Mad World

Zeitgeist series Mad Men returns with a vengeance, and out actor Bryan Batt opens up about the new season, future scenarios for his character, and, most important, what Don Draper really smells like.



BRYAN BATT MAD MEN With Sarah Drew (Kitty) and Aaron Staton (Ken Cosgrove) X390 (AMC) | ADVOCATE.COM

Looking ahead a few years, do you think Sal would be liberated post-Stonewall?Wouldn't that be wonderful? The Mad Men world is so dark and tortured that I'd love to see Sal toward the end be accepting of himself, living his life, and not caring what everyone else thought. Not living his life in this closeted, masked way.

I hope the series runs long enough for this to happen.I do too. I want Sal to go to the opening night of Hair and come out wanting to be a hippy, then going to the Stonewall and the riots start. [ Laughs ] Wouldn't that be great? Then we see him later on Fire Island in a caftan with his younger lover. That would be my dream. I've stopped trying to speculate what will happen because what the writers come up with is so brilliant and so beyond my imagination that I just hand it over and trust.

That's what is so captivating about the series -- viewers can always expect the unexpected.Right. There's nothing that's repeated and there are no stories that you've seen before on television. I don't remember a character of this type being depicted on television before -- and also played by a gay actor, which Matthew Weiner wanted. He definitely wanted a gay actor to play this gay role. It's an honor and a responsibility to pay homage to these men and women who did forge through this difficult time and survived it.

As a gay man, do you feel an obligation to portray realistic gay men on-screen?Oh, yes. There is a responsibility to get it right and I think the writers do a great job of that too, giving us the dialogue and situations to do it. One thing I can't stand is to see these sophomoric comedies where the joke is that the person is gay. I don't think being gay is funny. I would never play an ill-represented or stereotypical or negative gay person.

Who do you think is the hottest coworker at Sterling Cooper?Joan Holloway.

That's not the answer I expected.Come on. If every gay man could choose to be a woman, he'd choose Joan. How many people did you see dressed as her last Halloween?

The show has a great ensemble cast and there's such chemistry between the actors that I like to think you're all close friends who hang out even when you're not filming. Are you?Yeah, we're really a very tight-knit group. We have fun on set and a little more fun off set. We party and go out together. I have a friend who writes on one of the big network shows and he came to one of our parties and said he has never witnessed a cast with this genuine camaraderie and it's true. It's very unique in that aspect and I'm grateful for it.

Tags: television