Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men”: Joan got raped!

TV's sexiest office manager clarifies her character's season two tragedy

Topics: Broadsheet, Love and Sex,

Magazine racks everywhere can attest to the fact that with its third season premiere slated for August 16, the “Mad Men” advertising and publicity engines are not so much purring as growling. Luckily, the entire cast is easy on the eyes because leading lady January Jones, who plays Betty Draper, graced the July cover of Interview magazine, and in August the truly stunning Christina Hendricks takes her turn in the glossies with photo-heavy appearances for both Esquire and New York.

Hendricks is always a scene stealer as the feisty office manager Joan Holloway — the curvy redhead best described on the show as “a drop of strawberry jam in a glass of milk” — but in her recent press appearances the actress has voiced her discontent about some unsettling fan reactions to Joan’s season two rape. Hendricks mentioned one troubling occurrence on the cast commentary for the second season DVDs, in which a fan decided to compliment Joan’s outfit the day after the tragic scene aired (“I thought, ‘That’s all you have to say?”).

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“Our moms had friends like her — very confident and sexy and they got punished for it,” the show’s creator Matt Weiner told New York. Hendricks, though, remains flabbergasted about the viewer response:

“What’s astounding is when people say things like, ‘Well, you know that episode where Joan sort of got raped?’ Or they say rape and use quotation marks with their fingers,” says Hendricks. “I’m like, ‘What is that you are doing? Joan got raped!’ It illustrates how similar people are today, because we’re still questioning whether it’s a rape. It’s almost like, ‘Why didn’t you just say bad date?’”

And what of those who say that Joan, as a woman in 1962, might not have understood the gray areas of rape?

“She’s smart. She’d think it was awful and ‘Holy shit!’ But she also thinks, ‘Pick yourself up, comb your hair. You’ve got a dinner reservation; don’t be a baby. You know many girls this has happened to.’”

 

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