With less than a month to go before Mad Men's final season begins airing, the cast of the AMC drama gathered onstage at PaleyFest Friday night to process the inevitable end of the show.
As Deadline reports, the cast and creator Matthew Weiner continued to keep a lid on any details about the new season, with Weiner simply noting that as Season 6 ended in the fall of 1968, Season 7 will begin right after that. Jon Hamm did reveal that shooting for the final seven episodes of the show will begin in one week, but said that the cast doesn't know much more than that. "I don’t think any of us have any idea what the tone or look will be," he said.
Weiner, who was a producer and writer on The Sopranos before creating his own series, reflected on the choices that David Chase made for that show's notorious ending. "I don’t think David Chase was upsetting the audience," he said. "That was the way that show had to end, and every year that passes we know that was the way the show should end. You can’t divorce The Sopranos’ ending from the audience’s emotion. I will end Mad Men the way it tells me to do it, the way I want to do it. The way that Mad Men is finally perceived by the audience versus what I want to do are two different things and I want it to be satisfying. . . . I don’t want to destroy the entire life of the show."
Regarding the end of the series, 16-year-old Kiernan Shipka, who plays Don Draper's daughter, Sally, mused about growing up on Mad Men. "I've been on the show longer than I haven't, which is hard to think about," she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "To not know what Sally is going to be up to anymore is a little sad."
It's a somber prospect for Hamm as well. "Emotionally, we’re in some phase of grief, which is probably denial," he said. "We are collectively realizing that the end is coming, and there’s no way to prepare for it."
The first half of Mad Men's final season premieres April 13th on AMC.