"I just didn't think I would find a character I would like as much," Jones tells PEOPLE of joining The Last Man on Earth after Mad Men

By Patrick Gomez
March 20, 2015 07:55 PM
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After seven seasons on Mad Men, January Jones thought she was ready for a break from TV.

“I really thought I wouldn’t do TV for a really long time just because I was coming off the best show ever,” Jones says of leaving the hit AMC drama behind. “I just didn’t think I would find a role I would like as much. I thought I might not work and spend time at home and do movies here and there.”

But then Jones was offered the opportunity to audition for a role on Fox’s new comedy The Last Man on Earth.

“It was sort of a no-brainer,” Jones says of taking the role of virus survivor Melissa Shart. “I loved the writing, and I have a really fun time on the show. We spend every day laughing. The biggest challenge has been to keep from laughing during takes.”

She also can’t complain about the shooting schedule.

“For me to be at one location – and so close to my house – makes it really easy for me, physically,” says the actress, who lives in Los Angeles with her son Xander, 3.

But Jones is most happy that she’s getting to show Mad Men fans her more comedic side.

“I thought it would be a good move for people to see me do something so different,” she says.

January Jones in The Last Man on Earth (as Melissa, left) and Mad Men (as Betty)
Jordin Althaus/FOX; Carin Baer/AMC

She’s also excited for audiences to see her as both Melissa on Last Man and Betty on Mad Men once the AMC show returns April 5.

“Aside from the fact that they’re both female and they look alike, they are very, very, very different characters,” Jones says. “It’s going to be interesting when they are both airing on Sunday nights.”

The Last Man on Earth airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on Fox.

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