In this month’s cover story, Mad Men’s John Slattery opens up about his seven years as the series’ resident rogue Roger Sterling, his upcoming directorial debut, surfing in Montauk, and losing his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman. Read the whole feature when the magazine hits newsstands on Friday.
Here’s what’s on Slattery’s mind.
The end of Mad Men.
Slattery’s son was six when the show that would make him famous debuted. He’s now in high school. “I just don’t know how much there is left to say,” Slattery says of the show. “I’m not saying it’s running out of gas — but we told the story. It’s time to go.”
Anytime Slattery has more than a couple of days off from Mad Men, he’s on the next flight home. “That’s one of the reasons I’m ready for it to be over,” he says. “It’s been great, it’s been life-changing, it’s been paying the bills for years. But once that train rolls out of the station … you’re on it. You can’t go, ‘I don’t know; should I do it again?’ You already signed up. If it goes, you have to go.”
Philip Seymour Hoffman.
In February, Slattery was dealt a heavy blow: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Slattery’s friend and the star of his first film, God’s Pocket, died suddenly of a drug overdose. During the filming, Hoffman and Slattery had bonded. “At this point in your life, you don’t discover many people you can connect with like that,” says Slattery who last heard from the actor days before his death. The message? A picture of the two together at Sundance with the caption: “This made my day.”
His bad career decisions.
He took a few regrettable roles, including one in a rollerblade commercial he describes as “a bunch of dudes looking ridiculous in stone-washed jeans,” and one in Sex and the City as a guy who enjoyed, well, golden showers. “Sometimes you look back and think, ‘Why’d I do that? But when Sex and the City calls you up …”
Slattery, now a movie director, doesn’t want to stay on television. “It’ll be good to go figure something else out,” he says, adding that “a play might be good.” He wants to try a variety of things instead of getting stuck inside another beloved character. “That working-actor thing is tough. You always think the next role is going to change everything, and it never does.”
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