I have added promotional stills of Elizabeth in Mad Men to the gallery so be sure to check them out!
I’m so surprised that Matthew Weiner has brought you in, this major character, so close to the end.
What I love about his writing, I think he’s just such a great, great storyteller. He’s really committed to Don’s journey and telling his story. It made sense to me when I read it.
Explain how it made sense to you.
Well, Don seemed to me very disconnected from his life and lost. And then he meets someone who he connects with outside of his world. That can feel intoxicating. And it feels like home or something. I don’t know, I can’t speak for Jon or for Don, but it feels like these two people that saw each other and from that first moment sort of knew each other in some way, not in a literal way. And so it made sense to me that they would connect so quickly and so deeply.
Were you a fan of the show before you were on it?
Yes. I have been a huge fan for many, many years. And it was one of the toughest secrets because I was essentially lying to everyone in my life about where I was going [laughs]. It was so bizarre. My best friend [Justin Kirk from Weeds] and I would watch the show. We would go to his house and eat Twizzlers and just be obsessed, and we would re-watch it and watch several episodes at a time. And I had to lie to him and not tell him [laughs] that I was doing it. And it was absolute torture. But he was grateful that I didn’t tell him because he got to be surprised.
Did you watch it with him?
No because he ended up going to the premiere, and he actually invited me to go to the premiere with him, and I was not allowed to go so I had to then lie again and say, like, “Oh I can’t go, dammit. Don’t tell me anything.”
You couldn’t go and just pretend you were a viewer?
No, I couldn’t even do that, ’cause it’s so top-secret. So I had to say to my friend, “No spoilers.” And then he flipped out of course and was totally freaked out.
Did you watch the fans react on Twitter last night?
[Laughs.] Yeah, I caught some of it. I’m always fascinated by how people react. It’s great to see people’s immediate reactions to things.
Not everyone was nice, though.
Oh yeah, but that just means that people are invested in the show, ‘cause people love the show, and I get it. We all want what we want to see. And I’ve also had people saying a lot of bad things about me [laughs] in my time.
Is Diana the female version of Don?
That’s how I sort of read her without anyone telling me that. But I just felt like they were very similar in the way that they communicate, and people say, you know, “Diana is mysterious,” and I think she’s very direct. And I love that about her. And she’s been through so much that she has nothing left to lose. During that time period, and I could say the same for today, there is this idea of what it is to be a woman, and she’s really rejected that idea. And she’s decided to live outside what society has told her to do or how to behave or how to move through the world. She basically doesn’t give a fuck. I mean, she cares, and she has a deep, deep heartache and a tragedy [in her past] that is unrecoverable. So that sort of takes her outside of time and space, and it just means she’s almost like untouchable, when you’re that hurt, when you’re that broken by the world.
This may be a very silly question, but I’m just going to ask it — do you think Diana is a real person?
[Laughs.] I do. I do think she’s a real person, but what do I know? But yes, I do.
In last night’s episode, Don goes to her restaurant, she says she never wants to see him again, and then he gives her his card and she calls at 3 a.m. What happened between her shift and 3 a.m. that makes her change her mind?
[Laughs.] I think a few things. She’s extremely lonely, and she lives this very solitary, disturbed, desolate life. And she’s had a drink, and he’s Don Draper at the end of the day. And for her, if she can keep it as anonymous as possible — she doesn’t want to connect with someone. The problem is she really connects with Don Draper.
And he seems really into her.
Right, like he sees her. He really sees her and she sees him, and it’s like everything she doesn’t want, but it’s also like she’s alone in the world. You know that feeling of someone just gets you and sees you. I think that Diana, she has real courage. It’s how she moves through the world, and she doesn’t need Don. I mean, she wants him, but she’s fiercely independent in a way, in her grief.
Why do you think she left Wisconsin? How were you able to justify that and empathize with her and withhold judgment?
I guess she felt so real to me. I grew up in the Midwest and something about her just felt very devastating to me, and I think losing a child — I don’t know what that feels like — but I have to imagine there’s really no way to come back from that. And she made a real, like, ugly choice, but she did what she had to do. Which is horrible. I mean to abandon your other child, just from an outsider’s perspective, there’s a million ways you could judge her. But who knows what’s best at the end of the day for anyone else?
Did she break it off with Don last night? I couldn’t even decide what happened.
[Laughs.] I don’t know. I have my ideas, but I’m much more interested in how other people see it.
Can I hear your idea?
I think she doesn’t want to feel good. Like she says, “I don’t want to feel better.” I think that’s part of why she left her life. If she’d stayed in her life, she would have had to move forward in order to be a mother to that other child, to her living child. So she doesn’t want to do that. She wants to stay in her grief and not be released from that loss, the loss of her child. The problem with Don is that she’s fallen in love with him, and he feels good to her in every way. And it’s just a super-raw connection, so I think it’s a horrible thing of, how do you move away from someone who feels good to you? But also, she doesn’t want to feel good.
Did Matthew Weiner call and say, “I’ve got this part for you”? How did this come to be?
[Laughs.] No. I auditioned, and I knew nothing — I didn’t know who the character was, I didn’t know who the other character was, I didn’t know Don was Don. No one told me. But when you get the material, it was clear to me because I’m such a huge fan — it just felt like Don, the way that he was talking in the scene, and I just fell in love with his character. I just felt that the way that she talks to him — it’s just very powerful.
What do you remember about your audition?
I remember being so nervous because I’m always nervous , and I remember Matt Weiner and Scott Hornbacher, the director of the first episode. They were very warm, and the room was very kind. And I remember feeling like I needed to look sexy, which I always feel silly sort of sexing it up for an audition. And yet, it’s really what you have to do.
What’d you wear?
[Laughs.] I wore this, like, skintight black pencil skirt — which I’ve only worn one other time in my life because it’s just, like, it’s not comfortable. So I pulled that from deep in the closet. And the whole nine yards — the heels and the hair and I just sort of, I felt like I wanted to commit to the sexuality of the character ’cause I think she’s extremely sexual on top of all of her grief. I went in one time, I was not offered it that day. I felt like it had gone well. To me I just felt like this woman, I felt like I was the woman — I don’t know why, and it probably doesn’t speak very highly of me. But I felt very connected to her.
Of all these women that Don’s been with over the years, as a fan of the show, did you have one that you particularly liked him with?
I loved him with Betty. I just love Betty. I think Betty’s like one of the great characters, and I love January Jones’s acting and love her portrayal of her. I love when they like reconnected—
At the summer camp?
Oh my God! I just felt like that was so, so sexy. I just loved that. But I also loved Sylvia. She’s great, and I love Linda Cardellini.
Did you make up anything about Diana’s backstory?
Yeah, I had a whole notebook of her life.
What’s in the notebook?
I was really interested in her life before New York, and also coming to New York, and what was that like for her and finding an apartment and finding that little room she lives in.
What else is in the notebook?
Just, like, all the stuff about losing a child.
Did you name the children?
Yes, I did, but it’s all in the notebook [laughs]. I can’t, I just don’t think I can say any of that. That’s her whole inner life, you know?
Hi everyone! I have added a lot of new photos to the gallery (including screencaptures) so be sure to check everything out in the gallery! ♥
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Elizabeth was interviewed by New York Daily News and you can read the interview here on the site!
She did in with Don Draper in an alley. Now actress Elizabeth Reaser is getting ready to be spanked.
That goes with her role Off-Broadway in “Permission.”
“It’s very ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ But it’s based on Jesus and informed by Christianity,” says Reaser, who played a waitress on “Mad Men” on Sunday. “There is some spanking in the play.”
Reaser, now in rehearsals for the play running April 29-June 7 at the Lucille Lortel in the Village, has done her homework, researching the practice online.
“Real people do it and practice this discipline,” she says. “The husband is the HOH — head of household. The wife has agreed to obey everything he’s said. They set rules and she has to obey them. If she doesn’t, if she acts up, then she gets punished. She gets spanked. Or whipped.”
Reaser calls Askins “naughty and poetic and passionate and smart” and says the play is “about power and about sex and monogamy. Women aren’t in power and being spanked and told what to do. But there’s way more to it than that.”
Also did you all watch Elizabeth in Mad Men? If not be sure to watch the episode here! I have added stills of her in the episode which you can see in the gallery!
Elizabeth went to the Permission Photo Call and you can see pictures and videos of Elizabeth at the event! In the first video we see her around 35 seconds and in the second video we see her around 7:54. ♥
Thanks to Broadway.Com I know Elizabeth is going to be in a new play called Permission with Justin Bartha!
Stage and screen favorite Justin Bartha and Emmy nominee Elizabeth Reaser will star in the world premiere of Permission. The MCC production will begin performances at off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre on April 29 and run through June 7. Opening night is set for May 19.
Permission tells the story of a Eric and Cyndy, couple who decide to follow the leads of their friends and make Christian Domestic Discipline the foundation of their marriage. The new moral code upends everything they knew about one another, their friends and more importantly, who really holds the paddle.
Elizabeth also went to MCC Theater’s 2015 Gala Miscast on the 30th so be sure to check out the photos and videos! I have also added Elizabeth’s new Instagram photos which you can see here!
Elizabeth and Andrew were interviewed by Coming Soon.Net about One and Two and you can read parts with Elizabeth here on the site!
CS: How did the two of you meet for the first time?
Andrew Droz Palermo: Skype!
Elizabeth Reaser: Yeah, we met on Skype. Which is weirdly intimate in a weird way. I’m always afraid I’m going to make a terrible fool out of myself. I think I did, actually, and I said way too much. But I guess it worked!
Palermo: The film lends itself to talking about family. We were both, I think, very forthcoming about our own families, which is something that I really admired about her.
CS: You also had a partner in the writing of “One & Two.” How did that partnership form?
Palermo: Yeah, I wrote it with my childhood friend Neima Shahdadi. I had written a first draft and then brought Neima on to help me shape it up and to give me some fresh eyes.
Reaser: When I came on, it was a finished script. There were some changes along the way and when we were shooting. Andrew is the least precious writer I have ever seen when it comes to words. He’s the first to say, “This is terrible! I have to cut this!” It’s actually never terrible. It’s always pretty great. But he really knows what he needs or doesn’t need in the moment. It was always about finding the scene and not just finding some idea of the scene written a year and a half ago.
Palermo: Does that become more like theater rehearsals, then?
Reaser: Well, in theater, the director is kind of like the King and then the writer, if they’re alive, is kind of like God. You’re just hoping for the best. If it’s a new play, you can get rewrites every day. But once it’s written, you can’t change a syllable. That’s how I was brought up. You don’t improvise.
CS: The pairing of Kiernan Shipka and Timothée Chalamet works so well. How did those two come to join the cast and what made them right to play off one another?
Palermo: Also through casting. I had seen Kiernan on “Mad Men.” I hadn’t yet seen anything that Timothée had done, but I saw clips from “Homeland.” He’s a very, very different character on that show. When we first met, we talked a bit about that. I guess he’s kind of arrogant on the show. I haven’t seen it in the context of the show at all. I’ve just seen clips in isolation. I wanted him to be much more insulated and brooding. He’s trying to deal with everything and he feels kind of like he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s trying to keep the family together in his way. He handled that so well. He’s such a smart, sensitive, perceptive young man. It’s great to watch because he’s reading a lot and watching a lot of movies. I don’t know if it reminds you, Elizabeth, of your youth or anything, but I really appreciate that thirst for knowledge.
Reaser: I hate to say it, but he doesn’t remind me of me. He’s so much more impressive! He’s not afraid of his energy. He’s not trying to be cool or to act older all the time.
CS: Did your schedule allow for much of a rehearsal process?
Palermo: There was no rehearsal process for this film. I would love to do that differently in the future, time permitting. It’s hard to do. Actors’ schedules are tough. Movie schedules are tough. Everyone is coming from different places. I do hope that everyone had time for what we needed on set. I never wanted to rush people.
Reaser: It was the least rushed I’ve ever felt on a movie in my life. We never went over.
Palermo: Yeah, we had a really well-run set and we’d sort of get the chance to rehearse on set. Jeff Keith was our AD and was amazing. He’d give me the room and I’d say, “Jeff, I’d like to talk with everybody. We’re going to work through it and talk about lines.” We’d maybe cut a line or add a line and then we’d bring in everybody, show them what we want to do, and then set up.
Reaser: I almost never don’t feel rushed and terrified. It was such a help because the movie needs for you to be allowed to be slow. You have to walk slowly and breath slowly. You have to slow down your whole inner life.
CS: You’re also acting within some truly beautiful environments. Does actually being in that world help influence your performance?
Reaser: I think it informs everything, really being there and being on location as opposed to faking it. We were definitely out in the middle of nowhere. There was no running to the store.
Palermo: Or cell phone reception, which was horrible for production, but also great for production. Everyone was forced to not sit around on their iPhones while waiting for the next set up.
Reaser: Yeah, people were forced to talk to each other and interact.
Palermo: (laughs) Yeah, they were forced to just talk or read. For me, that setting was perfect. The first time I went to that house, I wasn’t sold on it. I think it was just so hot. It was like 100 degrees. I just thought, “I don’t know about this house. This is crazy. I want out of here.” Then I revisited it with a sort of more open mind. Sitting on the front of that home and thinking about the fact that that would be all that the characters know. I would think of it being their home and owning the home, the barn, the animals and the land. It really helped me. Elizabeth befriended the donkey.
Reaser: The donkey, the dog and the chickens. There was always a dog around.
CS: There’s a very somber tone to the film itself. Does what’s going on behind the camera ever have to match that?
Reaser: Well, a lot of the tone behind the scenes had to do with Grant Bowler. He’s the craziest Australian jokester of all time.
Palermo: He’s a showman.
Reaser: He’s a showman and does a lot of accents and has a lot of stories. He would talk about Australia and so many other things. We had fun. Then, when it was time to work, he’d get so serious so fast.
Palermo: I found myself needing to kind of get into the zone a little more. Actors, I think, are so in tune with being able to get into the zone instantly. I had to kind of method direct. I would put my headphones in and just think about the movie. Like you say, Elizabeth, you sometimes feel very rushed on sets. When you’re the director, you know that you need to be hurrying up. You know there’s this machine happening around you while everyone is doing their thing. For me, it was so important to be able to have a shot and have it sit. Some shots, after it looked like the action was done, we’d just let sit there for 30 seconds. I would just sort of watch all the nature and breathe. I think that helped everyone take it a little easier.
Reaser: That’s so true. You somehow did, but I think that most directors don’t know that actually makes you feel more relaxed and trusting of the director because it makes you look so confident and controlled, which you are.
CS: When you’re dealing with a story that is, in many ways, allegorical, how important is it, Elizabeth, that you’re both on the same page as far as delivering what he may perceive as an underlying theme?
Reaser: It’s funny. If I had my druthers, I would have sat him down for days on end and just interrogated him until the cows came home. We didn’t have that kind of time, so I had to go do my homework. No director in the world wants to have that conversation with me. At a certain point, they’re like. “I don’t care. Just go away.”
Palermo: I would have welcomed it, if we had had the time!
Reaser: I’ve sort of learned over the years, though, that that’s my job. I have to figure it out and then bring my own story to the table.
Elizabeth gave multiple interviews at the SXSW Film Festival one she did was with the director of One and Two Andrew. You can read the questions and listen to their responses here.
The other two interviews you can see below!
I have also added another photo of Elizabeth at the festival which you can see here!
Elizabeth went to the 2015 SXSW Film Festival on Sunday with her co-star Tim and you can see photos in the gallery!
According to TV Line Elizabeth has joined the cast of Mad Men!
When does the final season of Mad Men start? Any scoops? –Kathi
The acclaimed AMC drama launches its very final, seven-episode salvo on April 5. And having seen the season premiere — and after consulting the list of things we have been asked not to reveal – I shall tease:
* One of the characters goes on a surprising blind date
* An iconic hosiery product makes its debut
* Elizabeth Reaser fills a quite interesting role
* At least three series regulars are nowhere to be seen
* There will be a debate over who looks the most groovy these days, Stan or Ted
* There is a randomly spilled glass of red wine that is sure to launch 1,000 think pieces on “Who will die?”
The way this is worded makes me think that all this will be happening in the premiere episode which airs on April 5. We will just have to watch and see!
Congratulations Elizabeth on your next role!