'Mad Men' Season 5: Matt Weiner Talks

Anthony D’Alessandro is managing editor of AwardsLine

When Jared Harris received an email from the Mad Men production crew asking him whether his signature had a calligraphic flair, he finally saw the writing on the wall: His character, Lane Pryce, the nebbish British partner of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce ad agency, was being eliminated from the show.

“I figured, ‘Oh, he’s forging a check,’ and if he’s doing it in secret, that’s not good”, explains Harris, who learned during the episode 10 shoot that Lane would hang himself in episode 12 after Don Draper (Jon Hamm) discovers he embezzled ad agency funds.

It might have taken 10 episodes for Harris to find out about his character’s fate, but Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner dropped hints all season: Don drew a noose during a meeting with Lane (episode “Signal 30”), and Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and his train buddy Howard Dawes (Jeff Clarke) converse about insurance and suicide (“Lady Lazarus”). (more…)