Christina Hendricks’ Joan learned that she was scandalously pregnant at the end of the most recent season of “Mad Men,” but as the show’s writers reconvene to plot out season five, it’s an unexpected real life pregnancy that may prove even trickier to navigate.
With January Jones having announced in April that she is pregnant, the staff got plenty of time to think on just how they’d work her obvious physical changes — she’s due to deliver in the fall, right in the middle of the show’s taping schedule — into, or out of, the show.
For now, though, series executive producer Matthew Weiner is playing coy about his plans.
“I have to do something about it, but I’m not going to tell,” he told E! Online. “It could be laundry baskets or it could be a body double. There are a million things you can do.”
One thing that’s unlikely to happen, it would figure, is that she will be pregnant on the show; her character Betty is already a mother of three, and was pregnant throughout a good chunk of the third season. Luckily, the show has some time to work with, as the season five premiere will not air until early 2012, making post-baby reshoots a possibility.
How the show will address that pregnancy will be in part finessed by Jones’ on-screen ex-husband, Jon Hamm, who will be directing that season five premiere. Weiner had nothing but good things to say about his efforts thus far.
“We’ve been talking about it for a long time,” Weiner said. “I’m very excited by it. He’s on set more than anybody. He’s a very creative person and he’s sophisticated artistically. He’s very involved. No one is surprised that this is the next step for him.”
That being said, as of a few weeks ago, Hamm said he had no idea what story he would be shooting.
“I don’t think they exist,” he told the BBC of the season five scripts. “The way Matthew writes the show is very organically. He starts when he starts and eventually there are scripts but I certainly haven’t seen them.”
With a new contract, at least Hamm is making big cash to be kept in the dark thus far. And he may not end up having too much say, anyway; Matthew Weiner is known as a bit of a control freak, a charge he doesn’t shy away from.
“To be honest with you, being a control freak, I don’t consider that an insult. I’ve never worked for someone or with someone who was successful and who was not a control freak,” he told Deadline in a new interview. “And the fact that I have an opinion and a vision or whatever you want to call it about every aspect of the show may seem overwhelming to people. That does not mean that I can’t be talked out of anything. I think my interpersonal aspect of control is very lenient when it comes to human beings. But my control over the work is absolute.”