Q&A: John Slattery

The 'Mad Men' star on Roger Sterling's sex life, dropping acid and directing his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman

John Slattery
Getty Images
By Jonathan Ringen
May 07, 2014

By the time Mad Men finishes shooting its 92nd and final episode later this year, John Slattery will be seriously ready to hit the beach. In addition to suiting up for one last ride as TV’s most lovable rascal, Roger Sterling, he found time to write and direct his first movie, the beyond-dark comedy God’s Pocket (out May 9th) – featuring, in one of his last parts, Slattery’s old friend Philip Seymour Hoffman. “I had all these other actors in mind, but I wanted to hold out for Phil,” says Slattery. “Imagine how lucky I felt when he said yes.”

This season, Roger has one of the greatest entrances in TV history, where it’s revealed he’s living in some kind of polyamory arrangement. What did you think when you read it?

I was just hoping it wasn’t Day One, Scene One! Who wants to be bare-ass on the floor with naked strangers? It’s not a soft entry.

What’s happening in Roger’s life that explains that scene?

Obviously, he’s in some sort of suspended adolescence. But if I was in that period of time and single like he is, who knows? Maybe I’d try to jump into that, too.

How much of Roger is in you?

At this point, it’s hard to say. The writers know who I am. There’s definitely some overlap, but it’s not like I can’t separate myself from Roger when I go home.

When did you begin taking acting 

I went to New York after college and hung around in theater. I did a Genet play in the penthouse of a building uptown. Shaved my head. I also did industrials, which are films for training or corporate use. There was one for the IRS where I drove a city bus.

Did you have a shady agent in some ancient building in Times Square?

No, but I had a manager who loaned me his apartment once. My girlfriend was coming to town, and I lived with a roommate by Coney Island. He was like, “You got to get out of that shithole.”

Coney Island? Who moves to Coney Island?

That’s how little I knew of New York! It was a fifth-floor walk-up – the N train would pass right by the window, like a Woody Allen movie.

This is an extract. To read the full story, pick up a copy of Rolling Stone Middle East

Latest News