s great about this show is, over the course of six seasons, all these characters have these insights or reveals,” Staton said. “I remember when we saw Joan playing the accordion—little tidbits like that, that are just fun. Little secrets.”
Mad Men airs on AMC, Sundays at 9 p.m.