Mad Men's Jessica Paré Dishes on the Hurdles Ahead for Megan and Don, and Doing That Scene

To be safe, it shall be noted: The following contains spoilers from Sunday night’s Season 5 premiere of AMC’s Mad Men. Now with that out of the way….

The good news for Mad Men‘s Megan, played by Jessica Paré, is that the onetime Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce secretary is now Don’s wife. The bad news for Megan… is that she is now Don’s wife, meaning she is wed to a man who sometimes has trouble knowing exactly what (or who) it is that he wants.

And if the Season 5 opener was any indication, Mr. and Mrs. Draper’s newlywed phase is not without its hiccups. So what sort of obstacles will be thrown their way that might not be able to be solved with angry floor sex?

“Is there really any problem that can’t be solved that way?” Paré said with a laugh when presented with just that question.

Mad Men Season 5 Premiere Sets Ratings Record

Turning serious, Mad Men‘s relative newcomer points out that since this “is not a show about people that have everything they want and are just happy, obviously there will be some friction between [Don and Megan]. I think the seeds are … pretty well-sown in the first episode.”

Case in point: In the drama’s two-hour opener, Megan (Mistake No. 1!) surprised her husband with a 40th birthday party, at which she (Mistake No. 2!) serenaded him with a sexy rendition of a song, while his many “intimates” watched on with degrees of bemusement, astonishment or, yes, even arousal. (Hi, Harry.)

Megan saw the gesture as romantic; Don declared it an embarrassment.

“She’s definitely a lighter person,” Paré observes of her alter ego, who elsewhere in the premiere likened herself to a smiler adrift in SCDP’s sea of smirkers. “She has more light to her than most of the characters, while there’s a lot of sarcasm and darkness in [Don]. So we’ll definitely see more of that [sort of conflict], I’m sure.”

Mad Men Season 5 Premiere Recap: All You Get to Do Is Watch

Paré was handed no less than two show-stopping scenes in the Season 5 premiere, both of which had the proverbial watercooler (read: Twitter) buzzing on Monday morning. For starters, there was Megan’s coquettish cover of “Zou Bisou Bisou” — not Paré’s first singing performance on Mad Men (she had a kid-friendly ditty in the Season 4 finale), but far and away the most provocative.

“It’s a very gutsy move,” she says of Megan’s semi-public presentation to Don. And she’s not so sure she could pull off such a performance herself.  “Certainly a lot of the awkwardness and embarrassment was felt, so… I don’t know,” she laughs. “It takes a lot of courage to do something like that!”

Then, after the newlyweds quarreled some over the display — even moving Megan to leave work early days later — there was the “makeup” sex scene staged on the impractically white living room rug of the Drapers’ mod digs. We asked Paré about the direction for that intense encounter. Was it positioned to her as a seduction? A challenge of sorts to alpha male Don?

“One of the ways that [Megan] has some kind of power over [Don] is that they are such a great match sexually, and physically,” she answered. “And this was her trying to regain her upper hand in that sense.”

What are your predictions for the new Mad Men marriage?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Cloudy Knight says:


  2. Geo says:

    Love what they did with Megan. Don’s sudden proposal in last season’s finale seemed like a WTF moment since Megan felt like a minor character, but I love how they’ve now put her in the spotlight. The party scene was brilliant. Megan is kind of the anti-Betty (hot where Betty’s cold; kind to the kids where Betty’s often angry, etc), and its like Don Draper has zoomed too far in the other direction. I’m betting the destruction of this marriage will be a weird reverse mirror of the destruction of Don and Betty.

  3. bad kevin says:

    Megan is no Betty Draper.

  4. BisouBisou says:

    Megan is my cousin from Montreal, she was so good last night! Check out her canadian film Stardom and Bollywood Hollywood she is such a great actress :)

  5. bad kevin says:

    Does everybody want more “Zou Bisou Bisou”?

  6. Kikay says:

    Loved how they developed Megans character in this premiere. It’s a juxtaposition of sorts with Dons personality. Very fun to watch and they both look good together.

  7. flora says:

    I loved how Megan’s surprise party for Don was so out of character for him, that characters and viewers alike were like, “Oh…don’t do that. You really don’t know him…at all!” Yet, at the end of the episode when Peggy tells Don that Megan went home because she wanted “to be alone”, Don grabs his coat, tells his secretary he’s out for the rest of the day, and replies to Peggy, “You don’t know her at all.”

    Megan may be young, and more of the 60s generation than Don will ever pretend to be, but there was such a sweet moment in that comment from Don. While SCDP staff and spouses (and viewers?) could not help but laugh in the spirit of schadenfreude at how incongruous Megan’s party and performance were to the tight-laced and reserved Don, somehow Don knew that his new wife NEEDED him to rush home to her. Megan might not have known that she wanted Don to follow her, she just wanted to escape- but Don DOES know Megan well enough to know that he had to go after her.

    Don cool point knowing Megan #2: knowing full well that the white carpet was impractical but allowing Megan to get it anyway because he thought that’s what she wanted.

  8. Megan will probably have a baby. Or get fed up with Don’s uptightness and leave him in the lurch. He’ll get back with Betty (who’ll lose a little weight) and all will be sweetness and light as 1968 goes through its wild paces.