Jessica Pare Q&A: ‘Mad Men’
This shortened season of “Mad Men” saw Don Draper and his wife Megan drift further apart. As Jessica Pare explained her character during our recent webcam chat (watch below), “she [Megan] realizes that she’s not in his [Don’s] priorities anymore. It’s just not the way it used to be…. Even though there are moments of intimacy and moments of connection and nice moments, it’s almost as if it just goes away and it’s kind of ok. And for me it’s heartbreaking; I don’t want to see them go down in flames… It’s just so tragic that it’s so easy. That you just let it go and it goes away.”
At the end of this spring season of "Mad Men," Megan was entrenched in California pursuing her acting career while her husband Don (Jon Hamm) was firmly in New York. Don made occasional trips to see her, but their marriage seemed adrift as he is devoted to returning to his former ad agency. The last moment the audience sees her as they talk on the telephone might be her last on the show. As Pare recalled, “when you are saying those words, when you are saying goodbye, it feels so final. It feels like a goodbye to my friends on the show and this work; there’s layers there.”
As to how she would like to see things wrapped up Pare jokes, “if it were up to me, Don and Megan would totally be fine, and they would just be in love, and holding hands all the time, and it would always be sunny out. And that’s why I’m not a writer, that’s why I’m on the other side of the camera, because it would be the most boring piece of crap you’ve ever had to sit through. So I’m an actor.”
Pare joined the AMC drama series as a recurring character in the fourth season. She started out as a secretary, then moved into a job as junior copy writer, and quickly became Don's much-younger wife. Born Megan Calvet, she is originally from Montreal and speaks fluent French.
The actress saw her character as “fundamentally she is a person of lightness: she’s light; she’s optimistic; she’s hopeful; she’s extraverted. In a landscape of darker characters it’s a nice counterpoint. I also think that we sort of see her grow up and you see as much lightness as she brought to Don’s life, also sort of being with him and the choices he made kind of polluted, and her too she’s not perfect I guess… The choices they made kind of polluted her purity, her optimism. We’ve seen a much different Megan this year.”