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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks

One Response to “DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks”

  1. anghus says:

    Easily her best season on Mad Men. In a show that is often about compromise and the struggle to find substance in a world obsessed with surface, Joan became the personification of that struggle.

    Don Draper had always been the centerpiece of that struggle. A man who considered himself to be morally sound in spite of his many failings. The other supporting characters were all at different places on the moral compass. Every year compromise seems to find one of them as each character gets their hands dirty.

    This year we saw Lane cross that line, one that cost him his life. And while Lane had the saddest and most damning arc, it was Joan that had to live with her choice. She had always been the beautiful, seductive icon of this ore-fab time. And even though she had her share of flings, they were always of her choosing. When the firm asks her to do the unthinkable, the choice she makes never feels obvious. And that fantastic scene between Hendricks and John Hamm where he tells her she doesn’t have to do it… and the subsequent scene in the boardroom where he realizes she already had… it’s just brilliant. The entire season was fantastic, but those final few episodes with the Jaguar campaign. As Ginsburg spins that pitch to Don: “At last, something beautiful you can truly own”, and you realize that Joan has now sold her soul for financial security… it’s the kind of writing and acting you’re only going to find on a show like Mad Men.

    On a show with so many good actors, Hendericks really killed it this year. I hope she wins.

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“Chad Harbach spent ten years writing his novel. It was his avocation, for which he was paid nothing, with no guarantee he’d ever be paid anything, while he supported himself doing freelance work, for which I don’t think he ever made $30,000 a year. I sold his book for an advance that equated to $65,000 a year—before taxes and commission—for each of the years of work he’d put in. The law schools in this country churn out first-year associates at white-shoe firms that pay them $250,000 a year, when they’re twenty-five years of age, to sit at a desk doing meaningless bullshit to grease the wheels of the corporatocracy, and people get upset about an excellent author getting $65,000 a year? Give me a fucking break.”
~ Book Agent Chris Parris-Lamb On The State Of The Publishing Industry

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

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