Everyone would love to be Don Draper, but somebody has to play the office pariah on Mad Men. Vincent Kartheiser, who plays the scheming Pete Campbell on AMC’s hit drama about a 1960s advertising agency, doesn’t mind a little dirty work, though. As he explained in a recent interview with Shortlist, being the “bastard” lets him get some monkeys off his back.
“Lots of people didn’t know who I was before Mad Men, but I’ve been in this business for 25 years. I’ve had periods where I’ve been stuck in certain roles: I was the wide-eyed kid, then all I was getting was angsty teenagers, after that I was moody protagonists in independent films, and now, generally I’m an asshole,” said the 32-year-old actor. “It’s, erm… quite nice. It’s much simpler to be objective when you’re the bastard. And, therapy-wise, it helps me get rid of a lot of unwanted dirt.”
On the heels of a 17-month layoff, Mad Men returned for its fifth season this past Sunday. During the extended hiatus, it seems that showrunner Matthew Weiner and his crew had plenty of time to create props for its 13-episode spring run.
Said Kartheiser: “You can go anywhere in that office, open any random drawer on any random desk, open a letter, and not only is it all typed out, but it’s also an actual letter to an actual character, signed, with the right company letterhead to fit into that episode’s script.”