Gold Standard: ‘Mad Men’s’ John Slattery and Talia Balsam dish on the series’ end

On “Mad Men,” real-life marrieds John Slattery and Talia Balsam play Roger and Mona Sterling, a onetime married couple who have remained friends and, for all we know, might end up reconciled once the series returns next year for its final seven episodes.

Slattery is in Los Angeles filming the last episode of “Mad Men” and, during a break, swung by The Times’ television studio for a Web chat. And because we know how much he misses his wife (and because Balsam is so great on the show), we hooked the couple up via Skype to talk about the series and Roger and Mona and whether the Sterlings’ daughter prefers to be called Margaret or Marigold these days.

“Just because they can’t necessarily find a way to be together on a daily basis doesn’t mean they can’t have an affection or respect for one another,” Slattery says of the Sterlings

There was certainly a shared sense of purpose in that great episode that aired during the recently completed half season where Roger and Mona ventured out to a commune to retrieve their wayward daughter. Let’s just say they looked a little out of place among the unwashed hippies.


“You always wear fur to the farm,” Balsam says, smiling.

As for filming “Mad Men’s” final episode, Slattery says it has been as poignant as you’d expect, starting with the cast getting together for a last table read.

“That was emotional,” Slattery says. “There were some sniffles and teary eyes around the room, an emotional speech. Until it’s finished ... and even after it’s finished, it won’t probably sink in for a while. But, yes, it’s been emotional. We’ve been doing this for a long time now.”

Take a look at our conversation above and see what else they had to say about the series.


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