Fresh off a whopping 16 primetime Emmy nominations, AMC’s acclaimed Mad Men returns for its second season to the cutthroat world of ’60s advertising Sunday (10 p.m. ET). (Catch up on the first season of the show, currently out on DVD.) And according to Elisabeth Moss, the mood on-set is jovial. And not just because of the accolades. Turns out her castmates are a group of merry pranksters. “We’re fans of making things up about future plots, then tricking each other into thinking this is what happens,” she said on the phone from Los Angeles. But when it comes to actual plot points, Moss is less forthcoming. Still, the actress (whose character Peggy Olson went through some major changes last season, including earning a big promotion and giving birth to a secret child) offered a few teasers about Peggy’s love life, the fate of her love child — and showing off her sexier side. –Brian Orloff
Congratulations on the Emmy nominations. Has the big news sunk in yet?We’re definitely the least jaded, cynical show in the world. We’re so excited by every little thing that happens. We kind of feel like we exist in this little bubble. So when you get 16 Emmy nominations, it’s like, ‘People are actually watching the show!’ It’s incredible.
Was there a moment when you realized that your show was a hit?I think it keeps sinking in, honestly. When I went to New York recently, I rode the Shuttle train between Times Square and Grand Central, there was one that was papered with Mad Men ads. That hit me. I was like, ‘Oh my god. This is incredible.’ laughs Then there was winning the Golden Globe for best television series … drama. That was a big moment for all of us.
Did recognize you in New York?No, they didn’t recognize me on the train, thank god. I would have been really embarrassed because I did ride it back and forth a couple of times, and I might have been taking pictures. Laughs. But I did get recognized in New York. I didn’t realize that would recognize me. I went to see a play … and couldn’t walk a few steps without complimenting the show. It was very cool.
It helps that your character, Peggy, is so relatable.Absolutely. She’s the everyman. She’s just trying to do the right thing and achieve her goals. She’s a good person, and I think do identify with that and want her to succeed.
So is Peggy going to get a love interest in season two?I think she is very ambitious … and she has had a rough time of it recently. She is throwing everything into her work right now and dealing with those problems. But you can’t really ever decide when someone’s going to come into your life. Peggy is a junior copywriter in a man’s world, and those are some big issues to deal with. Bigger than a date or two… but you will get into things like family in the second season.
What about her baby? Everyone’s dying to know what happened.I think it’s a big issue … and it will be dealt with. It would be foolish not to. But I would just say, don’t put your money down on anything. There are no sure bets in this show.
Let’s talk about the costumes–do you have a favorite look so far? And what’s Peggy’s wardrobe like this season?I’ve been loving my clothes the second season because the first season, I definitely dealt with five or six episodes of wearing padding for Peggy’s pregnancy, so the clothes were very much geared toward that. I’ve gotten a lot more color this season. The skirts for me are a little shorter, everything’s a little tighter. The heels a little higher, so I’m getting little improvements. But Peggy is still definitey the professional. She’s never going to be a Joan.