"Matthew Weiner stood on the set of his hit show, Mad Men, ready for his close-up in extreme anxiety. He was watching the rehearsal of a scene that seemed fine to me, better than fine, but his staccato commentary was a scene in itself.
"He should be standing," he said of an actor who was seated.
"That should be on the table," he said of an accordion folder that an actress had placed on the floor.
"Theyâre overreacting, paying too much attention to each other." He heard himself and looked slightly sheepish. "You'll see it turn from theater to movie in the next take," he told me. "I want them not to pay too much attention to each other, so it feels real, more perfunctory. Not that TV thing." His smile was wry. "Iâm very impatient."
He should give himself a break. Everyone else has. "Mad Men," about the world of advertising on Madison Avenue set in New York in the early 1960s, languished for years after being rejected by HBO and Showtime before the unlikely AMC (formerly known as American Movie Classics) took its maiden voyage into original-series programming and picked it up. The show had its premiere last summer and won instant critical acclaim, a Peabody Award and the Golden Globe Award for best drama. Its second season begins July 27; the DVD set of the first season goes on sale July 1.
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