“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner is fully prepared for some of you to not enjoy the final run of his groundbreaking AMC cable series. “The road has been paved for a mixed review, no matter what,” he tells Esquire of the expectations for the show’s end.
Then again, each season finale has carried a similar burden of expectation. “I hate to say this — obviously ending the entire series is significantly more pressure — but it’s been that way every year,” he says. “I never knew if the show was coming back for most of the series, so we treated every episode 13 like it was the end. It’s very bittersweet and high pressure. ‘Did we stick the landing?'”
Even though filming is over, Weiner is still working on post-production — and then there’s all the promotion and award shows over the next year or so that will reunite the cast.
“Despite all that emotion, there has been this little safety net,” he says. “We all know that, whatever splitting the season meant, the true ending of the show hasn’t happened yet. So yes, it will be a reunion and then after the last episode airs, that’s going to be interesting.”
In addition to taking a few props from the set — Don’s Clio and Roger’s bar, among many others — Weiner says directing the final two episodes of the series helped with closure.
“There was a lot of the family sort of being torn apart in a terrible way and at the same time, you’re trying to make the schedule, shoot a script, tell the story, not let the emotions of reality get in. When somebody says ‘goodbye’ in a scene, it’s not just ‘goodbye’ when it’s the last day of shooting.”
Read more of Weiner’s interview in Esquire.