Set in the boozy, smoky, sexy world of advertising in 1960s Manhattan, Mad Men returns for a sixth season with a two-hour premiere tonight on AMC.
Art director Salvatore Romano, the closeted character played by out actor Bryan Batt, may not be returning anytime soon, but that certainly hasn’t dulled the Emmy-winning show’s undeniable appeal among LGBT viewers.
To start warming up for your swingin' Sunday evening viewing party, let's revisit our classic interviews with three of the drama’s most appealing stars, Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, and Elisabeth Moss, who play Don, Joan, and Peggy, respectively.
JON HAMM plays hard-drinking, skirt-chasing ad exec Don Draper. “Well, it’s a very high-drama show, and it’s very stylish,” Hamm told The Advocate of the show’s appeal. “Three things that the gay community responds to are attitude, sexiness, and style. We’re a prime property for a big gay following — I love it.” He also playfully chatted about his man-crushes and whether or not his manwhore character would ever hook up with Sal, the closeted art director: “I don’t think Don swings that way, but in 10 more years, who knows?” (Read the full 2008 interview)
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS plays buxom agency operations director Joan Harris. Hendricks is very aware of the gay fever that her character inflames. "I did get some really nice news that there were some guys dressed up as Joan for Halloween," she told The Advocate, adding that she's been "casually hit on by women." She also revealed her long history of close friendships with gay men, even if she didn’t always know it: “I have the worst gaydar. Just count up my ex-boyfriends for proof.” (Read the full 2009 interview)
ELISABETH MOSS plays corporate ladder-climbing copywriter Peggy Olson. Aside from her connections to Jane Lynch, Bette Midler, and Madonna, Moss discussed Peggy’s flirtatious friendship with a lesbian beatnik. “I loved all the respect and kudos I got from the gay community about that storyline. People were so excited that Peggy might be a lesbian,” she told The Advocate. “I mean, if anyone’s going to be gay, it’s Peggy.” A Scientologist, Moss also opened up about her church’s stance on gay people: “Personal freedom is a very important concept in my religion, and I translate that to sexual orientation. If we’re all supposed to have the right to the life that we want to lead, then that should apply to the gay community.” (Read the full 2012 interview)
Mad Men returns tonight on AMC.