The GQ+A: Mad Men's Christina Hendricks on Joan's Epic Moral Moment

A quick excerpt from GQ contributor Gwynne Watkins’s interview this week with Hendricks. The full article is here.

Christina Hendricks: It was a crazy episode the other day.

GQ: Yes it was! So tell me your reaction to first learning about that storyline. I’d imagine it’s the kind of thing that could make a person nervous.
Christina Hendricks:
[Laughs] Honestly, Matt [Weiner] had told me about that storyline, I think it was either last season or the season before. He’d had it in his mind, and was planning on using it before, but the development of the characters just didn’t get to that point. So I’d had some knowledge of it for quite some time. Yeah, it makes you nervous! ‘Cause you think, well, how are people going to respond to Joan doing this? But I think Matt’s writing and the way it was done shows what people will do out of necessity and for survival. I thought it was beautifully written.

GQ: Yes. Although the episode was extremely hard to watch, I didn’t feel like the show itself was exploiting Joan; she was an active player in the events.
Christina Hendricks:
You know, there’s a moment where Pete is pitching this idea, and he says, “Haven’t we all done something, made a mistake one night for free?” All the men in this office have done sort of off-color things, and acted in ways that we’ve all hissed at throughout the entire series. She acted like one of the guys, to a certain extent. And she’s a single mother. When Lane comes in [with the $50,000 offer] and she says, “It’s four times as much as I make in the entire year”—are you kidding me? How moral are we all? How much can it help my family, and how much can it help my son? And once it’s done, it’s done; it never has to be spoken about again. But it’s a terrible price to pay.