Don's boss Roger Sterling is also a cheating spouse, and not even a heart attack in the midst of a near-naked game of horsie in his office has deterred him. "It's 'Thank God I'm still alive, I'm going to be a better person,' and as soon as he has a cocktail and a cigarette it's back to the old Roger," says John Slattery, who received an Emmy nomination for his role. Why does Roger cheat? "Because nobody says no to him. He has his charms, and he's in this position of power."
Ironically, Slattery's real-life wife of nine years, Talia Balsam, plays his ex-wife Mona on the show, and it's no surprise that she doesn't rush to see episodes depicting his sex scenes with other women. "It might not be the first thing she watches that night. She might watch something else," he concedes.
Aaron Staton says that when his wife watches Mad Men, "she is less shocked by what the men say to the women as by what the women say about each other and themselves, the women's view of their role." Playing a less respectful character than he is in real life has made him even more aware of any remarks he might make these days: "I'm pretty careful about what I say."
Rich Sommer, who plays Harry Crane, similarly watches his mouth, but admits to getting a vicarious thrill from his character’s bad behavior. "Sometimes you wish you could say the things the characters say. Pretending is the fun part of the job. I wouldn't say these things to someone on the street but saying them while making this incredible show is fun."
Boys will be boys....