Five questions with Kevin Rahm of ‘Mad Men’

Mad Men

• 9 p.m. Sunday


Posted 11:00pm on Saturday, Jun. 22, 2013

Kevin Rahm

No one is more surprised than Mineral Wells native Kevin Rahm that his Mad Men character, Ted Chaough, has become a major player in the AMC drama’s sixth season, which ends Sunday night.

“I’m always surprised,” Rahm said of the series’ many twists and turns. “It wasn’t until Don said, ‘Do you want to get in some trouble?’ that I was like ‘Oh, oh!’ The first time I read [the script], I was like ‘Oh, yes! Yes, we should merge!’ And you know [creator] Matt [Weiner] had told me that there were big things coming for the character, but I didn’t see it.”

Rahm’s character appeared in a handful episodes in past seasons as the boss of a competing advertising firm. But the recent merger of his company with that of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) — along with a shocking kiss with Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) — has thrust Ted to the forefront of the 1960s ad world drama.

In a recent interview in Los Angeles, the onetime Desperate Housewives actor compared leading man Hamm to Hollywood megastar George Clooney and discussed why he’s staying tight-lipped about that Ted-Peggy lip lock.

1 Initially you wanted to be a lawyer?

My intent was to go to law school.… And then what I realized quickly is what I wanted was to be on L.A. Law. And ironically now I get to work with Mr. [Harry] Hamlin.

2 You also share the screen with Jon Hamm. What’s that like?

The first scene two years ago when we met in the Benihana on the Honda episode — it was daunting. I mean, Jon’s the nicest guy, a genuinely good guy, and so he makes it easier.… I call it the “Clooney effect,” when you don’t get famous till you’re 30 or in your mid-30s.

3 What do fans usually want to talk about?

It’s weird. I had someone yesterday stop me from [my role on] Friends. So I think it depends on whatever their milieu is, but more and more Mad Men.… They all want to know what is going to happen [with Peggy and Ted], if something is going to happen and if it does, when. I got to meet a lot of the Downton Abbey cast last night and I’m a huge fan of Downton. So I’m like “Oh, my god! I love your show!” And they in turn [ask about Mad Men] and I’m like, “Oh, my god, that’s right. I’m on a show, too!”

4 So what exactly was the deal with the Ted-Peggy kiss?

You can argue that it’s out of gratitude. You could argue that he’s completely in love with her and he’s fighting it. That’s the other thing that is exciting about the show is that we don’t know. It’s not handed to you — or us — on a silver platter.

5 I understand you recently celebrated your one-year anniversary with your wife, Amy Lonkar, a cardiothoracic surgeon. How has married life been?

It’s the best decision I ever made. She grounds me in a great way.… She puts my job in perspective real quick. You know any time people are talking about Emmys or something like that and you start to think, “Oh, I’m pretty cool,” and then I talk to her about her day and I go, “Yeah, we [actors] play. We play.”

— Nicole Evatt, The Associated Press

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