As per usual with series creator Matthew Weiner, not much has been revealed about the upcoming sixth season of AMC's Mad Men this far in advance. The only detail that leaked out recently was an October shot of Jon Hamm and Jessica Paré in character on the beaches of Maui, indicating that the Drapers will be vacationing in Hawaii. Now comes word that both Hamm and co-star John Slattery will be directing episodes of the critically acclaimed series this season.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter regarding his new movie In Our Nature, Slattery let slip that he would be helming a pair of Season 6 episodes, while Hamm will also be directing an installment of the slick ad-agency drama. This won't be the first time Slattery has stepped behind the camera, as he directed two episodes in 2010 ("The Rejected" and "Blowing Smoke") and one last season, entitled "Signal 30". Addressing the differences between directing and acting in an episode, Slattery stated the obvious. "It takes a lot more time," he noted. "You have a hand in the whole thing, and each one takes about a month, from a directorial standpoint. From the time you get the script to the time you turn your cut in, it's a month. And it's a long month."
Not surprisingly, creator/showrunner Matthew Weiner's penchant for secrecy doesn't leave much time for a director to prepare. "You get [the script] a little in advance of when the actors get it, but only for the necessity of preproduction," explained Slattery. "And they used to try — and they still do try — to limit the amount you're [acting] in it, but I think we've all kind of gotten a grip on what that's like, so they don't have to make as much of an effort. And so, yeah, you get what you get. Especially with us. Jon Hamm is directing as well, so we're there. So our schedules are kind of easier for them to figure out because the other directors come in and out." For his part, Hamm made his directorial debut on the Season 6 episode "Tea Leaves".
What are you expecting from Mad Men this season?