When Mad Men, AMC’s 1960s advertising drama, began, probably the only person who knew the clueless secretary with the unflattering bangs would become the show’s hero was its creator, Matt Weiner. The first episode was Peggy Olson’s first day on the job, her ears sticking out, her clothes ill-fitting, her ambitions unformed. But with each season, Mad Men’s own girl Friday has ascended the corporate ladder, gaining power, sophistication, and better haircuts, only to arrive at the end of last season in her mentor Don Draper’s chair, finally wearing the literal (houndstooth) pants.
“In the opening credits, my name is after Jon Hamm’s, who stars as Draper,” recalls Elisabeth Moss, the 31-year-old actress who plays Peggy. “But when I did the pilot I was not necessarily in that position. I’m No. 4 on the call sheet. But Matt put me second in the credits. I guess he knew what was going to happen.” Don may be the show’s dashing face, but Peggy has always been its point-of-view character, “our Virgil,” in the words of Hamm, “leading us through this hellscape of ’60s advertising.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW