We are six seasons into Mad Men, and by this time, if you follow the series and its actors closely, there’s probably very little you don’t already know about them (hence, the “Might Not Know” in the headline). But there’s probably still a few nuggets about the cast you don’t know, and if you’re new to the series, many of the facts here may be new to you.
In the process of putting together this post, I actually found out a few things myself (number one blew my mind, as did the entries on the guy who plays Abe and the guy who plays Bert Cooper). Otherwise, consider it something of a compendium of Mad Men fun facts, which you can use to impress your mother, who just got into Mad Men on Netflix.
1. John Slattery, of course, is married in real life to Talia Balsam, who plays his ex-wife, Mona, on Mad Men. That makes Slattery the nephew-in-law of Dick Van Patten, which might mean something to you if you’re over the age of 35 (he was the Dad in Eight is Enough). What I didn’t realize, however, is that Talia Balsam used to be married to George Clooney.
3. Vincent Kartheiser once lived ascetically: He gave away his valuable possessions, lived in Los Angeles with no car, had a small, sparse house, and decided not to have children because kids are bad for the environment. He no longer lives like that (probably because he’s engaged to Alexis Bledel, who got tired of walking around smog-polluted Los Angeles).
4. Kartheiser was also featured in Larry Clarke’s (Kids) Another Day In Paradise, where he engaged in two graphic sex scenes, one of which was cut to avoid an NC-17. If you’d like to see portions of the sex-scene that made it in the film, it’s in this NSFW Another Day in Paradise fan video.
FYI: With a moustache, Kartheiser also looks like a douchey Jason Priestley.
5. Elisabeth Moss — who is a Scientologist — made her big-screen debut in Hulk Hogan’s Suburban Commando. She played “Little Girl.”
6. Moss was also in the ill-advised 1995 sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain.
7. Jon Hamm was Ellie Kemper’s (The Office) high-school drama teacher.
8. Jon Hamm’s high-school prom date was 24’s Sarah Clarke, and he’s now BFFs with Paul Rudd. Speaking of dates, he played a blind date in Kissing Jessica Stein, which was written by and starred his real-life girlfriend, Jessica Westfeldt.
9. January Jones — who dated Ashton Kutcher for three years, and Jason Sudeikis for one year — originally auditioned for the role of Peggy Olson, which would go to Elisabeth Moss. Jones also once auditioned for Coyote Ugly, by dancing on a bar. She was apparently terrible.
10. Christina Hendricks is a natural blonde, but there’s no evidence of it because she’s been dying her hair since she was 10 years old after she was inspired to do so by Anne of Green Gables. Back in the day, she was also in a James Bond commercial (with Pierce Brosnan) for Visa.
11. Honestly, Aaron Staton — who plays Ken Cosgrove — is kind of a dull guy, career-wise. The most interesting thing about him is that he’s married to a former All My Children actress, Connie Fletcher.
12. Rich Sommer, who plays Harry Crane, was in two episodes of The Office. I have no recollection of him whatsoever.
13. Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper, has been acting all of her life. She began modeling as a baby. She was also in a milk commercial with Shaquille O’Neal.
14. Robert Morse, who plays Bert Cooper, won a Tony Award in 1961 for his role in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Watch this clip. You will NOT believe it’s the same guy. Mindblowing.
15. Jared Harris, of course, is the son of Richard Harris, who originated the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore in the cinematic version of Harry Potter (he was replaced after his passing in 2002).
16. Harris, who you’ve likely seen in Fringe, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, or in the title role in I Shot Andy Warhol, is also very good with the ladies. Here’s his current girlfriend, Allegra Riggio, and then a picture of his ex-wife, Emilia Fox. Both are British actresses.
17. Is there possibly anything to know about Alison Brie that we already don’t know? That her real name is Alison Brie Schermerhorn? Or that she does an AMAZING impression of Elmo, which got her the role in Five Year Engagement, directed by Nicholas Stoller, who wrote The Muppet Movie with Jason Segel.
18. Here’s Jessica Pare in a lesbian relationship with Piper Perabo in a movie called Lost and Delirious. You’re welcome.
19. Emelle (one name only) has been in 25 episodes of Mad Men, playing a secretary. She still doesn’t have a name on the show. (You can learn a little more about the unnamed secretaries of Mad Men here.)
20. Charlie Hofheimer, who plays Peggy’s boyfriend Abe, was the kid in Robin Williams’ Father’s Day. I also saw him recently in a movie called Music of the Heart. I had no idea it was the same person.