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Elisabeth Moss Cried Actual Tears After Jon Hamm Improvised Iconic ‘Mad Men’ Scene

"That right there is the real Jon," Moss said of her former co-star in a pivotal Season 5 episode.

Mad Men

“Mad Men”

screenshot/AMC

Over a decade later, and Elisabeth Moss still gets teary-eyed talking about Jon Hamm’s mentorship on “Mad Men.”

Moss starred as Peggy Olson, an up-and-coming copywriter who befriends her elusive boss, the advertising agency legend Don Draper (Hamm), who guides her career in the 1960s male-dominated industry. Peggy eventually parts ways with Don’s firm, leading to an emotional scene in Season 5, Episode 11, which originally aired in 2012.

Moss shared just how “real” the moment felt between her and Hamm during production.

“It all felt very real. I had a very close relationship with Jon,” Moss said during a Vanity Fair video. “There was sort of like a mentor/protégé relationship there, very older brother, little sister. And so it meant something to the both of us when we did this scene.”

While in character, Moss starts to tear up while Hamm kisses her hand after shaking it farewell.

“That right there is real. That’s actually real tears, which you know, hate to break it to you, but often we’re faking it,” Moss said. “He held onto my hand and didn’t let go and then kissed it. None of that was in the script and he did it on my close-up. Like, that right there is the real Jon.”

The scene was so pivotal for Moss that she asked the AMC production if she could keep the dress Peggy wears.

“The only costume I have from ‘Mad Men’ from all seven seasons, 90-something episodes, they asked me what costume I wanted to keep, and I said I wanted to keep that one because of that scene,” Moss said. “I don’t think it fits me anymore, but I have it.”

Moss’ former co-star January Jones, who played Don’s wife Betty Draper, commented on the Instagram video.

“Uhhh, I didn’t get to keep a costume,” Jones joked. “I need to speak to the manager.”

“Mad Men” celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2022. The series garnered 16 Emmy wins over the course of its seven seasons; the critically acclaimed show ended in 2015.

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