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thoroughly modern, her outt far removed from the groovy fabrics
she wears as Joan Harris on Mad Men. 'I think I'm done wearing
1960s costumes,' she laughs. 'Time to go to a dierent decade.' The
reason? After seven seasons and eight years - not to mention ve
Emmy nominations for Hendricks - Mad Men is drawing to a close.
Seen through the prism of a Manhattan advertising agency, Mad
Men has been a cultural event for millions. So it's little surprise
that Hendricks shed 'more than a few' tears when shooting her
nal scenes. 'It's an experience none of us have ever had before.
We've never worked on a show - and
something we're so proud of - for eight
years. We've been through this whole
thing together, and then all of a sudden
it's done. It's sad to say goodbye.'
From o¢ce manager to account
executive, Joan's glass ceiling-smashing
has turned her into a feminist icon,
though Hendricks is coy on how her story
will play out across these nal episodes.
'You know what?' she says, blue eyes
sparkling, 'I've kept secrets for eight years,
so I can keep it a little bit longer. Even my
husband doesn't know! But it's the nale,
so I think people are going to wait for it.
They don't want spoilers.'
If Hendricks had her way, she'd have
had the show carry on for longer. 'I am
constantly playing other people. But I
don't ever get sick of playing Joan. She's a
joy, I just love her so much. She's changed and
grown and learnt so much over the years. And
the writing is so rich - it's not like playing a
stereotype of something that never changes; it
has always been really, really interesting.'
She even has Mad Men to thank for her
marriage. Back in 2007, halfway through the
rst season, she was introduced to Arend by
their mutual friend, Vincent Kartheiser, who
plays Pete on the show. She remembers their
rst encounter. 'He was charming, funny and
very magnetic. I got his number that night, under the pretence
that "we could just be friends". And, of course, I immediately went
home and Googled him.' After meeting up again, in a group of
friends, they decided to date. By 2009, they were married.
On the road again
Last summer, after several years in LA, the couple moved back
to New York, allowing Hendricks to put down some roots -
something she never did in her early years. 'I've moved my entire
life,' she says. 'If there was something there I didn't like, I got up
and packed my bags and moved on.' But then she was used to
moving around from a young age, thanks to her father's job with
the United States Forest Service. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee,
she was raised in Twin Falls, Idaho, before moving to Fairfax,
Virginia, which, due to the bullying, she hated.
But when customers at the hair salon where she
worked after school kept telling her she could model,
her escape route became clear. Her mother, Jackie,
entered her in a competition to appear on the cover of
Seventeen magazine. She didn't win, but it was enough
to convince her to sign with an agency. And when she
was 18, Hendricks packed her bags and left for New
York. She was soon travelling the globe, even living
in London for a time (her father hails from
Birmingham and she carries dual passports).
Acting professionally came later, after
a manager friend of her brother, Aaron,
asked if he could represent her. Hendricks
said yes, but only after taking classes.
Early parts included a recurring character
on ER and a turn in Joss Whedon's
short-lived cult hit Fire�y. But nothing
gripped. Even after shooting the Mad
Men pilot, Hendricks worked in a ¬ower
shop. 'I always wanted to be a ¬orist,' she
explains. 'Unless you're buying ¬owers for a funeral, you're only
going in there for a pretty happy reason.'
Once Mad Men took o, Hendricks ditched the day job and never
looked back. But perhaps because she was in her thirties by the time
success arrived, fame didn't freak her out. 'I'm not out doing crazy
things!' she says. 'I'm just not that famous, to be quite honest. I get
to live a very normal life. I don't have a situation like Jennifer Aniston,
where I have people camped outside my house. I can take the garbage
out and walk down the street and have ramen and it's ne.'
The dark side
In between seasons, Hendricks shot melancholic indie movies such as
Ginger � Rosa and God's Pocket. 'When I nished Mad Men, I said, "I'd
love to do something where I'm not crying!" I had no hydration left in
me, I had cried out every last little tear I could.' Trouble is, Hendricks
'IT'S AN EXPERIENCE NONE OF
US HAVE EVER HAD BEFORE.
WE'VE NEVER WORKED ON
A SHOW FOR EIGHT YEARS,
IT'S SAD TO SAY GOODBYE'
With Hayes MacArthur
in Life as We Know It.
Above: Joan in Mad Men
PHOTOS: KOBAL COLLECTION
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