How The ‘Mad Men’ Spent Their Bummer Vacation

Slattery made a recent and public play for life on the other side of the camera--at the premiere of the new film The Adjustment Bureau, in which he plays a supporting role, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter he's written a screenplay. It's apparently based on an existing property, to which Slattery is attempting to gain the rights, but he had little else to tell. "I can't tell you what it's about. It’s a secret." If Slattery thinks the Mad Men delays are taking forever, he's evidently never read about the life of a screenwriter!

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The eleven-year-old gets the Vanessa Grigoriadis treatment in this week's fashion issue of New York. The charming, well-behaved actress--a far cry from Sally Draper!--cracks "Fashion Halloween" jokes about "Michael Korpse." The main lesson of the article, though, is not Shipka's pursuit of fashion fame but her chilled-out normalcy. She's spent the hiatus taking piano and tae kwon do lessons and doing community theater. Shipka "makes me feel lazy" while on hiatus, said Jon Hamm. Tae kwon do? She makes us feel lazy too!

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Then again, maybe Hamm should feel lazy! The Clooney manqué has, since last season's finale, appeared on Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and Childrens Hospital. Jon Hamm on TV is a fine and familiar thing, but Jon, get ambitious and do a movie! 2011 will bring small roles in the action-y Sucker Punch and the wacky lady-Apatow Bridesmaids. No more SNL for a while, Jon: use your time off to do more of those--so next hiatus you can get your own franchise!

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Perhaps we want more for Hamm since his onscreen ex-wife is doing so well. January Jones, never the most decorated actress in Mad Men's ensemble, is doing just great for herself these days, having landed a role in the coming X-Men reboot. And, finally tasting a little of the spotlight outside of the shadow of her popular show, Jones is proving as daffy as any big-screen star who came before: just recently, she announced that her new film is being unreasonably rushed and that she sleeps in a panic room and needs paparazzi to make her feel safe! We see a career for Jones as the muse to Sofia Coppola's next dumb-blonde character.

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From one cult show to another--Brie's life will actually be a lot easier if the AMC show's hiatus continues, as she stars on NBC's Community as well as co-starring on Mad Men. Brie's been cagey about which part she prefers, and we wonder whether her ultra-overachiever schedule will become de rigeur for stars whose cable schedules aren't terribly demanding.

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While Brie ended up on network TV full-time, Rich Sommer has popped up as a guest on CSI--a strange sort of easter egg for CSI-viewers who wonder what Harry Crane is doing in Las Vegas. Supporting role on AMC converts to guest role on CBS, apparently. Not that Sommer relishes the itinerant lifestyle: after listing a couple of near-completion guest spots he was working on, Sommer wrote on Twitter: "Then I am unemployed. Doo dee doo."

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No TV for breakout star Hendricks during her time away--but no January Jones-style franchise pictures either. Hendricks finds herself supporting Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan in Drive and Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don't Know How She Does It: two dramatically different (at least by description!) films that will allow Christina Hendricks to prove her range without pressure resting unduly on her shoulders.

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Perhaps it's Elisabeth Moss who had the best plan all along--she's headlining the London play The Children's Hour. She's able to prove her acting meddle, and is far from the scrutiny of fans: the Guardian called Mad Men a "hysterically admired U.S. soap opera"! They're not wrong, but, wow, it's a different place over there. The Guardian's review was negative, but theater in London is theater (theatre?) in London. Moss can fly back to the set of Mad Men, when the show begins again, with renewed cred. And how many of the show's stars can claim that?

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