The unveiling of THE DRAPER BENCH, a semi-permanent art installation at the Time & Life Plaza, home of Sterling Cooper & Partners Advertising Agency in the iconic series Mad Men, on March 23, 2015 in New York City.
I understand you’ve just finished the script for the series finale—the final final episode.
I wrote the finale over Memorial Day weekend. I had an outline that the writer’s room and I had been working on for the past four or five weeks, so that always makes it easier to actually get it done, but it was great to finish it. I’ll be tweaking it and directing and working through that, so it’s not complete release because it’s not really done until it goes on the air. But yeah…. [long pause] it was a pretty strange experience. I don’t really have words for it. It hasn’t sunk in. Just the idea that you’re finished with writing for a while in itself is mind-blowing. It’s my first little piece of withdrawal from the ridiculous miracle that was getting to do this show. But now I have all the anxiety of, is this the right ending?
I read in an interview with Jon Hamm that several years ago you told him you knew what the final scene or image of the show would be. Did you stick to that?
Yep. That’s what we did. You’ll see if it’s that interesting when you get to it, or if it’s anything particularly remarkable, but yeah. I sort of knew where Don’s story was going when I started [the show], in a way, but what would actually be the manifestation of the last few minutes of the show, or what the lasting image would be, that was something that came to me between seasons 4 and 5, like right during my negotiations [with Lionsgate and AMC to continue the show, which turned nasty at one point]—that terrible negotiation—and I told Jon about it when I knew we were going back to work. And I followed through on it! You have to take my word for that.