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Feature: BAFTA New York Celebrates "Mad Men" at the Harvard Club

25 April 2013

BAFTA New York celebrated the launch of the sixth season of Mad Men at the Harvard Club.

BAFTA New York hosted an event filled evening ending with a cocktail party on April 22nd to celebrate the launch of the sixth season of Mad Men, winner of two international BAFTA Awards for Best Drama series.  There was a bumper turn-out to meet the creator and executive producer of the series, Matthew Weiner, and the cast including Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Jessica Paré and Kiernan Shipka.

260 guests packed into the historic Grand Hall of the Harvard Club of New York while the cast faced the cameras on the red carpet.  Charles Tremayne, Chair of the Television Committee, started the evening off by thanking AMC and the producers Lionsgate, and recalling the extraordinary success of Mad Men since it launched in 2007 – an event which helped change the direction of quality drama on cable television in the United States.  He then introduced a reel of some of Matthew Weiner's favorite moments of the first six seasons. 

Charles then handed over to New York Times Culture Reporter, Dave Itzkoff, who was an incisive and humorous moderator who pulled off the tough task of steering the conversation to involve Matthew Weiner and hear anecdotes from all seven members of the cast on the panel. One of the highlights came when Jessica Paré recalled the moment when she was fitted for a wedding ring in wardrobe. Having only joined the cast for four episodes as Don Draper's love interest, it was the first inkling that she was going to become his wife and a series regular.  "It was almost like receiving a real proposal" she said.

After audience questions, the panel then joined the guests at a cocktail reception in the Biddle Room of the club, where they were very generous with their time, answering more questions in an informal setting, and posing for photographs with BAFTA members and their guests.

Members of the cast also answered 'Three Big Questions' about how they got their start in the business, and these will be posted on the Bafta Guru website in due course.

BAFTA/Jamie Simonds